LookSmart
2.2 of 5 12 reviews
www.looksmart.com San Francisco, CA 50 to 149 Employees

LookSmart Reviews

LookSmart – San Francisco – “Comfortable work environment.”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.2 12 reviews

                             

25% Approve of the CEO

LookSmart Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier

Jean-Yves Dexmier

(4 ratings)

11% of employees recommend this company to a friend
12 Employee Reviews
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Great location in San Francisco

Sales Representative (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart full-time for more than 3 years

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

ConsCompany lacks strong direction and strategic focus.

Advice to Senior ManagementNarrow the scope of the company's strategy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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LookSmart is still in business?

Senior Account Manager (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart full-time for more than a year

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

ConsIt's impossible to acquire quality search traffic

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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the US office does not exist?!

Systems Administrator (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart full-time for more than a year

Prosgreat experience for high volume transactions

ConsGoogle / Yahoo has crashed LookSmart-

Advice to Senior Managementget better vision

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Online Ads

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart full-time for more than 3 years

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

ConsPoor management and C level executives.

Advice to Senior ManagementThis is more for the board, sell the company and move on.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Looksmart's days are limited

Product Manager (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart

ProsLooksmart 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.

ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementThis 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Can the new CEO turn it around?

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at LookSmart

ProsA 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.

ConsNo 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 Senior ManagementThe 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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LookSmart Interview

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at LookSmart

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

ConsSmall 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 Senior Management1) 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.

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Staying focused as cheaper CPC supplier

Former Executive (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart

ProsLearn 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.

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

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Ok place, but try something better

Senior Editor (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at LookSmart

ProsGood location, fun parties, good ESPP.

ConsCompany is going down, morale low.

Advice to Senior Managementturn the ship around! change the course! But just don't let it die.

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A place to learn by example

Production Operation Administrator (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at LookSmart

ProsInternet Advertising is a space that's not going away. This place could be a good springboard for those starting out. This is also a good spot for people working in support roles and just starting out in the IT or production side of technology. Some very tried and true architecture mixed in with some home grown solutions can provide a solid background of real-world education/experience.

ConsSr. Management is a collection of information hoarders and micro managers. Innovation in technical areas is non-existant. There is too much emphasis on reusing older technology versus inovating with newer but often costlier technology. Return on investment does not equal squeeze the last drop of life from something; a less on the spending authorities here could stand to learn.

Advice to Senior ManagementWake up and get with the times. I know ya have to spend money like it's your own, but you don't have to live in a cardboard box and eat beans.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at LookSmart reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for LookSmart CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier. All 12 reviews posted anonymously by LookSmart employees.