XPRIZE Reviews

Updated October 8, 2014
Updated October 8, 2014
19 Reviews
1.7
19 Reviews
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Peter H. Diamandis
16 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Believe in the idea…Horrible Management!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in Culver City, CA

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The foundation closes for almost 2 weeks during the holiday season but of course there is a catch--nothing is truly free I guess. The general staff seems to get along with one another; although I believe its because misery loves company. Unless you are an upper level executive, there aren't many perks to working here. Every now and again they feed us snacks and serve us beverages under the guise of fostering team morale but what they don't realize is that most of us look at those attempts in disdain because it feels like they are trying to compensate for not putting much effort into really putting together programs that the staff would appreciate.

    Cons

    Where to begin. Like most of the comments about this company, it starts at management and works its way down.

    The upper two executives - one who shows little to know patience and is way too condescending and the other who is basically never dialed in to the staff and shows up every now and again to shoot an interview. The rest of “upper” management are all way to over-paid for their limited contributions and ALL of them have issues, unprofessional and foul-mouthed, untrustworthy, earning a salary and not knowing your job, pompous and full of yourself, etc…and let's not forget the in-fighting. What is most bothersome is that it could really be a great company if someone would just take a stand and get new management in there.

    It's like that old adage of doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Same management….same results year after year.

    RUN don’t walk to the nearest “any other company” and save yourself the headache of having to find another job. Remember, if you get a job here, one of the people I just mentioned will be your boss.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Why bother - they don't care.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Proud To Work at XPRIZE

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

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

    Pros

    1. This job has provided great work-life balance.
    2. Benefits and compensation packages that rival for-profit companies.
    3. Beautiful work space.
    4. Doing work that matters.
    5. Plenty of opportunities to get involved.

    Cons

    Negative personalities from disgruntled employees who constantly complain. If they focused less on problems, they could actually be part of the solution. Maybe they are coming from a place of passion, of really wanting this to be the best possible place, but that is not the way to do it. I've worked many places, and they really have no idea how good we have it here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some people in management roles are the ones who complain about XPRIZE. That trickles down to staff. So to upper management, I would seriously take a look at who is doing that.

    I know most of the employees are working really, really hard, and the majority of us LOVE OUR JOBS! Unfortunately, I think the negative people are louder.

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

    Unfortunate management, no hope of change

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

    I worked at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    Some of the employees are truly talented and wonderful people who want to make a difference in the world.

    Cons

    There are some truly appalling things that happen at this company: corruption, bad management behavior, and a thick, oppressive bureaucracy. I guess to sum it all up, I felt very disrespected as an employee here.

    The turnover was incredible. I can't count how many employees came and went in the time that I was there, but it was rare to find someone that had been there longer than 2 years. Other than the management, of course.

    My perception of X PRIZE prior to working there was extremely positive and I was very excited to join the team. I think the worst part for me was the immense disappointment I felt as I discovered the reality of the organization. The joke around the office was, "Making the possible, impossible." Sadly, it really felt that way most of the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Considering that management doesn't exhibit much respect for the employees' opinions, I would suggest that the board takes a more active role in the organization, in an attempt to rein in management misbehavior (and replace the managers, if necessary).

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

    Cult of personalities hampers smart, dedicated personnel

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

    I have been working at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    This organization is full of bright, professional, hard-working people who are genuinely excited about their work, their mission, and the difference that XPRIZE can make. The subject matter we work with is varied and interesting, so there are many things to learn while working here. Some of the current competitions truly are inspiring in their far-reaching goal to benefit humanity.

    Cons

    THE BAD: Many of the bright, hard-working souls here are shackled by cumbersome, complex, bureaucratic processes that limit their efforts to move forward with truly meaningful initiatives. Or they’re forced to go on mercenary wild goose chases with half-baked ideas that fall short of XPRIZE’s lofty mission but guarantee funding by certain sponsors, whether or not it’s a natural fit. The organization generates some fascinating concepts and competitions, but a slow, stubborn Marketing Department, for example, impairs the vast potential of the projects they oversee.

    THE REALLY BAD: Leadership. It is an iron throne of personality, formed around brilliant, charismatic, but managerially crippled leaders and their lieutenants. Collectively, they’re prone to knee-jerk decisions and combative office relations that destroy rather than build a sense of teamwork and encouragement to continue the long work hours. Ruling by intimidation, fear, and the occasional tantrum creates an environment that rewards criticism of others to shield ones’ self from harsh reprimands.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire inspired, smart people (doing a decent job there), and then get out of their way (extremely poor job there). No matter how good the personnel is, bad management apples can ruin the sense of a collegial environment. The underlying culture of micromanagement, distrust, and intimidation comes from the top. Until that changes radically, this organization will continue to disappoint those seeking a fulfilling, professional workplace, and XPRIZE may sadly continue to struggle with its public identity as a result.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great in theory. Poorly Executed.

