LookSmart

  www.looksmart.com
  www.looksmart.com

LookSmart Reviews

Updated October 11, 2014
Updated October 11, 2014
13 Reviews
2.3
13 Reviews
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LookSmart Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier
Jean-Yves Dexmier
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great people, interesting work, bad market

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

    I worked at LookSmart

    Pros

    A lot of really smart people. Interesting, face-paced environment. Ability to have an impact on the business. Located in the city.

    Cons

    Very tough market to be a mid-sized company in. The core market is slowly disappearing and the market always wins no matter the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really get to know the business and understand it. Use that understanding to decide where to head to next.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    LookSmart is still in business?

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

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

    Pros

    Ad serving platform is top notch compared to many of the competitors in the space.

    Cons

    It's impossible to acquire quality search traffic

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great location in San Francisco

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

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

    Pros

    Dynamic industry, great location in SF, reasonable work/life balance.

    Cons

    Company lacks strong direction and strategic focus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Narrow the scope of the company's strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    the US office does not exist?!

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

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

    Pros

    great experience for high volume transactions

    Cons

    Google / Yahoo has crashed LookSmart-

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get better vision

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Online Ads

    • 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 LookSmart full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great pool of talent in software development, Database Administrators and System Architects.

    Cons

    Poor management and C level executives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is more for the board, sell the company and move on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Looksmart's days are limited

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

    I worked at LookSmart

    Pros

    Looksmart is a 9 to 5 job. The company's results have been so poor for so long that there's not much stress associated with reaching targets. If you're into stress free, those qualities are good. The people that work there are all quite nice. Location is close to Market St, near BART and bus lines.

    Cons

    The company is a renowned internet failure and over time employees have grown to accept that fact. The company has continued to shrink since it's peak in 2004. Once 500 people, it's now down to 60 or so. And the lay-offs continue. As is typical of failing, higher quality and/or results-driven people tend to cycle in and out quickly. The people who stay are deeply entrenched, and considered "mission critical". Since the current mission is continued failure, that's a bad thing. For years, the board of directors hasn't understood Looksmart's core business. The rumor around the hallways was that they were the main reason for the failures of the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This advice is more for the board, I think, since Management seemed to change every few years, thanks to the board. The funniest chapter was firing one guy and bringing in the Chairman of the Board to "rescue" the company. I never could tell what that guy's purpose was. He was good with microphone at company meetings, but other than that, it's a mystery as to how he "earned" his 300K per year. Now the next Chairman of the Board has kicked him out and taken over. I hope he's smart enough to close the doors and move on. Third-tier PPC ad networks are a thing of the past.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Can the new CEO turn it around?

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

    I have been working at LookSmart

    Pros

    A start-up like environment where individuals can make a difference. Public, with above average compensation. A great tech team, with no problems taking on big challenges and rolling their own solutions to unique problems. The newest CEO seems like a competent business leader.

    Cons

    No clear strategy for the now one and only Looksmart product, its Ad Center solution, to ever be profitable, as everyone is in on the game of arbing Yahoo, and doing it cheaper too. Revolving door of executive leadership that has never figured out the above, or what product offering could be a market leader instead. Layoffs every quarter for the past 2 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The new CEO has his work cut out for him, and needs to trust his instincts and actively manage the company direction rather than give free rein to the same folks that undid his predecessors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    LookSmart Interview

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

    I have been working at LookSmart

    Pros

    Small public company; plenty of opportunities to improve upon out-of-date processes; ample access to senior management;

    Cons

    Small public company fighting to keep it's head above water in current environment; company politics seem to be deeply ingrained; have not yet experienced a formal review process or quarterly bonus pay-out; company lacks a solid growth strategy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) develop a solid growth strategy and reinforce the path of achievement on a frequent basis with team leads. 2) develop a formal promotion process. 3) re-evaluate legacy employees and ability to continually add value.

    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Staying focused as cheaper CPC supplier

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

    I worked at LookSmart

    Pros

    Learn about search advertising and platforms from the bottom up, which can come in handy if you go on to SEM work anywhere. LookSmart is small and you will be noticed, whatever you do. It's good training to learn how to get things done frugally or efficiently. Believe it or not, there are some smart folks there who want to be outside the GYM world as iconoclasts.

    Cons

    Market owned by big guys, and this is tough business which grows slowly. It's not clear where this tier or biz will end up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Didn't work for the current CEO so no specific advice, but Ted's solid and was board member before taking this role.

    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Ok place, but try something better

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

    I worked at LookSmart

    Pros

    Good location, fun parties, good ESPP.

    Cons

    Company is going down, morale low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    turn the ship around! change the course! But just don't let it die.

    Disapproves of CEO

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Comfortable work environment.

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