Scribd Reviews

Updated July 21, 2014
Updated July 21, 2014
12 Reviews

3.5
12 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Trip Adler
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Exciting times, new company!

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

    I have been working at Scribd full-time

    Pros

    Morale of team: Scribd's ride has been the equivalent to a roller-coaster up until our book subscription service. However this new vision has given life to Scribd and it's employees. Churn is at an all time low, and people are genuinely motivated to create the best product for our users.

    Design: Once again, prior to our subscription service, design was nearly an after thought, but we now have a full fledged design team with a VP of Design, 3 visual designers and a UX designer. Design is now an extremely important part in our product lifecycle.

    Engineering: Lots of fun challenges, given the scale and the uniqueness of the problems we are trying to solve. It's not your simple CRUD app ;) We are trying to innovate in a book space that has been untapped, so you often won't find answers to our problems on Stack Overflow.

    Competition: We now have some! When we were strictly a document sharing service, we were the only kids in the park, now we have some great competitors that make us even better. Not to mention it's extremely fun now ;)

    Career Development: Scribd has been extremely kind in growing people's career, particularly the younger crowd. Typically engineers/designers/etc right out/few years out of school have things to prove, and if you harness that energy you can turn those employees into great mentors and leaders. Often hear from friends at other companies in which their managers don't care about their career, you won't run into this at Scribd.

    Cons

    Our headcount is growing. We are running into some communication issues that we are learning to correct, but often after the fact. This isn't a unique problem to Scribd, but hopefully we can get ahead of the curve here.

    Additionally, I want to address the cons that other reviews left. Being here for more than 3 years I can confirm that some of these problems people described used to exist, keyword is USED. Given Scribd's new directions, management and fresh blood, I can say that most if not all the problems previously listed are gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Company is growing fast, so while it's difficult to stay transparent, it's extremely important. We are still a small company, and while it's important to stay transparent no matter what size of a company you are dealing with, it's even more important to stay transparent when it's expected in a small company.

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

    Scribd is getting better everyday

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

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

    Pros

    I have been at Scribd about a year and I have to say, each day gets better and better. Management has matured and is becoming more transparent and invested in their growing team. They listen to employees and users and the result is happier teams and product that gets better everyday.

    Recent hires like VP of Marketing (from Twitter and DreamWorks) and VP of Design (from Apple & frog) shows that management is serious about rounding out the company with world class talent.

    Other perks
    - great compensation
    - paid training and education
    - catered breakfast, lunch and dinner
    - talented, passionate teams
    - bidet

    Cons

    engineering driven, hacky
    lack of process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Don't be afraid to take calculated risks
    - Spin off the UGC segment into it's own thing. You can't be YouTube AND Netflix at the same time.
    - Meeting users expectations is not enough. Focus on exceeding expectations and building an exceptional product
    - Invest in your brand, differentiate yourself. Don't be afraid to stand out

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Growing startup with an opportunity to be something big

    • 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 Scribd full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Scribd is a company full of bright, dedicated people in an emerging, hot industry. This company truly has the potential to be a major contender in the e-book space if they play their cards right. People really seem to care about what they are working on. The company culture is young - as are many startups in SF/SV - and makes for a great place if you are starting out in your career and really looking to get your hands dirty/take personal responsibility for big projects/learn. Over the last year, the company has made some smart moves in expanding the design team and creating a marketing team. Marketing has made a big impact on the consumer-facing component of the company, as well as culture - more books, more press, and a better feel for where the brand could go. Fun company ski trips, parties, and some happy hours. Easy to work remotely. Lots of food around the office.

    Cons

    There is still a disconnect between the different teams here. It often feels like engineering and marketing are working against each other as opposed to collaborating. Sometimes feels as though leadership is divided in company vision for the future. Moves too slowly for a startup of this size. benefits package is nothing spectacular when compared to other startups in the area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your employees to talk about books more - many of them are readers if you ask. Keep your eye on the prize instead of trying to keep each other in check - coworkers are compatriots, and deserve support in their individual team endeavors. Have more out-of-the office bonding activities with the whole company to increase the flow of communication between teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Innovative & Fun Company!

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

    I have been working at Scribd as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Scribd has a great team of people already in place and is continuing to hire more. There is great collaboration between teams and frequent team happy hours and activities to keep everyone united. I feel that Scribd is looking toward the future and open to hearing fresh ideas and opinions.

    Cons

    The compensation is definitely competitive, they serve 3 delicious healthy meals a day and the company culture is fantastic. I love working here and can't think of a bad thing to say!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please keep building great teams by being particular about who you hire. Also, more go-karts please?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Excellent potential and great team.

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

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

    Pros

    Scribd is demonstrating its new business model works and the company is growing quickly. Revenue growth has created opportunities for employees to earn promotions and take on more responsibility. In my time here, I've seen outstanding engineers get promoted and now they lead teams and manage other engineers. I've seen the company address area's where they've underinvested and aggressively hire in order to get the best engineering and design team onboard even when we're competing comp wise with companies like Facebook.

