99designs Reviews | Glassdoor

99designs Reviews

Updated May 10, 2017
21 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.2
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Patrick Llewellyn
16 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Diverse"

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

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

    Pros

    - The opportunity to work with a diverse group of people from all over the world.
    - A unique business with lots to learn - designers, customers, marketplaces, foreign exchange, etc. It's hard to get bored.
    - Family-friendly for those with kids.
    - Espresso machine

    Cons

    - Growing pains! Sometimes processes are kind of messy.
    - Can be hard to coordinate with intl offices given time zones.


  2. "99designs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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!


  3. Helpful (11)

    "Far from good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are many things about working at 99 that are great. Full time employees get good benefits like health insurance, gym, commute assist etc..
    They also have a nice kitchen stocked up. And generally the people who work there are pretty good.

    Cons

    But working for 99designs marketing team is extremely challenging. There's a lot of politics that don't help the company move forward.

    There's a level of nepotism that gets in the way of good work. The Upper upper management clearly have their favorite people who end up having the power to make decisions they are ill equipped to make. Mostly they favor their Australian male mattes. Doesn't matter if you have ten years more experience. If you are american and a woman you will not be heard.

    The Marketing department doesn't really act like a Marketing department. All they do is data Analysis. The upper management is very hands off and doesn't really care about the team. During my employment there i never exchanged a word with them.

    There's no vision from the upper management about what the company's brand should look like. And it's very surprising that a company who claims to help business build their brand has very little of their own.

    The marketing team is reactionary. They function basically on meeting quotas and have no marketing plan beyond a month in advance. Which is bad business if you're in marketing.

    A few weeks before I left we all got a message from the upper management asking for employees to give them good reviews on glassdoor, which is extremely unethical in my opinion.

    Note that most reviews here are from designers who work with 99designs platform. They are not employees of 99designs.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise them to do a survey with the employees and based on the survey make things better instead of asking people to post good reviews.

    People can see the nepotism. And people resent it.

    The marketing department needs to stop this reactionary snowball and start planning at least 6 months in advance of they want to be a real marketing department.

    They need to take their advertising off the web.

    They need to do a better job keeping competent people onboard.


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  5. "Great culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. "Bright & Exciting Work Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    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


  8. "Lots of perks"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great People. Poor Leadership."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  10. "Stronger Leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Exciting growth, great coworkers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are many positive things about working at 99designs:
    - Freedom to pursue ideas and contribute to the growth of the company
    - A great product
    - Support from within teams to get your job done
    - Awesome coworkers
    - Not so big that you don't know everyone, even when they are on different continents
    - Travel among US, Australia and Germany
    - Creative workspace
    - In-office Friday happy hours

    Cons

    Even though we're relatively small, we have a few growing pains:
    - Communication and coordination across continents can be difficult at times
    - Work flow processes are still under construction


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