Punchkick Interactive Reviews | Glassdoor

Punchkick Interactive Reviews

Updated September 30, 2017
29 reviews

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3.9
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Zak Dabbas
21 Ratings

29 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing team, challenging work, friendly client"

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

    I have been working at Punchkick Interactive full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    For me, I just love working with smart people, and we have a ton of them. Each project is a new challenge and keeps me learning and improving my craft. Clients present new challenges daily, but consider us part of their team, and treat us as equals. Previously, I had jumped around a lot, but I've landed at Punchkick and stayed because of the culture and because I've been able to grow and improve.

    Cons

    Not everyone thrives with the autonomy. You're expected to choose your own adventure and to reach out if you are unhappy or need help. No one is going to hold your hand or tell you exactly what to do. It's up to you to learn and improve your craft, but you're given all the tools you need. The flat structure means you have to deal with some of your own problems, and while we've been trained on non-violent communication and taught how to broach topics and escalate issues, some people just don't, and inaction breeds negativity.

    Advice to Management

    Trust in the abilities of your best and brightest employees and know that they will do what's best for the company.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Keep your head down and try to do some good work, then move on"

    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

    - People on execution/delivery work are fun and close - rare and true chemistry
    - Clients typically enjoy working with teams
    - Client work brought decent challenges and felt rewarding to complete
    - Stepping stone job to greater things
    - There’s more former PK employees than present (see below) and you can leverage that network for jobs when you move on

    Cons

    - Favoritism, cronyism, self-absorption wins the day in Zak’s inner circle of favorites
    - Subculture of privilege, inexperience, lack of empathy
    - Sales, marketing, CEO lack hands-on experience in the industries they target. Don’t let the fancy titles misdirect, Punchkick's flawed and inbred thinking is all they know, or allow in.
    - Layoffs

    Advice to Management

    It's all been given before. I don't think these are people who will listen to anyone but themselves, which has proven itself to be foolish and bad for business. This is disappointing because the idea of Punchkick on paper is pretty great and sounds empowering. Sadly, that isn't the Punchkick I saw consistently in practice.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Innovative and Encouraging Environment"

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

    I have been working at Punchkick Interactive full-time

    Pros

    Punchkick is a wonderful professional environment where forging your own path is part of your job — continually learning and evolving is essential in the tech space and that's where Punchkick excels. The flat organization removes micro-management from the equation and allows employees to problem solve in a way that works best for them and the employees around them.

    Work from home Fridays and the casual, yet professional, office environment brings out the best in people and caters to a nice work/life balance.

    Cons

    Getting used to the flat organization can be difficult, especially for those who come from a more structured and corporate environment.

    Advice to Management

    Let's keep communication a priority and not let impatience for change compromise our internal standards.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Good people, awful pay"

    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 Punchkick Interactive full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I got a lot of latitude to work on projects. Enjoyed my peers.

    Cons

    I was constantly assured I was being paid fairly and that if there was more money, I would get a raise. I found out my peers, who were as qualified as me, were making 15k to 20k more.

    Former PKI employees refer to it as being a little culty. You are super happy to work there, but when you move on, you realize that you really could have done better.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees fairly.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Good while it lasted"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Punchkick Interactive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Some of the people are cool
    - The snacks were nice
    - Location of the office
    - Team building events
    - Thanksgiving dinner

    Cons

    Punchkick projects for the most part are one and done when it comes to clients. With the exception of some of their earlier clients, Punchkick has trouble keeping that revolving door of work coming in. Without work comes....you guessed it...layoffs.

    During the mist of little work being won by Punchkick, they decided to continue the plan to build out their new office space (which costed a nice amount). Why not invest that money into your employees

    Finally, get ready to have your personal information broadcasted every morning during huddle. The huddle takes place every morning and each day has its own theme. The "good news" day is when every shares something personal. Now granted here if you want you can make stuff if you don't want to reveal anything too personal.

    Advice to Management

    Ryan - Come out of Labs, interact with the workers, get to know what people is working on, and offer your expertise to maybe mentor other works

    Zak - Same advice as I gave Ryan and be more involved in the day to day work


  6. Helpful (5)

    "A Cult with no Future Vision"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Punchkick Interactive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Projects with name recognition
    - Some clients are Fortune 500, but others are small enough that you feel a great connection when working directly with them
    - Smart and driven people that are able to work around projects and band together to solve client or project issues
    - Opportunities to learn and ask questions
    - Great work/life balance & flexibility
    - Unlimited vacation policy
    - Transparency around prospective clients / sales work
    - Opportunities to be involved in high level company efforts

    Cons

    - Lack of diversity, and a pressure to look and act a certain way (guys, get ready to only wear J Crew & makeup if you’re a woman). I felt like I had to censor myself constantly.
    - Constant layoffs as the company is not sustainable, and instead focuses its efforts on how it is presented externally (huge expensive fancy office)
    - Huddle is unprofessional and inappropriate: you have to share intimate details of your life or answer private questions in front of everyone in the company
    - Internal favoritism, cliques, secrecy. An unhealthy professional atmosphere.
    - Sterile, white, shushed work environment with no energy. Lots of rules and control - you cannot keep anything on your desk. There is nothing on the walls. Can’t really have loud discussions in the office. Uninspiring. Not engaging.
    - You're part of the "family" - until you leave or are laid off.

