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LookSmart Reviews

18 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.3
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LookSmart Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Dexmier
Jean-Yves Dexmier
8 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great people, interesting work, bad market"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of really smart people. Interesting, face-paced environment. Ability to have an impact on the business. Located in the city.

    Cons

    Very tough market to be a mid-sized company in. The core market is slowly disappearing and the market always wins no matter the team.

    Advice to Management

    Really get to know the business and understand it. Use that understanding to decide where to head to next.


  2. "Some good folks, disaster of a business"

    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 LookSmart full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Over the years, had some remarkably good folks, who have since gone on to significant success in other organizations.

    Cons

    No feasible business model, and completely ineffective leadership. Company has since effectively gone under, and is now a hodgepodge collection on unrelated businesses.

    Advice to Management

    It's not clear at this point if there's any real path forward, beyond shutting down and selling off any assets.


  3. "Inventory Analyst"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Employees were great to work with

    Cons

    worst company ever.
    CEO didn't know what he was doing.
    Environment sucked

    Advice to Management

    change your career


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  5. "LookSmart is still in business?"

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

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

    Pros

    Ad serving platform is top notch compared to many of the competitors in the space.

    Cons

    It's impossible to acquire quality search traffic


  6. "Great location in San Francisco"

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

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

    Pros

    Dynamic industry, great location in SF, reasonable work/life balance.

    Cons

    Company lacks strong direction and strategic focus.

    Advice to Management

    Narrow the scope of the company's strategy.


  7. "the US office does not exist?!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great experience for high volume transactions

    Cons

    Google / Yahoo has crashed LookSmart-

    Advice to Management

    get better vision


  8. "Online Ads"

    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 LookSmart full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great pool of talent in software development, Database Administrators and System Architects.

    Cons

    Poor management and C level executives.

    Advice to Management

    This is more for the board, sell the company and move on.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Looksmart's days are limited"

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

    Pros

    Looksmart is a 9 to 5 job. The company's results have been so poor for so long that there's not much stress associated with reaching targets. If you're into stress free, those qualities are good. The people that work there are all quite nice. Location is close to Market St, near BART and bus lines.

    Cons

    The company is a renowned internet failure and over time employees have grown to accept that fact. The company has continued to shrink since it's peak in 2004. Once 500 people, it's now down to 60 or so. And the lay-offs continue. As is typical of failing, higher quality and/or results-driven people tend to cycle in and out quickly. The people who stay are deeply entrenched, and considered "mission critical". Since the current mission is continued failure, that's a bad thing. For years, the board of directors hasn't understood Looksmart's core business. The rumor around the hallways was that they were the main reason for the failures of the company.

    Advice to Management

    This advice is more for the board, I think, since Management seemed to change every few years, thanks to the board. The funniest chapter was firing one guy and bringing in the Chairman of the Board to "rescue" the company. I never could tell what that guy's purpose was. He was good with microphone at company meetings, but other than that, it's a mystery as to how he "earned" his 300K per year. Now the next Chairman of the Board has kicked him out and taken over. I hope he's smart enough to close the doors and move on. Third-tier PPC ad networks are a thing of the past.


  10. "Can the new CEO turn it around?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A start-up like environment where individuals can make a difference. Public, with above average compensation. A great tech team, with no problems taking on big challenges and rolling their own solutions to unique problems. The newest CEO seems like a competent business leader.

    Cons

    No clear strategy for the now one and only Looksmart product, its Ad Center solution, to ever be profitable, as everyone is in on the game of arbing Yahoo, and doing it cheaper too. Revolving door of executive leadership that has never figured out the above, or what product offering could be a market leader instead. Layoffs every quarter for the past 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    The new CEO has his work cut out for him, and needs to trust his instincts and actively manage the company direction rather than give free rein to the same folks that undid his predecessors.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "LookSmart Interview"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Small public company; plenty of opportunities to improve upon out-of-date processes; ample access to senior management;

    Cons

    Small public company fighting to keep it's head above water in current environment; company politics seem to be deeply ingrained; have not yet experienced a formal review process or quarterly bonus pay-out; company lacks a solid growth strategy.

    Advice to Management

    1) develop a solid growth strategy and reinforce the path of achievement on a frequent basis with team leads. 2) develop a formal promotion process. 3) re-evaluate legacy employees and ability to continually add value.



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