XPRIZE

  www.xprize.org
  www.xprize.org

XPRIZE Reviews

Updated November 1, 2014
Updated November 1, 2014
20 Reviews
1.6
20 Reviews
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Peter H. Diamandis
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Non Profit Sweat Shop

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

    I worked at XPRIZE

    Pros

    Name recognition. Looks good to have it on your resume. That's it, especially if you can survive for 6 months

    Cons

    Arrogant and cocky culture. Need to drink the kool aid and be a gopher for management or you will find your self the door with out any notice. They burn thru employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve employment culture, reward low to mid level employees.

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

    Making the Possible, Impossible

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

    I have been working at XPRIZE

    Pros

    - In its rawest concept, the X PRIZE Foundation is a great idea: think up some seemingly impossible task, and dangle a large cash prize to lure the best and the brightest to complete it.

    - There are numerous employees who are brilliant, kind people.

    Cons

    - In actuality, the creativity is lacking. The prize ideas that get funded are completely within the realm of possibility currently, and are frequently things that have already been done.

    - The brilliant, kind people get fired at Christmas time after devoting years of service.

    - The approval process is dismal, and entirely too time consuming. Frequently, the people you need to approve things are not in the office (Senior management takes numerous vacations and unnecessary travel).

    - Senior management and consultants are overpaid, and normally only in the office a maximum of 4 days a week.

    - After securing a multi-million dollar donation for operations, two key workers were fired for no apparent reason.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Streamline the approval process.

    - Eliminate the ADP time tracking system - it's a colossal waste of time.

    - Don't fire people around the holidays; it's bad for morale.

    - When you do fire people, at least pretend to be remorseful.

    - Listen to your employees; we can make this place run smoother. Also, as others have said, let people do their jobs.

    - CEO needs to think bigger.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    The idea is great, but the workplace is not inspiring.

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

    I have been working at XPRIZE

    Pros

    Being a part of big ideas, and helping make them happen
    Competition and competitors are inspiring
    Unique opportunities
    A well-connected company

    Cons

    Poor management
    Low salaries for most employees (but high salaries for upper management)
    Disorganization
    Unreasonable expectations
    Big egos
    Constant struggle for budget on projects

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees to do the job you hired them for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Maturing and growing in an exciting field

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

    I have been working at XPRIZE

    Pros

    Exposure to world class thinkers, visionary leaders and fascinating concepts and challenges. Huge sense of impacting the world and making a difference. Maturing organization that is self critical, learning and evolving.

    Cons

    Suffers from mission creep, still learning how to pare down to key strategic initiatives, building the muscle to say no to "new, exciting" projects and to develop organizational discipline. Getting better, but still further to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower the new leadership and focus on successfully completing the active X PRIZE competitions and designing and launching new X PRIZE competitions. Do less, stay focussed, do it better.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Where Careers Come to Die

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

    I worked at XPRIZE

    Pros

    The only pro I can really think of is that you are exposed to some pretty interesting people and ideas. Unfortunately, that's about it for the pros.

    Cons

    Where to start? How about advancement and pay. If you join the foundation to grow and advance a career path, you're making a terrible mistake. Of the 3-4 years I worked there, I only saw two or three promotions. However, I did see them hire and fire upwards of 40 people from outside sources. Talk about high turn over. If you don't meet management's expectations within 6 months, you're gone. As for pay? It's pretty meager compared to elsewhere I've worked. Unfortunately, it's been a down economy, so this was all I could get at the time, and it was even tough finding another position to jump ship to. Hang in there ex-coworkers! It can get better (once you leave)!

    Structurally, this business is extremely top heavy, and the furthest thing from efficient I've seen. Ironic considering their goals. They pay their prize development team upwards of $1 million a year to do something that the public has shown a complete willingness to do for free/significantly less. Doesn't anyone remember "What's your crazy green idea?" Oh yeah, probably not since nobody from that time actually still works there. On top of all that, almost half of the prize development team is only in the office 3-4 times a year. And those are the people making $100K a year? Not good for morale.

    I won't even go into the fact that the top two hold up almost all of the projects and work to be done because of constant revisions and assigning new tasks. Seems to be pretty well documented, and yes, it's 100% true.

    Wonder why not a single sponsor has re-upped a contract, or sponsored another prize? We're awful to do business with, and probably have a negative ROI for them. We should be an asset, and have companies fighting to collaborate with us. Instead, we're begging them to let us associate with them.

