JustAnswer Reviews

Updated September 13, 2014
Updated September 13, 2014
68 Reviews
3.2
68 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
JustAnswer CEO Andy Kurtzig
Andy Kurtzig
45 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Beautiful location, with parking, dog friendly (in 9 reviews)

  • The workload is not overwhelming, so you get work / life balance (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • No career development, 0 training, crazy turn-over rate (in 4 reviews)

  • Inexperienced CEO and executive management team (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Best Job I've Ever Had!

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

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    JustAnswer cares for its employees as much as it cares for its mission. Both are treated with the utmost respect and esteem. There is also a real sense of comradery here as well as a true sense of purpose. The people here like coming to work and like making a difference. They respect their coworkers and enjoy themselves while helping those people that use the JustAnswer site. I have had many jobs over the years, but this, bar none, is the best.

    Cons

    No cons. I know that sounds unlikely, but I truly love what I do and what JustAnswer does.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    A roller coaster ride with a disappointing finish

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

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The location is beautiful. I never got tired of driving through a forest to get to work.

    Work / life balance is excellent. Everyone is very understanding if you need to take some time off for personal issues, and the hours are fairly flexible. You can reasonably work a 40 hour week here.

    Everyone is very nice, and despite all of its problems, the company has done a good job attracting smart people.

    The idea behind the product is great. It feels like a service that people appreciate having available.

    Cons

    Management likes to claim to be data driven, but for most of my time at JustAnswer, (1) we didn't track data like refunds and chargebacks, and (2) nobody ever had good confidence in the data being collected. This meant that many features were pushed through because they moved the revenue needle without much respect for the full scope of its impact. While this drove revenue up significantly, the company has always had a problem with customer retention and high rates of refunds/chargebacks. Things have certainly improved, but the company is left with a ton of dark patterns that it can't get rid of without significantly impacting revenue. It's hard to be proud of the product, despite its good premise.

    This is not an engineering-focused company. For the most part, engineers are focused on delivering minor features. Not every team has product managers, but for the feature teams, PMs essentially dictate what engineers work on. This includes being the final decision makers behind purely technical aspects, like reducing technical debt and introducing automated tests. Engineers only get to give feedback during trade off discussions, after features have already been well defined. And the trade offs are usually discussions about how to cobble together the quickest hack to get the feature out quickly. This leads to a lot of conflict between engineering/product, and a deep sense of mistrust. High level management has repeatedly used the mantra "engineering is a tool for product" to alleviate conflict, but all it has done is made engineers feel under appreciated.

    For being so small, it is surprising how much process has been put in place. It feels like each time a mistake is made, a new process is put in place to help alleviate making that same mistake in the future. But what you end up with is a checklist a mile long in order to get code pushed to production, and nobody has a holistic view of all the processes.

    Engineering managers are not involved in the daily activities of the people that they manage. They meet once a week with the engineers that they manage and don't generally step in or help out unless specifically asked to.

    The codebase here is in a terrible mess. There was a large attempt to refactor the code, but most of the newer/better code has been abandoned along with the failed rebranding of Pearl.com.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees.

    Empower teams to create processes that work for them.

    If quality is not a priority, be honest about it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Top notch professionals, friendly environment

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

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

    Pros

    I really enjoyed my time at JustAnswer. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was exciting, but maintained a relaxed attitude. The company is doing exciting new things and is focused on innovation and quality. Still, they manage to treat everyone, and their opinions and contributions (and personal life!), with consideration and respect. I was given a lot of discretion in my projects and tasks, which suits my working style. There are no closed doors - even the founder and CEO Andy works at open stations, often moving around the office so he was close to different divisions. I was especially impressed with the quality of the management and employees - these are smart people. I worked a lot with the General Counsel, Emily, who I found to be particularly impressive. The office in the Presidio is beautiful - a national park and view of the Golden Gate right outside the front door.

    Cons

    This is an internet company, so its business model must be flexible and responsive to its market realities. This means employees must also be flexible and responsive. If you want the same job duties day in and day out, this is not the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the atmosphere you have already so carefully cultivated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Empowering, focused, and fun

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

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

    Pros

    Some of the best people who, while being smart, are also team oriented. Egos are checked at the door, and focused on the right things (growth, customer satisfaction, hiring rock stars). Benefits are unreal, money is great, and every person makes a contribution to the success.