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

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

    Pros

    Creating an environment which is pleasant for everyone is difficult in fact it is almost impossible. In hopes of achieving their goal of becoming an "award-winning place to work", X Prize created a new contemporary office space which is appealing to visitors. The ideas that come from the development team are astounding in theory with a network of visionaries and leaders that would rival any Fortune 500 company. The operations team takes a concept and creates legal, ethical and inspired competitions meant to change the world. These are not easy tasks nor are they commonplace. It takes a remarkable group of people to create and operate these prizes.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, the cons far outweigh the pros. Management is so focused on nurturing their own egos and covering their own tracks that they don't focus on their constant internal discrepancies over everything from the core values to their management philosophies (or lack thereof), annual objectives or organizational missions. There is great autonomy when working at X Prize because management doesn't understand how to manage without micromanaging. The staff is continuously confused about the mission of the organization, there is no camaraderie because everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else to avoid the wrath of management and the amount of money spent on new offices should have been spent elsewhere because apparently nobody bothers to show up to work. There are a good number of excellent people who work at the organization but they won't stay for long once they realize there is in fact no change occurring in a place whose mantra is to revolutionize the world. Management is borderline tyrannical. There have been employees who have fallen out of favor who have suddenly and without explanation disappeared from the organization without a trace never to be heard from again. It puts employees on edge and creates a stressful environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at the culture you are creating in an open-minded and honest fashion and pay attention to what your employees are telling you. Listen don't judge. Question don't defend. Create a more open line of communication with your staff. Allow your staff to do their jobs without creating fear.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Exciting concept, questionable execution.

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

    I worked at XPRIZE full-time

    Pros

    Great people, exposure to stimulating ideas and experiences, relaxed work environment. Most people seem very engaged and committed to their work. The organization is attempting to take on massive global issues and isnot afraid to "think big" or "outside the box"

    Cons

    Difficult and slow to execute on everything. Even the simplest tasks and processes require massive amounts of red tape. Leadership is split between two very different management philosophies which rarely coincide and create problems for trying to execute on objectives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't waste your life working her

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Santa Monica, CA

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

    Pros

    None. This is a horrible place to work.

    Cons

    So many....this company is run by a bunch of amateurs with huge egos.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave! You have no management skills.

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

    A Dream Job Come True

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

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

    Pros

    I get to work with talented interesting people on projects that make the World a better place. I get to wear jeans to work every day and work in a relaxed and engaging atmosphere. I get a comfortable office and pleasant coworkers and I actually get paid to do things that I want to do. I get respect and autonomy without being overworked and every day is a new and exciting challenge. I'm happy.

    Cons

    In my wanderings around the office, I often encounter people who are doing even more interesting projects that I am, but I can't just drop what I'm doing and join their team. The ever-present supply of fruit, snacks, and beverages in the kitchen is making it difficult for me not to gain weight. I still haven't figured out how to get one of those cool XPRIZE jackets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on putting more efficient processes, technology and systems in place to make it easier for employees to get everything done more quickly. Need to work on orientation of new hires to make sure they get all the information and connections that they need right away.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Awesome concept, frustrating execution

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

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

    Pros

    Change the world, work with some amazing people and innovators and learn about fascinating things. Good benefits package, workplace food, often get extra days off!
    HR really tries. Looks good on resume (for those who don't know the organization).

    Cons

    Leadership with limited/no experience in running successful companies/non profits, yet some of highest salaries in non profit field and also a bonus package. Both leaders have two assistants. Board of Directors (not Trustees) full of friends of leadership so does not take a stand. Senior management likes to empire build. Relationships with related companies / personal business interests for leadership leads to self interested decisions. Inefficient and rigid processes and practices lead to poor donor stewardship and poor funds stewardship as well as frustrating good employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean up the entanglement issues before they cross the line. Think about what wouldn't look good if the LA Times did an investigation and get it sorted. Hire people who actually know how to lead a non profit. Focus on sponsors and donors and proving great value or they won't return and will say bad things to other potential donors and sponsors.

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

    Please pay attention - flock won't follow

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

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

    Pros

    ideas that could change the world
    People that care to make change in the organization

    Cons

    The leader, the leader, the leader and then other 2 musketeers (president and cfo). Totally don't get it. Focused on their own wealth increase. Tyrants, egos, narcissistic megalomania

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people with respect. Get out of the way. Stop unethical practices. Stop feeding your own other companies with XPF donor funds.

    The board needs to get on board and make this stop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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