Ampush Reviews | Glassdoor

Ampush Reviews

Updated April 14, 2017
45 reviews

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3.4
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Jesse Pujji
31 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great, super smart people, especially at the lower levels (in 7 reviews)

  • Ampush is a great place to learn entrepreneurship (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours are required, and it can be taxing on the mind and body (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of experience can make it seem like the business is constantly reinventing the wheel (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Work hard, gain an excellent network"

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

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

    Pros

    • Most everyone I worked with was kind, hard-working, intelligent, and fiercely passionate - if you're going to devote your heart and soul to a company, you better be working with people you enjoy being around.
    • Incredible opportunities to make an impact. Half the company is in their early twenties and managing hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad budgets. There are once-in-a-career opportunities like this on every team (marketing, HR, ops, etc.)
    • Due to the two points above, you'll leave with an incredible network. Ex-Ampushers have gone on to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, a16z, Social Capital, Slack, started their own companies, etc.
    • Founders have an open door and invest the time to get to truly get to know everyone on the team. All have helped me out at one time or another post-Ampush.
    • Very trusting within the company - high tolerance for testing/mistakes/learning on the job.

    Cons

    • On the marketing side, management had the best intentions, but oftentimes knew little more than the team they were leading. Because of this there was lots of tolerance for trying/failing, and management worked with us to learn, but we also wasted a lot of time had there been someone more experienced in the role from the get-go. They've since hired someone new to lead this team.
    • Long hours (55-60/week), but at least they're transparent about this
    • Lack of diversity in higher up roles. Need to hire more women in particular.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to take the time to invest in your employees and get to know them as human beings - people will work hard for you only if they know you have their backs and believe in them.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great learning experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ampush full-time

    Pros

    Ampush is an incredible place to start your career. The level of autonomy allowed for new grads is very rare, and you will quickly become an expert in a growing field. Ampush hires very smart people, and I truly enjoyed my coworkers as colleagues and friends. Client list is interesting, and there is definitely a lot to learn in our key verticals. Company values are strong, if not always kept in mind, Ampush has a very bootstrapped, scrappy vibe, which you'll either appreciate or find endlessly draining. Ultimately, if you aggressively self-advocate and do good work, you'll be challenged, recognized, and given real opportunity.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be pretty terrible, especially when you're first starting out. The company has shifted strategies many times, which leaves junior people scrambling to find solutions. Our branding as 24/7, white-glove service leads to very unreasonable requests from partners.

    Issues with career-pathing (especially at middle management levels) and diversity have been pointed out for a very long time with little improvement.

    Executives have a high level vision, but often lose sight of the issues facing their employees and general company morale.

    Ampush still has a major lack of management, which can be felt at every layer of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Don't get so distracted by new business models, investments, etc, that you lose sight of those cranking on the core business. Take employee feedback seriously (even when it is hard to hear) and show real action on making changes.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Solid first job, stay for a year then leave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Media Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Media Analyst in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ampush full-time

    Pros

    Most of the people working at Ampush are very smart, committed employees and it's great to be working somewhere with such driven peers. Your ideas and opinions will be taken seriously very early on and you will have a lot of direct interaction with the client and the higher ups. This is also the place to learn Facebook advertising because everyone at Ampush knows it very well. Perks like the free snacks, lunch and gym subsidies, casual dress code, unlimited vacation, and fact that Ampush pays the full healthcare premium are great. The media entry level salary is very high compared to a typical first job salary and makes living in NY or SF as a recent college grad much easier. Senior leadership works hard to make themselves accessible and the fact that they sit in open desks on the same floor as everyone else helps. The CEO is also very smart and charismatic and has lots of great ideas.

    Cons

    What an earlier review said about reinventing the wheel is completely true. The constant new hires, switching of accounts, and lack of communication across teams means that knowledge is not distributed evenly. There especially is a big knowledge gap between the NY and SF offices.
    Ampush claims to care about hiring women and racial minorities but they don't. There is only one female/minority executive (besides the founders), two female/minority managers, and three female/minority team leaders of about 10 at each level. At the last offsite, the company had the gall to stand up say they were doing a great job on this front because the total number of women in the company increased about 5% in the past year. Meanwhile, they inexplicably to continue to hire and promote majority white men.
    Work life balance is not good. There is the expectation to work on the weekends and the flexible hours means that you come in early and stay late. Despite the unlimited vacation, most people don't take time off because of this workaholic pressure.
    Career advancement at Ampush depends 25% on you and 75% on your manager. Some managers are really good at promoting the accomplishments of their team members and volunteering them for outside projects but most put their own clients so far ahead no one else at the company will know you exist. This is bad because no one outside your team can stand up and say you're doing a good job when performance reviews arrive and getting nominated for promotion depends solely on your manager. Usually, everyone is smart enough to get promoted within a year but it only happens if you have a good manager; most times you're left to your own devices to figure out how to get the senior title.
    Even though the founders can have really good ideas for how to run Ampush, they often aren't implemented well. It's also very hard to get executive or tech support unless you work on a big client. Also, unless you work on a big client, your work can feel very pointless and unappreciated.

