I worked at Clickability full-time (Less than a year)
Office culture was pretty remarkable.
young leadership team but eager to excel
I worked at Clickability full-time
Salary and ability to work remotely from home. These are literally the only pros that I experienced working here. Everything else was horrible.
If you live in the Bay Area, there are literally thousands of better jobs available to you that will be much more satisfying. Take one of those. If you are working remotely, I know money is hard to find, but you will pay dearly for this one in existential angst.
This company is broken. If you are a thoughtful person, you will see all kinds of red flags beginning with how they conduct your interview process. This will provide you valuable insight into what it will be like to work here. Heed the warning signs; I wish that I had. Working here was a terrible experience. I wish that I could somehow be refunded this period of my life.
I worked in a technical, client-facing role. Specifically, this is what made working here such a bad experience:
- It is a terrible product. It was probably once cutting edge, but it is not overseen at any level by anyone with any real vision. I am not sure why any client knowingly would sign up to use this tool for any aspect of their web strategy. Clients are basically paying for overpriced custom web development (with severe limitations) masquerading as a platform.
- There is no effective management or clear management structure. Management was almost non-existent, and when available was painfully unhelpful, disinterested, or, at worst, like throwing a hand-grenade into your project. Communication with them was a constant game of "Guess What's in My Head?!" with an often added fun twist of "Guess Whose Head?".
- Almost non-existent internal communication. Communication is a challenge everywhere, but it is truly a unique brand of challenging here. There is absolutely no thought given to how to effectively communicate. I have never felt so frustrated in a team environment before. Improving communication here means upgrading to hipchat or slack, and nothing deeper ... like, maybe? ... making sure everyone is on the same page before beginning work, or providing context or background on a task before assigning it, or encouraging questions and taking the time to effectively answer them, or maybe a final analysis or sunset on a challenging project? I think castaway Tom Hanks had more meaningful communication with Wilson the Volleyball.
- They have no clue how to bring new people onboard. Their process is one of apprenticeship where they believe that you will learn by osmosis. They have no real documentation of anything. There is no serious introduction to new hires or even to clients on the fundamentals of the platform. The result is that there are way too many folks in the company who know next to nothing about how the product works, and they lean on a few elders to do pretty much everything of substance. It is a sink or swim culture that prides itself on empty Type-A slogans like 'we like take-charge people' and 'folks who don't need direction'. I can understand how that might work as a philosophy for certain businessy parts of a company, but it does not work at all for EVERY part of your company.
- They have no understanding of effective client relationships. On every project I was involved in here, I was briefed that there was a small client 'campfire' that needed to be put out. All of my questions about what the campfire were answered with 'you will get all the answers and supplies you need from the people on the ground', and then I was parachuted into it (i.e. met with a client), only to discover that: there are no people on the ground; this is a large, raging wildfire with multiple fronts; there are no supplies, no lines of communication, no terrain map, no actual fire-fighting equipment and just a few poorly written pamphlets written by an ESL student on how to construct primitive fire-fighting tools out of things you can find in the burning forest. Every single project was like this: unmitigated, post-apocalyptic chaos. Honestly, a few times information was only shared on a need to know basis and someone decided I just didn't need to know, but mostly it seemed that management and many of my co-workers were happily clueless about the reality of their client relationships, and were quite OK working in this sort of chaos on a daily basis.
- There is no roadmap for where they want anything to go. No one seemed at all to be really focused on doing the real work of a business, even basic things like ... striving to build a product that is useful to your users and better in some way than your competitors, improving efficiency, and, shockingly, looking for ways to land new clients and projects. This company has been through a few acquisitions prior to my arrival (see reviews of Upland Software). Working here felt a lot like I had stumbled upon an extinct, perhaps once great ancient civilization that has been re-inhabited by a much, MUCH less advanced one.
- They outsource and hire contractors for everything they possibly can. It was stunning what important parts of their business they are willing to farm out and then white label as their own - things that anyone with common sense would think are crucial to keep in-house, like management roles and maintenance of core parts of the product. This threw a huge monkey wrench into everything. It would not surprise me if they are considering how to outsource the process of outsourcing.
- This was a soul-sucking place to work. It is the kind of place where everyone has their head down or works remotely, and no one says 'good night' at the end of the work day or 'have a nice weekend' at the end of the work week. There was no office culture, no concept of work/life balance, and tricksy 'benefits' like 'unlimited' vacation which is just a ruse to actually encourage you to take practically no vacation, i.e. no one is encouraging you to take any, none of your peers take any, and there are never any breaks in your work load where you could conceivably take one. At times, it felt like I had been cast as an extra in the sequel to 'Trading Places' except this time the Duke Brothers wagered over whether or not the operations of a company could be managed and implemented by a group of folks who all measure high on the autism scale. (Spoiler alert! It apparently can.) Seriously, it does seem to be a place that attracts a lot of folks who are severely lacking in social skills. Collectively they create a very hollow work environment.
Advice to Management
It it is not a place that does any analysis. Advice to management is pointless.
I have been working at Clickability full-time (Less than a year)
I had an amazing manager: smart, communicative, transparent. A couple of the executive team members were of the highest caliber, demonstrating integrity and transparency. In the years since I worked there, Clickability seems to have learned from past mistakes and improved the sales strategy and delivery tactics.
In 2009, the executive leadership, while appearing cohesive on the surface, was actually quite divided as to acceptable tactics for achieving business objectives. A portion of the sales team worked to sign new business, seemingly unconcerned with whether or not the technology customization and/or delivery timelines required by incoming clients was achievable.
The outcome of the divisive leadership was a workload that far exceeded the resources available, compromising our team welfare, our work quality, and client satisfaction.
Advice to Management
Identify the unique strengths of your technology and continue to enhance it. Target clients that will benefit most from these unique strengths.
All in all, a good team of people
Senior management is very approachable and mostly very supportive
Inconsistent management at various levels in the company
Fairly young and inexperienced team
Overconvidence led them to overhire in 2008, forcing them to downsize significantly in 2009
Lack of structure and organization
Too many meetings
Lack communications from senior management about the state of the company - employees pushed to exhaustion to complete major projects on evenings and weekends then laid off without warning as soon as project was complete
Advice to Management
Focus on core product development and employee morale
Focus on smart growth
Provide clear and realistic targets for employees
Provide more hands on management and structure
Empower people to be sucessful, leverage their strengths and reward them for sucess
Don't keep your employees in the dark about critical issues affecting their professional and personals lives
Great people, good location, good benefits.
The vision of senior management for the employees seems flawed. They doubled the size of the staff in 2008 and then laid of 20% of the company in 2009; the majority of those affected had been employed for less than one year.
Advice to Management
Transparency, one of the goals of the company, should apply to senior management with employees as well as with customers. When the company had the layoff there had been no hint of trouble during the prior weekly all-hands meetings. The layoff itself was handled extremely poorly. Instead of notifying each employee affected individually, some people were told as a group. It was very disheartening and unprofessional.
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