Gooru

  www.goorulearning.org
  www.goorulearning.org

Gooru Reviews

Updated November 21, 2014
Updated November 21, 2014
14 Reviews
1.8
14 Reviews
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Prasad Ram
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    From teacher to tech geek. Couldn't be happier.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Academics/Tech in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Academics/Tech in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Gooru full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I am relieved to move from teaching in public schools (where innovation is often resisted or actively discouraged) to the start up world where it is valued ant encouraged. Great people, AMAZING mission statement and people actually believe it: Education is a Human Right.
    Lastly, every Friday there is a chance to celebrate successes and share visions for our product. I feel that all ideas are embraced and visionary goals are welcome.

    Cons

    I read some of the other reviews. I must say that my interactions with leadership have all been very positive. Sometimes it is difficult to quantify innovation, so being flexible and adaptable is essential. It is true that this is more than a 9-5 clock in/out job, so if you don't really believe in the vision, you may feel strained.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep dreaming big! As the product gains more and more traction continue to consider scalability. Because we are a non-profit, consider if all the money we spend on food is really the best investment... In terms of some of the other reviews, it sounds like the kitchen actually is really important.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Worst Company Ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Gooru full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I'm usually good at spotting the silver lining, but it's pretty tough with this one. I guess the work space is decent and there is free lunch. With that said, neither of those are enough to offset the poison that is pervasive throughout the rest of the company.

    Cons

    Gooru is an ill-resourced, poorly managed, unscrupulous company. They have lost all of their best employees, and they struggle (rightfully so) to attract new talent. The senior leadership team is so immoral--and the product so incomplete and buggy--that I'm actually embarrassed to put the organization on my resume.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to hire at least one person who knows even an iota of business strategy, and maybe you'll last another year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Bad experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Gooru full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Free lunch(Do not know if that is still being continued as there were talks about stopping it)
    -Loaded kitchen

    Cons

    -I worked here for more than 6 months and realized that the company is on a downward trajectory.
    -Terrible work-life balance;Employees are expected to put their noses to the grindstone 24*7. Further, employees are not-recognized for their hard work. The current employees have been institutionalized. Instead of finding a solution, their idea is to subtly convey this message to prospective employees through their career page so as to prepare them for their impending doom.
    -Discussions that happen during meetings go into a black-hole. I have been a part of many meetings where there have been talks about establishing a culture, improving benefits for employees, bringing in new talent etc but have not seen any of these being incorporated anytime.
    -New employees realize what they have gotten themselves into and resign soon. There has been a major attrition in the company and it has now been reduced to merely 10-14 people slogging it out.
    -Employees are underpaid. They try to get away with most things under the garb of 'non-profit'. Their main 'mission' is to outsource work to other cheaper countries, make them slog while the employees in the US criticize them and load them with more issues and bugs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Respect your existing employees. The fact that they are here while they might as well be working in a far far better place in the Silicon Valley definitely says something and the management should definitely treat them better than they are.
    -Stop misleading employees and customers with false data.
    -Invest in your employees and it sure will bear returns for the company. Existing employees are passionate about making a difference and that should be channelized well.
    -Make an effort to up your game, get processes in place and hiring. This way you can improve the state of the existing employees who are overworked and underpaid.

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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Gooru has failed..

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

    I worked at Gooru full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Great Mission
    - Snacks
    - Work with schools is rewarding
    - 401k match for upto $2k
    - Health Insurance

    Cons

    - CEO does not care about employees
    - CEO is dishonest with employees, customers, and teachers/students
    - CEO has very inappropriate infatuation with certain employees
    - CEO constantly lies to board about usage numbers, clients in Board Meetings. When we had our first signed client, and he told the board, one member of the board asked to be shown the signed physical contract just to make sure he was not lying.
    - CEO has run this company to the ground.

    Please consider this and the 10+ other negative reviews before even thinking about applying to Gooru.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    Its worse than it looks, think hard about working here.

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

    I worked at Gooru full-time

    Pros

    some wonderful super sharp colleagues, great technology, plenty of real student programs in districts using the product. Great opportunities to connect with organizations and changemakers at the top of the field.

    Cons

    These are the things that make it hard to work at Gooru:

    The CEO is a boss, not a leader. A classic industrial revolution style boss. As with most of this set, he is threatened rather than empowered by talent. He relies on a rapid churn cycle of people he learns to emulate and then treats as worthless. He refers frequently to Gooru’s “execution bias,” a focus on data-driven action. Problematically, in practice this execution bias is impulse-driven, informed by his waxing and waning moods and whatever odd conversation he has with someone in the field on a given day. Process improvements put in place by the dedicated team are often turned on their head based on his eureka moments, only to revert entirely a week later. Real data on how things are going, such as the insights gathered here, are considered irrelevant.

    He prefers to hire young workers directly out of college who are unfamiliar with healthy work environments and can function as pupils. The current strategy is to hire as few senior people and education specialists as possible, rather have them consult on an hourly basis at arms length where they see little of the internal strife and won’t cry foul. Disclaimer: this strategy may have changed 5 times since I've written this.