    Advice to Management

    You really need to figure out how to hire and promote more women and minorities. There is clearly bias in the hiring and promotion process that is unhealthy and unsustainable. The fact that you say you care and then hire mostly white men is sickening.
    Please also train your managers on how to manage their team members. So many of them view their jobs as a high level title to swoop in when things aren't good with the client (because they don't trust the team leaders to handle issues) and not as helping their team members grow. Managers often send conflicting signals on how to get promoted- make client performance really good vs do a great side project- so get everyone on the same page.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, tough industry"

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

    I worked at Ampush full-time

    Pros

    Smart folks, had a ton of fun, awesome clients. Would recommend most of my coworkers for any other job. Leadership were sharp, solid folks.

    Cons

    Use operations as a crutch to avoid to invest in tech. It's not a tech company, it's an agency.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in someone with technical experience in ad-tech. You're pretty far behind at this point.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Solid place to learn with some flaws"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Media Strategist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Media Strategist in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -If you take initiative, work hard and produce results you can very quickly take on sizable responsibility. I couldn't have asked for much more from my first job.
    -Great, super smart people, especially at the lower levels. Since leaving I still spend considerable time with my Ampush friends. The SF media team is very close.
    -Tons of opportunities to grow skills in diverse areas. If you want to contribute to a project, you can.
    -Lots of really interesting clients with aggressive growth goals & challenging problems to solve
    -Fun office + usually solid comp (a change from the old days)
    -Pretty transparent & easy/open access to senior leadership
    -Red Ventures partnership offers a tremendous amount of opportunity to learn
    -The skills you learn are highly valued & transferable

    Cons

    -Long hours. Demanding clients.
    -Dearth of middle management
    -Growth approach has been 'shooting from the hip', so the strategy is poorly defined and frequently changing
    -Strategy changes & layoffs have led to a frustrating level of turnover across the org; founders don't seem to care
    -Lack of experience can make it seem like the business is constantly reinventing the wheel
    -Constant pushes for revenue growth become mind-numbing if you're not fully on-board with the current iteration of the vision
    -Underinvestment (or perhaps misinvestment) in product & engineering has led to a series of botched large releases, undermining confidence in the direction of the platform.
    -Coconut La Croix

    Advice to Management

    Despite constant turnover & plenty of mistakes, at its core, Ampush is still filled with opportunity. Smart people & a client portfolio that can really scale. Focus on actually developing the full-funnel expertise that we're out trying to sell. Over-invest in the clients that present real opportunity - beyond adding more media analysts. Solidify a more cohesive vision that the whole company is bought in on and gets to engage with, not just the selective Performance team.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Leadership Lacking Vision"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Media Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Media Analyst in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - New hire training, especially useful for new grads
    - Exposure to a "hands on" mindset
    - Generally good people at the lower ranks

    Cons

    - Endless push for revenue, at the expense of client performance
    - Poor transition to new business model, creating internal strife
    - Many departures and layoffs as a result, usually the wrong ones
    - Tedious hours with the false promise of reward
    - Rapacious founders
    - Exceptional performers saddled with extra work, while low performers continue fly below the radar

    Advice to Management

    Recognize performance consistently. Fix bad behavior at the middle manager level


  7. Helpful (17)

    "You can find a better and more stable 1st job"

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

    I worked at Ampush (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun office environment with competitive pay and benefits. There are lots of fun and well educated/smart people working at Ampush. Open communication lines to any executive (although you may only get fluffy responses).

    Cons

    The founders have created very clear line between the "haves" and the "have nots". The founders are clearly checked out and are only looking to finalize the sale. One founder hasn't shown up to the office in months (taking personal time), one founder seems to go on vacation around the world every other week, and the third founder is so disconnected from the business that he thinks the market conditions are the same as they were in 2012. Lowly media analysts are underpaid vs. most of Ampush's competitors. The equity shares for new hires will most likely net you less than your quarterly bonus (based on the target selling price). There is a BIG drug problem in both offices that leadership has chosen to turn a blind eye to. Managers and senior team members will come into the office after all-night benders and do more drugs during their lunch breaks. I have never seen such blatant drug abuse before, during or after work (at work related events and parties).