    Cons

    The compensation is at the upper end of the market, the benefits are great and competitive. The company serves healthy food for all three meals and everyone works hard. No complaints from me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep sharing key metrics and performance within the company so everyone can be bought into the vision and stay on the same page.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    The new Scribd is an all-new company; great place to work

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

    I have been working at Scribd full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I love working at Scribd. It's a huge privilege to get to work with such a talented team of people and I learn a ton from them every day. It's also really fun to get to work on a consumer product that I really enjoy as a user.

    Pros:
    - Really large user base, so your work affects real people
    - Relatively small, high quality team. NICE people too, not just smart.
    - Entrepreneurial culture: everyone has an opinion on product and strategy and there are lots of lively debates
    - New book subscription service is a big hit with consumers and a compelling vision I enjoy working on
    - Nice to be at a company that is profitable, financially stable, and succeeding in the marketplace
    - Management is highly accessible and transparent

    From reading the other Glassdoor reviews, you'll notice a lot of negative feedback from a few years ago. Scribd went through a rough time back then, and seems to have some angry former employees. While it seems the company made some mistakes back then, I can say that most of the issues former employees raised are not relevant anymore. Since those reviews were left, Scribd pivoted its whole business and brought in a more experienced management team. While things could always be improved, generally the company is running well these days.

    Cons

    - Tension between old and new business can lead to strategic compromises
    - The product design process and inter-play between product, design and engineering still isn't as smooth as it should be
    - Space is getting competitive and Scribd will need to execute fast to stay ahead of competition

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd advise more structure and an updated process around product and engineering. I also think we can do a better job communicating our culture, values, and vision.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company re-launched with new business and energy

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

    I worked at Scribd as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    I enjoyed my time at Scribd. The company has a lot of smart, talented and friendly people. Just hang out in the kitchen and you can strike up a conversation very easily with almost anyone. Julie Haddon, the new VP of marketing is making a huge positive impact on the company, turning it into a consumer brand and opening up communication across the company. I worked under her and was very impressed with the difference she has made in the company.

    Cons

    Can be overly concerned with competition in a negative way instead of keeping eye on prize. I’m glad they are hiring more “adults” there to temper some of this. I wish the office looked nicer. It feels like a college dorm and still has that early stage start up feel to it, but I hear they are going to remodel soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You must hire more readers so you can understand the end user’s perspective.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Scribd Response

    May 2, 2014Human Resources

    Thank you for taking time to submit your feedback on your experience at Scribd.

    We appreciate your acknowledgement that we've hired subject matter experts to join our executive team, as we're
    ... More

  9.  

    Good for first job in tech but has downsides.

    • 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 Scribd full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Free food and lots of it.
    Very flexible hours.
    Stable for a startup.
    Talented, smart, fun people working there - type of people who will go on to start new successful startups.
    Good place to get experience.

    Cons

    Secretive management style.
    Managers pull rank to squash ideas.
    Product decisions often based on engineer opinions instead of user research.
    Management condones unprofessional behavior in order to not lose employees.
    Office feels like a college dorm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be shady. Employees can tell when they are being lied to. Don't just rely on free food and toys for employee retention. Improve office culture and environment to fit company goals. There is a lot of potential there for Scribd to be a good place to work. Make changes now while you can.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Scribd Response

    Jun 22, 2014Co-founder

    I'd like to sincerely thank you for offering this honest feedback, and for doing it in a constructive way outlining ways that we can improve. As a cofounder, I'm disappointed in the company and in ... More

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor management. Childish workplace.

    • 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 Scribd full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Freedom in projects
    - Talented and smart people
    - Free food
    - Good for a first job out of college.

    Cons

    - Awful management
    - Decisions often at odds with employees' interests.
    - Startup in zombie stage, trying to copy competitors' innovations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get professional management that knows what they are doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Scribd Response

    Jun 22, 2014Co-founder

    As a founder of Scribd, I would like to sincerely apologize for what was obviously a very bad experience you had at the company. As a founder, it's deeply troubling for me that anyone at Scribd ... More

  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't buy the hype, there are much better startups.

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

    I worked at Scribd full-time

    Pros

    Y Combinator company.
    Tons of free food.
    Freedom to work on whatever you want.
    Relatively stable.
    Talented and enthusiastic employees.
    Great first job out of college.

    Cons

    Awful management.
    Little to no organization, vision or commitment.
    Questionable decisions often made with short sighted goals.
    Long past the startup window. Time to grow up.
    Not as much innovation as they'd lead you to believe.
    Hygiene among some of the staff - seriously.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Step back and get some experienced people in there to run the company who know what they are doing and listen to them. Get a board that's engaged and can guide the company. The company still has a chance to change publishing, but the chance is being squandered as time goes on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Scribd Response

    Jun 23, 2014Co-founder

    First of all, I'd like to sincerely thank you for your honest and detailed feedback.

    While we didn't respond to this review publicly earlier, we did read it, and I can say happily that in the
    ... More

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