99designs Reviews | Glassdoor

99designs Reviews

Updated January 8, 2018
26 reviews

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4.2
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Patrick Llewellyn
20 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 99designs full-time

    Pros

    The culture is great. Everyone is super friendly, welcoming, laid back and motivated. It's easy to feel comfortable at 99designs. The new office is really cool and the free snacks are a plus. They care a lot about their employees and doing right by their users.

    Cons

    Growing pains. Scaling up company culture is also occasionally a challenge. The pay can be a little low for certain teams.

    99designs Response

    Dec 7, 2016 – Office Manager

    Thank you for your feed back!

    We are currently working on building up our PeopleOps function and taking a look into some of the items that you have listed as concerns.

    We appreciate your... More


  2. "GREAT people but bit of an amoral business model."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at 99designs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people at 99designs were some of the funniest, nicest, warmest, and most supportive people I've ever worked with and I continue many ties with individuals to this day.

    Company culture is warm, gregarious, and fun (when they cut loose they cut loose BIG)!

    Lots of great perks: Full health, vision, dental, gym membership, commuter, food and drinks (keg on tap), team events, swag...

    Cons

    But in the end I couldn't justify my personal values working for a business whose model seems so unethical: Having designers put up lots of work and multiple designs while only one designer gets selected and paid (if a designer gets selected at all and a customer doesn't cancel the project). I think we like to justify it to ourselves by saying, "Well, no one's forcing designers to use the site... it's their choice..." but that is such a copout when you've created a platform that undercuts a designer's value--Customers flock to 99 and the new cost/expectations puts a huge strain on a designer's options.

    Also, there's a good potential for growth within the company, too, if you're in the department you already want to be in, but good luck trying to break into another department. I don't know if it's frowned upon but it felt like an unspoken rule that managers don't hire from other teams--even if interest and potential has been discussed with both managers and all involved parties.

    Advice to Management

    Is it really so bad to lose a department member to another team if you're raising the overall happiness and commitment of a devoted employee? It would be a huge win for the company.

  3. "Good Place To Work With Some Weirdnesses"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 99designs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good perks, healthcare, food, etc.

    Cons

    Some parts of company get paid way lower than others
    Not great cross-department communication


  4. "Fun place to work"

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

    I have been working at 99designs full-time

    Pros

    - Stocked kitchen, office keg, Friday happy hours, Thursday lunches, free gym membership
    - Great office culture and fun off-sites
    - Really nice employees and a "family" feel
    - Flexibility to work remotely
    - Still feels like a start-up. Things change regularly, which keeps work feeling fresh and interesting

    Cons

    - Pay tends to be low
    - Limited vacation days and PTO (PTO is accrued, not flextime like many other start-ups)
    - Can be difficult to align with Intl. offices
    - Limited support from other teams. It can be difficult to get projects into the pipeline

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great office culture. Listen to employee feedback. Be transparent about upcoming changes.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Needs a lot of work to be a great place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at 99designs full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    As the first startup job I'd had, I was star struck. The perks were great! Lots of swag! Happy hour is a blast each week, and a great way to unwind. The flexibility in hours and the ability to work from home (or around the world) was honestly unparalleled and not something I appreciated as much when I was there. Everyone was always easy to get along with, and I usually enjoyed being in the office and chatting with my coworker's, as every person has really unique backgrounds. The good designs that came out of the platform were incredible, and we did bring opportunity to quite a few people across the world, both designers and customers.

    Cons

    Now, the cons.

    In the few years I was there, the company went through rapid amounts of change in product and people. The other reviews of nepotism are spot on - forget hard work here, it's not rewarded. There is no rhyme or reason to how people move up, and positions seem to be randomly created based on personal feelings and not skill or performance. Going off that, growth is extremely limited - even if you're promised the opportunity to grow, it rarely manifests. Also, feedback is worthless - product asks for it, but it rarely grows into something that is actually intuitive for our users, as the focus is more on making things "pretty" rather than user friendly.

    Lastly, the big one is that I'm pretty sure a lot of what we did is illegal. We have no in house counsel and no compliance teams, but regularly deal with copyright and trademark issues. If a copyrighted image is sold to one of 99's big clients, their pocketbooks are bigger than ours and the company will be screwed.

    Advice to Management

    Get in house counsel. Actually listen to your site users. Give your current employees more opportunities. Be more transparent and professional. Pay more, because the pay for the industry is low.


  6. "Bright & Exciting Work Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at 99designs full-time

    Pros

    A genuine sense of collaboration across teams, constant exposure to beautiful designs.

    Cons

    Optimizing for two sets of customers (clients & designers) sometimes makes it hard for upper management to make decisions that impact both well.

    99designs Response

    Feb 9, 2017 – Office Manager

    Thank you for your feedback! We are currently working on building up our PeopleOps function and taking a look into some of the items that you have listed as concerns. We appreciate your honest... More


  7. "Lots of perks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at 99designs full-time

    Pros

    -great benefits
    -flexible schedules
    -lively company culture
    -dogs allowed
    -company activities, outings, happy hours, etc
    -international offices

    Cons

    -many people leave because lack of growth opportunities
    -not all teams are treated equally
    -it's never 100% clear what projects are in progress, which are coming up, what each teams goals are.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Great People. Poor Leadership."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great offices, nice perks (free drinks and snacks, happy hour, ping pong table etc), well-rounded and caring employees, flexible hours, ability to work from home when life happens.

    Cons

    Difficult to sometimes be productive because the time difference is so large between Australia, Berlin and San Francisco.

    If you're a woman prepare to feel belittled at times. The only positive side to this is you'll learn how to toughen up in the workplace.

    There's no HR department so sometimes there is questionable activity that doesn't get addressed. That and people are poorly onboarded which doesn't set them up for success.

    Advice to Management

    Be confident in your product roadmap and company goals. I never felt like anyone was very confident in the decisions that were being made. Stop half-assing MVP's. We had some really good ideas that "failed" because the product wasn't given enough resources to even have a chance. Give these ideas the proper manpower and I'm sure you'll see a lot more successes than failures.


  9. "Stronger Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 99designs full-time

    Pros

    99designs is growing fast and I'm part of a recent wave of new hires that have joined their outfit since they moved to Oakland. Right now I'd say the major Pros are the Culture, Leadership and just commitment to employees. They really care about employees here and look at them as people rather than cogs. This is a huge deal and you can see the happiness reflected on the faces of the employees.

    Cons

    Culture is great, but there are a few silos that exist. Leadership tries to arrangement team building activities but people are still very much committed to getting in and out. Needs to find a better way to meld the groups together.


  10. "99designs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - 99designs in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - 99designs in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 99designs (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Awesome atmosphere, free food, and really great employees!

    Cons

    Pay is not the best...

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


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