    Advice to Management

    - You are both focused on your own personal lives instead of focusing on running the company. You are always vacationing, rarely present and rarely coming up with ideas on how to improve the business (others do that for you). I encourage you to know how EVERY department works. Know the in's and out's of every step in every process (from sales, to design, to dev, to qa, to strategy). Be an advocate for every team and their own specific needs. Stop buying expensive furniture and focus on getting clients that stick around.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "A unique, if flawed, work experience."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    As a company, Punchkick isn't afraid to try new things and, moreover, fail in the name of education and growth. The people at Punchkick are some of the most driven and dynamic talents I've had the opportunity to work with and there's an energy that unique work environment creates.

    This is a great place to explore the different aspects of product creation, agency life, and exploratory business operations. What they lack in competitive salary they compensate with a liberal PTO policy, if that's your thing.

    The "teal" model, while ambitious, offers a day-to-day work experience unlike most places you'll work and PKIs attempt to shoehorn the company into this model have been mildly successful in the tangible outcomes (freedom in the workplace) but have missed the mark in encouraging the freewheeling creativity and growth that one hopes to see unleashed with such a flexible working model.

    Cons

    For every moment of joy, success, and freedom that I felt at Punchkick I had as many or more of uncertainty, pettiness, and unsure footing -- the company, for all the great talent that exists, failed to consistently control and maintain a language and dialogue with clients that resulted in long-term relationships. The mature client relationships that were created were done so on the back of a "hustle, corner-cutting and just-get-it-done" attitude that leads to clients taking full advantage of the desperation that portrays. A lack of understanding of how to maintain client relationships and grow capabilities led to the second set of layoffs in less than three years. Agency life is very up and down, understandable, but there comes a time in a companies life that it has to mature into a 5-year growth strategy, not a 5-month runway.

    Outside of business acumen and operations, there is a facade of sorts, in the relationships in the office. Outwardly Punchkick is portrayed as an open, progressive and understanding place where you can "be comfortable being yourself" -- however the reality of the environment is one of exclusivity and cliques, infighting and super judgemental individuals that, while everyone is purportedly "equal", often betrays that "family" attitude that leadership puts forward. You're considered family, as long as you live by the family's ideals and interests. Being different is valued as long as it fits into the same different that everyone else is -- which is to say, not different at all. This underscores a serious issue at Punchkick that I hope is addressed sooner rather than later: a lack of diversity. Not only in terms of race and gender but in terms of schools of thoughts, opinions, and backgrounds. The company has a tendency to undervalue what little diversity they have at their disposal and treats it as a non-factor in hiring.

    Advice to Management

    I've given all of my advice directly to leadership, however, a singular point that would adjust the trajectory of this company is one that is core to the fabric of the operating model: You can't write the checks and be best friends with everyone. Unless you're able to prove that you can maintain a separation between those lives, you risk undermining your value as a leader when clear nepotism and favoritism plant their seeds in your decision making.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Technically excellent, organizationally disjoined."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Punchkick Interactive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great office aesthetics
    - Intelligent teammates
    - Innovative, customer-centric strategy
    - Perfectionist attention to detail on all work
    - Desire to be the best in the business

    Cons

    - Unrealistic performance expectations
    - Low base salaries, high advertised commission potential with low probability of achieving
    - Promotions non-existent and worth defined by culture fit and extra-curricular involvement
    - Will hire in hope of future growth not rooted in actual sales
    - Favoritism based on loyalty to Punchkick trumps actual work performance

    Advice to Management

    - Invest in the development of people in authentic ways
    - Spent less time selling the Punchkick kool-aid, more serving the client


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Honest and Open"

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

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

    Pros

    With a very flat org, the company is extremely honest and open about everything. The entire goal is to have happy clients and employees and with honest and open feedback it is possible. Don't believe us...come stop by any day at 10am and check out our Huddle. Nothing fake, all real.

    Cons

    We are growing so fast and really the only con is all of the massive upside potental.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it flat since there is no management or employee reviews. We give advice and feedback each and every day.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "It is what you make it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Endless opportunity to learn new skills both in and out of your core day-to-day duties. . I worked with someone who started in sales and had a passion for analytics. . he now leads the analytics department
    - The talent at PK is top-notch across the board. . . you'll work with some of the most skilled developers, strategists, designers, and AM's you'll ever meet
    - Truly enjoy your work and co-workers. . . I honestly made some lifelong friends during my time at PK
    - PK will always have your back. . . I moved to a different state and both owners (Zak and Ryan) made themselves available for glowing reference calls with prospective employers

    Cons

    - With a flat management style, it can be easy to fall behind if you don't hold yourself accountable


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