    Advice to Management

    Create a long-term action plan for if you do not end up selling to Red Ventures. You have put all of your eggs into one basket and haven't created a growth (or even sustainability) model that is viable. Fix the growing drug problem (especially in New York). Re-embrace your core "values" that seem to have gone by the wayside. Stop lying and misleading employees just because they aren't on the executive team; transparency only works if you are telling the truth.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "A Great Place To Build"

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

    I worked at Ampush full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Ampush is a growing company and with that comes "growing pains." Over the span of my time at Ampush, those challenging moments were merely an opportunity to learn, develop my skills and better prepare myself for the road ahead aka a career. I'm a better person and professional for having had to push outside of my comfort zone continuously. The experience I received at Ampush is more valuable than all previous jobs combined. Does it require tough work, yes... Does it require receiving critical feedback, a tool for self-improvement, yes... Does it take a significant investment to be successful, yes... If you're looking to increase your personal market value, intelligence, responsibilities, etc. then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Long hours are required, and it can be taxing on the mind and body.

    Advice to Management

    CEO: You're doing an excellent job! That should be clear by the list of wonderful partners, bright folks under your command and a growing business (in a predominantly bootstrapped fashion). Moving forward I encourage you to schedule private sessions for people to provide feedback (good and bad) in a 1:1 setting. It seems as though folks like to leverage the web to air grievances and if people feel comfortable to manage up, a lot of misunderstandings can be resolved swiftly.


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Recent Scathing Reviews are Inaccurate and Cowardly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Team in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Media Team in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have plenty of good things to say about the company, including the fact that the people are whip-smart, the comp is very competitive, the industry is very dynamic and the client roster is impressive.

    But I want to focus on the April 11th review that went up (in which the reviewer called the CEO a "terrible human being")...that was a cowardly, over-dramaticized, unhelpful statement that does nothing but sabotage the great work that he and the rest of us have been doing to continually reinvent the company as a leader in the space. Jesse is a caring, thoughtful guy, and you clearly haven't taken advantage of his continuous attempts to solicit constructive feedback (directly or indirectly) - instead you've bottled it up to the point where you had to vent anonymously with an off-base, disorganized, slanderous rant as you hide behind the curtain of Glassdoor's system.

    To use the word "sweatshop" to describe an office of highly-paid, well-fed, fully-covered at-will employees reflects an extreme immaturity and lack of perspective that undermines the entire review. Do people at Ampush work hard? Yes. Do people at Ampush have vibrant personal lives? Absolutely. In general, companies win because their employees work harder, smarter and more collaboratively than their competitors, and I believe that happens at Ampush day in and day out - frankly, it happens all over the world at companies for which employees are proud to work.

    Finally, the notion of Ad Tech being "a useless industry to excel in" is gibberish - just read the article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (a great client, btw) about how Google and Facebook have added $230Bn in market cap between them over the past year...those companies are the king and queen of Ad Tech and we at Ampush are lucky to have excellent institutional relationships with both of them as they grow and reshape the way consumers and businesses interact with media.

    Cons

    The company is going through many of the same challenges that startups are experiencing all over the world. As someone who has worked at three startups over the past few years, I can tell you one thing: At any fast-paced startup, everything is on fire all of the time. If you can't take the heat of a growing business that constantly faces new challenges to overcome and solve, go work for IBM...and by the way, when IBM does layoffs, they do them 10,000 people at a time :)

    Advice to Management

    Don't let the vitriol dissuade you, Jesse. You are a good person as well as a great (new) parent. Just keep leading Ampush by taking feedback from the people that are brave enough to give it to you directly.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Solid place to work with pros and cons like any company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ampush full-time

    Pros

    -Intelligent coworkers
    -lots of opportunity for growth and development
    -amazing strategic investors
    -collaborative work environment
    -great culture and values
    -Transparency with management and Senior Leadership

    Cons

    -lots of competition in the space
    -growing pains and difficulties with the recent shift in business strategy
    -long hours
    -compensation below market

    Advice to Management

    Overall Ampush has been a good place to work. I think many of the negative reviews on here are exaggerated. As with any company there are strengths and weaknesses but ultimately you get what you put into it. There is a ton of opportunity for people to take on lots of responsibility and ownership within the company, but you have to pursue it, no one is going to hand it to you on a platter. If you are driven and a self-starter you can definitely have a major impact within (and outside of) the company.

    To Management:
    1) Keep up the transparency and accessibility.
    2) Focus. You have a ton of great ideas but you need to choose the bets you are making and double down on them. Think through the scenarios you should pursue and go after them with vigor.


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