    So sad I wasted so much time there. I could have been a VP by now, or at least a Senior Director, had I spent my last few years elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more low and medium level employees, and pay them better. Management needs to back off and put trust in their employees. And stop cutting the fat, then adding it right back in. Get rid of some of the top heaviness, and actually INNOVATE instead of just following the same path you have for years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Awful. Unprofessional. Lack of leadership and accountability. Do NOT work here or give them money.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager

    I worked at XPRIZE

    Pros

    They have a quality reputation from the outside looking in. Very high-profile board of directors. Offices in Playa Vista and easy access to freeways. Quiet work environment.

    Cons

    - Very under-qualified individuals in charge. The two main leaders are (Bob Weiss) an unemployed Hollywood producer and (Peter Diamandis) a space enthusiast with very little interest remaining. Zero successful NPO or for-profit successes under their belts. Zero management experience except for within the entertainment industry where individuals fear for their jobs - not work to "benefit humanity."

    - Funds are constantly inappropriately allocated (high salaries (400k+), lavish travel, two assistants with one for personal use, etc.). No budget discipline. Lavish fundraising events and travel equaling significant funds from operational budgets, which later equal the termination of a staff member to "budgetary constraints."

    - Staff members are never trusted which makes it impossible to simply do your job.

    - Poor work environment.

    - Zero loyalty.

    - VERY, VERY, VERY poor reputation among past significant sponsors and donors (Progressive Insurance, Lance Armstrong Foundation, many, many, many more).

    - Lack of communication.

    - Not rewarded or recognized for achievement.

    - HUGE employee turn-around. Over 100 staffers (all levels) within two years. The entire foundation only has about 50 employees.

    - Unpredictable deliverables equaling very long hours resulting in... nothing. Seriously. Nothing.

    - The board has little to zero interest or activity. They all remain active to simply network twice a year among each other. Which is very sad considering who is involved.

    - Constant "plans" and "deliverables" produced resulting in zero forward momentum within the foundation.

    - Lack of vision.

    - Lack of professional respect and qualifications.

    - It's a fearful work environment. Meaning, you will be terminated at any point for any reason senior staff can create.

    - It is just an awful place to work and grow. I was offered three positions when I took one at the X Prize Foundation. I kick myself almost every day for accepting X Prize's offer. DO NOT WORK HERE AS LONG AS CURRENT MANAGEMENT IS IN PLACE!!!!!!!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit. Realize how bad you are at everything you do and simply resign.

    Ask yourself, "What have I done that is positive within the last ___ years at the foundation (besides the original Ansari X Prize?"
    Ask yourself, "How many extremely qualified individuals have come through these doors and quit? Why did they resign? Why do all of them hate us?"
    Ask yourself, "How much time, in the amount of years, have I wasted looking over plans or budgets that were never implemented?"

    Before you depart, send a note to the board of directors demanding them to be more active! Tell them to put down the drink at the board networking parties and to roll up their sleeves. The X Prize Foundation needs a clean slate to have any hope of retaining a legacy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unrealized potential

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

    I have been working at XPRIZE

    Pros

    amazing mission
    exciting work
    ability to make a global impact
    strong external support for the organization
    good brand image

    Cons

    micromanagement at a level of detail that rapidly becomes value destroying
    poor or stalled decision making
    inability to prioritize in any sort of disciplined way and then even more trouble sticking to what ultimately get decided as the top priorities
    inability to think about the future of the organization strategically
    sustained periods of very poor morale
    highly dysfunctional leadership at the top - inability to set direction and inspire confidence

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus and get rid of the dysfunction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    filled with egos

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

    I worked at XPRIZE

    Pros

    work on some truly interesting ideas

    Cons

    there is ZERO execution on any of the projects which are guided by inexperienced managers and incompetent senior management.

    senior management are more concerned with maintaining their high salaries and pictures in the newspapers than actually doing anything.

    they go where the money

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    GBU

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Member - Senior Management Team
    Former Employee - Member - Senior Management Team

    I worked at XPRIZE

    Pros

    The opportunity to meet and interact with thought leaders across a variety of verticals including Life Sciences, Cleantech, Aerospace, Social Entrepreneurship, etc.

    Cons

    Marked by excessive founder hubris and faulty corporate governance; it is a case study in moral hazard arguably pushing the frontiers of non-/mis- and malfeasance and extreme instances of agent extraction of corporate resources.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is a case where Senior Management (specifically CEO & President) should immediately be replaced.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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