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2 people found this helpful  

A Short Experience

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

I worked at CouchSurfing full-time for less than a year

Pros

-Great Perks
-Inspiring Office Environment
-Good Food
-Great Balance Between Work and Play
-Flat Structure
-Skilled Fantastic People Working There
-Tony the CEO is a very Cool Guy!

It was fantastic to work at Couchsurfing. However, my whole team got laid off due to change of focus. Couchsurfing in itself is a very cool concept that I believe is making a significant change in this world!

Cons

-Lack of Direction
-Recent Change from the Original Founders to a new CEO created Massive Layoffs and I think they lost trust and momentum.
-Uncertain Future
-Reliant on Investors to operate at current capacity
-Lost the passion that shined from the Original Crew

The new management was not honest with the employees. And it seemed that the managements solution to problems was always to hire or fire, rather than effectively directing and managing the current staff. In my short time there, I saw people come and go on a weekly basis.

They also favored a particular culture or skill sets rather than embracing different types of employees, which the original Couchsurfing was all about.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Good luck! You need it...

Recommends
Negative Outlook
Approves of CEO

28 Other Employee Reviews for CouchSurfing (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    A Company that Lost its Soul

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Great benefits
    -A typical Generic Silicon Valley Company
    -Lots of Employees from reputable companies such as Apple etc.
    -Many great talents
    -The CEO Tony is a very nice guy and a joy to work with.

    Cons

    -If you looking for a different company with extraordinary values and the diversity Couchsurfing community represented, this is not your company. Don’t get fooled by their ‘we are different’ marketing. However, if you looking for a crowd that all think a like. Go for it!

    -There are a lot of “know it all” and big Egos in the middle management that will quickly resign their ideas to blame others for the failures they constantly make. Lots of Politics here!

    -As you can see from reviews the new management was not happy with the old employees. They are also bad mouthing their performance. How can you bad mouth someone who created the biggest social travel site in the world with over 5 million members? Did any of you new employees do that? Any takers?

    -You can read from these reviews the new crew seem very intolerant to what they call hippies? That’s showing a very intolerant attitude towards a diverse culture Couchsurfing is, and if you read reviews online you will find upset previous members that feel the new management is very incompetent.

    -Yes, they were “hippies”, that didn’t know what they were doing and got screwed by the investors. They worked for free for many years and had real passion for this community.

    -Take away the salary lets see how much time the “new crew” is putting out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -The management is very insecure and not flexible to understand other types of values than numbers on a spreadsheet. (I guess thats what you’re hired to do)

    -Stop blaming the old system for errors. That is getting old. You have had 1 1/2 Years to change things around. Your “new” product such as place pages is worse than the old one. Thats just to show how “bad” job the old members did.

    -I understand a new management wanted to hire their own crew. However, it could have been done in a less sneaky way. You could have communicated directly to people instead of giving them no indication of what was going on. I think that’s why it created such resentment. This could have gone down very differently.

    -And if you fail to reach your goal don’t blame the hippies and don’t give the investors the copout “8 of 10 Startups fail.. not our fault, we did the best we could. Lets find another job!” Couchsurfing has been around for over 7 years and it’s not a startup.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    A fascinating experiment to be a part of

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Applications Engineer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Web Applications Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You already know this if you've read the reviews, but it can't be said enough — the food is fabulous, the office is beautiful and sunny, and our office is full of thoughtful, intelligent and talented people.

    You get to contribute to a product that changes people's lives and makes the world a better place, and I say this as a hardened cynic.

    Management is receptive and accessible, and while there are layers of bureaucracy, they're thin.

    The paid time off policy is pretty rad (although it isn't actually "unlimited")

    Cons

    Couchsurfing isn't run by hippies anymore. It's run by people whose primary experience has been in more traditionally commercial arenas, and it shows.

    Couchsurfing has worked in the past because of a community of people who stepped in to fill gaps left by the technology, which were (and continue to be) enormous. The upside of this is a global community that is extremely engaged and passionate about Couchsurfing. The downside of this is difficulty to scale, constant internecine warfare, and a system that *kind of* worked, but only for a certain type of person.

    The new management doesn't believe the community should be the main force that keeps the site running, and they are intent on replacing lots of functions that used to be served by the community with technology. I personally think this is a bad idea, but management is honest about it, and I am willing to be party to this experiment to see if it works.

    Also, from a technical perspective, you're swimming upstream against massive amounts of technical debt the day you start, and while there is lots of institutional support for fixing it, things move so fast that it's hard to get a foothold against it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't talk trash about people that are critical of the company's new direction within earshot of all the employees. Also, don't talk trash about "anarchists" and "the occupy movement" as if you can safely assume all of your employees have the same opinion about those things. Assume there is political diversity in your workplace and act accordingly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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