    Cons

    While there's been a changeover of folks, it's been mostly for the best (lost some folks who were clearly unhappy here). It is a dynamic place: pivots and data rule the day. If you are not comfortable with data driven decisions, and obsess about office politics, this may not be the best place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Foster the growth opportunities. Don't be afraid to lead, rather than try always to form consensus. Show the urgency, as well as the potential. Recognize that we don't have to spend as much time with staged communication opportunities, as much as organic validation and sharing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    No one ever said changing the world would be easy. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try!

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

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

    Pros

    JustAnswer is taking on the task of changing the way that every day people get access to professional services. Up against the multi-trillion dollar professional services industry that has no reason care about the consumer, JustAnswer is poised to break the mold and give people what the NEED - expert help that doesn't come at the price of a small car.

    Yes - this is a lofty goal, but it is a realistic goal and JustAnswer has the team, the environment, and the will to succeed.

    The Team: hands down the smartest group of people I have ever worked with. Harvard grads? we've got them by the dozen. Successful business people? no question. Good looking? JustAnswer employees were voted best looking bunch in a double-blind study by people who care about that stuff. Seriously though, there is no tension in the workplace. No corporate hierarchy. The CEO doesn't even have an office! The feeling that comes from working towards a common goal is infectious. Every member of the JustAnswer team, regardless of what specifically drives them, believes in the mission and works towards that achievement every day. I fancy myself a pretty smart person but it is truly a pleasure working with people that are MUCH smarter than I.

    The Environment/culture: nestled in the beautiful Presidio district of San Francisco - a former Army base - the office overlooks the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Nothing beats taking a deep breath after a day of challenging and satisfying work, leaning back in your chair and taking in the sight of the evening San Francisco fog cascading over the bridge like a waterfall of clouds. A positive work-life balance is not just encouraged, it is mandated. Boasting a pool table, ping pong table, fitness center, catered lunches, three fully-stocked kitchens makes going home from work dreadful! No strict work hours. If you get your work done and done well, no one blinks an eye if you feel the need to enjoy a late-afternoon jaunt on the beach. Most importantly, everyone is down to earth and approachable.

    The Will to Succeed: a little repetitive, yes, but deservedly so. Every employee - from management to interns - believes that JustAnswer will succeed. A business has no choice but to achieve great success when its employees come to work every day knowing that achieving another goal or milestone is right around the corner. It is a team effort. I have never felt alone in anything I do. As stated above, there are no strict clock in/out hours but I often find myself working into the wee hours of the night because I to want to achieve great things with this company. When work doesn't feel like work, you know you're at the right place. I said everyone is really smart but for some reason no one seems to know the meaning of the word "fail." Pretty weird, right?

    In short, this place is pretty darn awesome.

    Cons

    "Cons" carries with it such negative connotations. Yes, there have been ups and downs. Sometimes goals aren't achieved and sometimes mistakes are made. As the ever-polarizing President Richard Nixon said time and time again: "Mistakes were made." Mistakes are inevitable but what matters is how a person/business learns from those mistakes. Before my first day of work I, of course, read glassdoor reviews written by my predecessors about how Andy, our beloved CEO, made some mistakes over the course of a few years. Needless to say, I was a bit concerned. HOWEVER, on my first day of work, sitting in my new-hire orientation, Andy acknowledged those mistakes head on. There was no political agenda - no hiding the ball. He went on to detail what he learned from those mistakes. I knew then that I had made the right decision coming to work here. Mistakes are encouraged! How else are we to learn and improve without some good old-fashioned adversity?