    Raising a red flag about how things are going is considered taboo and often punished rapidly. You are likely to be shamed within 24 hours, lose responsibilities, and receive blank stares from the knowing eyes of colleagues too intimidated to confirm the elephants in the room. Those who know how to play the game do ok. The trust level across teams is very low with high levels of internal competition that seem misplaced in a nonprofit context.

    Much has been said in these reviews about the existing leadership structure. The organization has a two-person leadership team that co-creates key performance indicators with a faux leadership team designed to look like they are an extension of said team.As has been indicated by many, the second in command has little education expertise and is universally regarded as poorly suited to her position. A mass human resources exodus now counting over 40 in less than 3 years is their joint legacy.

    It is difficult to claim you are honoring the human right to education in an institution that’s built on a core of distrust and a foundation of manipulation. This organization is resurrecting the darkest corners of the past its product so hopes to reform.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    wake up. education is not high tech, there are consequences for unethical business practices in this field. The brand you are creating on a personal level matters. You've got a great product but your operations are a disaster. This market is crowded. Don't make your differentiator a terrible reputation. The great people that still work for you deserve better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Gooru full-time

    Pros

    Introduction to an exciting field
    Smart, idealistic colleagues
    Room for lateral movement within company

    Cons

    Other reviews have already done a thorough job describing the toxic culture, abysmal work-life balance, and borderline-abusive leadership of this company.

    To these legitimate gripes I'd add one more: questionable values. Employees are regularly encouraged to engage in ethically questionable behavior, and then pressured into a code of silence. Although the company is ostensibly committed to "honoring the human right to education" there is remarkably little curiosity about the field of education. Ideas that do not jibe with the CEO's vague vision are ignored, and anyone with real expertise in the field is marginalized. It's telling that the two-person leadership team is hardly ever seen within 100 yards of a real classroom.

    If you're considering working at Gooru, please take the time to read the rest of the Glassdoor reviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sadly, it didn't have to be this way. Gooru started out with a surplus of talented, excited employees intrinsically motivated to do a great job. However, several years of poor management have completely squandered these human resources. Over-reliance on intra-team competition, verbal abuse, and monetary rewards have not made your employees more motivated. Instead, its led to a massive exodus of burnt-out, miserable employees. My advice? Start treating your employees like adults before everyone is gone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 10 people found this helpful  

    Unfortunately One of the Worst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Gooru full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Initially the mission of Gooru attracted smart, dedicated, interesting and caring people to the company. Most of the people hired were just out of college and what they lacked in experience, they tried to make up for with energy and fresh ideas. However, most of them have quit after being overworked and undervalued by the CEO and his "leadership" staff.

    Cons

    The CEO/founder treats the staff like they are slaves. He overworks them, underpays them, and then questions their commitment when they aren't willing to work "25 hours" a day, "8 days" a week. He promises the public and investors that the company and its product is further along and capable of more than it actually is, and then comes back to his staff and expects them to make him not a liar by playing catch up under impossible deadlines. When his bright and committed staff finally burn out in less than a year, they go from being his "star" pupil to being someone he berates and belittles in front of other staff. There is no senior staff to keep him honest and give him any perspective. Most of his leadership staff have quit, with the exception of one person who is only a few years out of college, with no previous management experience, but is totally willing to do his bidding. Most of the remaining staff either hate her, or feel sorry for her. It's an extremely unhealthy and unhappy place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating people like they are worthless. Offering them more salary and a bigger bonus after they're already burned out and have to quit is too little too late. People aren't just motivated by money, they are motivated by respect and being valued as human beings. It's a shame. And you should be ashamed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Honest Communication, Please.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Academic Operations Fellow
    Former Employee - Academic Operations Fellow

    I worked at Gooru as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Interesting and creative work. It's nice to contribute to any process that will improve public education.

    Cons

    I worked remotely and never set foot in the offices, so my perspective may be skewed due to the limited interactions I experienced.

    It was a struggle to balance the high quality work I wanted to produce for them with the high quantity of work they wanted. Lack of honest feedback, lack of company consistency, lack of employment policy - these were the issues that gave me an overall negative impression. The company is young, the people are young, perhaps they both just need more life and business experience.

    I am glad I did not end up a full-time employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please be honest. Please set realistic deadlines. Please don't play games.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Nothing to say

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Gooru full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Almost none-but you can make some good friendships.

    Cons

    where do I start
    - so called leadership team (comrpised of 2 people) are the main reason people leave. an individual who knows nothing about people management manages 90% of us. this individual is selfcentered, disrespectful and has very little knowledge outside of design.
    - bonus scheme is a farce
    - performance management processes are a joke.
    - expectation is to work 25X8 - according to a perf management deck they presented
    - people leave every month - at least 25 people have left the org this year. senior professionals are never able to stay for long.
    - we even manage to run our vendors' and partners' patience to the ground.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving the incompetent and insecure leader more responsibilities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Get good experience and get out

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

    I worked at Gooru full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Motivated, intelligent colleagues and middle management
    Variety of opportunities available for workaholics
    Opportunities to teach yourself/learn on your own
    Free snacks

    Cons

    Inhuman hours and lack of empathy for work/life balance
    Sometimes hostile and dishonest environment
    Lots of talk of improving culture, but a failure to deliver

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A one man show is just that - a show with no substance. Cultivate patience, and the ability to focus, and listen. Great minds are being squandered or dismissed because of the environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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