    All in all, every company has some "cons" but bumps in the road are bound to happen when you are trying to achieve what no person or company has ever achieved before. Ohhh you were probably thinking that Bill Gates or Steve Jobs never made a mistake...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay true to what you know. Don't be afraid of repeating the past. It won't happen if you are mindful of the path you've gone down.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    devoid of principle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ProModerator  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - ProModerator in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at JustAnswer as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Easy place ot make some extra cash if you know you stuff

    Cons

    Moderators have no principals, management has no principals, quality is NOT a priority. Many of the experts seem to lay to what the customer wan to want to hear rather than giving solid advice ... Systems/ software is undepedable and unpredictable at best

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allocate more resources to systems development. Listen to the experts that insist on principle based advice (will help in the long haul) - Do what you say you will do .... again great idea, but execution is completely devoid of true north principles.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Don't Believe the Recent Positive Reviews

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time

    Pros

    Location, twice-weekly lunches, smart people

    Cons

    One of the sad things about the management of this company is that they spend much more time trying to manage perception than reality. The recent positive reviews on this site are not real. Whether they can from an actual PR firm, the company's HR team, handpicked favorite employees who were put up to posting on Glassdoor, or some combination thereof, you'd do well to disregard them. Which isn't to say that there aren't any positives to working for JustAnswer. Almost all of the negative reviews have listed some positive things. But unfortunately the management culture is pretty toxic, and that is in evidence in the many, actually spontaneous, negative reviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit trying to manage perception and focus on reality. Quit believing things that are convenient to your egos, and start listening to the people criticizing you. In short, act like mature adults, instead of parading your insecurity around all day. Stop relying on shady revenue and build a product that enough customers actually want to use that you can justify the millions that have been invested in you. HONESTLY. The internet is watching. You can't hide.

  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great Idea, poor management and execution

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

    I worked at JustAnswer full-time

    Pros

    Benefits package was adequate, the product idea is actually kind of neat/occasionally useful. A strong commitment was initially made to agile processes, which was a great learning experience, before it was scrapped.

    Cons

    Salaries were on the low side, Office space in the Presidio (though very pretty) is hard to get to. Working there it was very difficult cutting through a lot of BS "processes" to get anything done. Management seemed out of touch, overconfident, and didn't tolerate logical disagreements with their direction/ideas. Product relies on deceptive business practices (signs you up for a subscription without you knowing it) to maintain revenue.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow your people to lead. You hired a lot of very smart people, didn't really listen to them much and then laid a large portion of them off. Many people knew things weren't going well and had great ideas to help turn the ship around, would have liked to seen some of them tried.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Idea, No Growth

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

    I have been working at JustAnswer full-time

    Pros

    Incredible opportunity to be part of a huge business. The concept for the business is simple and works very well. There are lots of repeating customers. The location is amazing. Lots of very smart people.

    Cons

    Product group is in very poor shape. The group needs new blood and new leadership. Projects aren't clear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Scale back the projects and succeed at a few things. Get the revenue growing again by treating customers and experts as if they are the kings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Smart, fun, get things done

    • 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 JustAnswer full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Working at JustAnswer was like working at a rocketship with some of the best product, analytics and data folks in the game.

    Awesome colleagues: JustAnswer somehow attracted some of the brightest folks that I have worked with at any company. These folks later ended up at other top places ranging from Box, Yammer, Facebook, HBS or are working on their own startups.

    Terrific Leadership: Solid leadership for operations, product, engineering, marketing teams.

    Management style: The teams had clear goals that were discussed at a monthly all-hands meeting, but beyond that you weren't micromanaged or told what to do. It was upto you to figure out and understand what needed to be done. There were days when I worked till 2 AM and there were also days when I came in at 12 PM. No one asked.

    Anti-meeting culture: Andy and the leadership team enforced a strong anti meeting culture and focused on meeting goals and getting things done, instead of long, long term planning and endless discussions.

    Execution speed: During my tenure, the company ran over 500 A/B tests. 500. Think about it. And that was before Optimizely by using own internal frameworks. They A/B tested and optimized every single customer experience and interaction point.

    High output engineering: This was crazy. The engineers were all superstars who found ways to meet the needs of demanding product and marketing orgs.

    High degree of transparency on key metrics: Every employee knew how much revenues we were making every day and the direction each metric was moving in. And since the company was mostly bootstrapped, revenue always remained front and center. At one time, I'd joked that after Craigslist, we were perhaps generating the highest revenue / employee in the Valley, something that was pretty much true at the time.

    Far ahead of the competition: It's easy to be critical, but most of JustAnswer's competitors haven't survived. Or have barely managed to focus on a single vertical. The company still remains the leader for professional services across the board.

    Cons

    If they already haven't, they should start catering free food every day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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