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SparkNET Interactive Reviews

22 reviews

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2.9
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SparkNET Interactive Publisher & CEO Christopher Knight
Christopher Knight
14 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Fun Self Motivated Tech Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mobile Developer
    Current Employee - Mobile Developer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SparkNET Interactive full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews for this company. My experience here as been very good. The work environment is comfortable and feels like home, the work is very self motivated and satisfying, the pay is fair and the benefits are good, and the culture is very friendly and family like. All the amenities in the office are very very nice. You're not going to find many other places like this in the fox valley. Free lunch, access to gym, showers, underground parking, and other unnecessary but nice perks are great. It's also been a great experience working and learning about so many different programs and products. The job doesn't get into a rut like many other development jobs I've worked. I do different interesting things on a daily basis and rarely get bored.

    Cons

    I personally have nothing negative to say but if you prefer more structured work where you're told exactly what to do every step of the way then a job at Sparknet might not be for you.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid to hire more people.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Embarrassing"

    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

    Leaving for the day and leaving for good.

    Cons

    The most insulting environment I have ever been employed in to this day. Shame on you ck, for your snide responses to reviews on this website, the way you treat your employees, and for misleading the community of De Pere. Anyone desperate enough to consider accepting a position with this company - try McDonald's or Wal-Mart instead... you'll be happier and treated better.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to the drones, buddy.


  3. "Great Entry-Level Tech Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    SparkNET offers exceptional benefits: health insurance, life insurance, vision and dental insurance, and 401k with matching. In addition, the workspace and technology are top-notch. I worked on a new 15" MacBook Pro with 2 27" Thunderbolt display monitors. The building amenities are great perks: gym, yoga room, hot tubs, saunas, underground parking, coffee/cappuccino/soda/juice, lunch provided daily.

    The CEO is now more hands-on with the business and employee management than in years past, which is proving to be a positive change for SparkNET. The current staff is exceptional across the board. Loretta in HR is super down-to-earth and helpful with any insurance/HR questions.

    Overall, a person who likes to think big and surround themselves with positive energy will fit in well at SparkNET.

    Cons

    Though SparkNET has a big, top-notch building, it's still a small business and they don't have big salary budgets to retain employees who don't show true financial returns for the company. In order to earn a high salary at SparkNET, it's crucial to show measurable returns in the work you do. The CEO is very data-driven and relies on this type of information when making salary decisions.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management is to keep communication lines open and continue to share the vision with the team. Hone in on the direction of the company and lead the team to set clear goals to achieve the next SparkNET venture, whatever is in store!


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Look further in..."

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SparkNET Interactive full-time

    Pros

    Food and slides thats about it. Used the work out room a couple of times but wasn't that impressed with them. I did like the garage privilege.

    Cons

    Where to begin?!?!? So many issues with this company, so glad that I got out when I did. So many cameras seems like you are always being watched.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees. Show them that you actually do care about them. Instead of buying a bunch of equipment give back to your employees. Though now you are down to 11 people maybe less I think people do realize what kind of working environment this is. You'll be hiring forever.

    SparkNET Interactive Response

    Jun 16, 2015 – CEO

    So a recently former employee leaves a nice review and 2 days later you get still have a chip on your shoulder and need to leave yet another anonymous negative review? Not cool... but GlassDoor ... More


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Ostensively a fun job, hampered by mismanagement and unrealistic expectations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in Green Bay, WI
    Former Employee - Editor in Green Bay, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free lunch, beautiful office, great coworkers.

    Cons

    Poor pay, no excellent benefits packages, unrealistic expectations to editors (seemingly get the shaft on a decent work/life balance)

    Advice to Management

    While you offer free lunches and a great atmosphere, simple benefits packages like insurances would be better.

    SparkNET Interactive Response

    Apr 22, 2015 – CEO

    "Simple benefits like insurances"? Huh? SparkNET offers a high level health, dental and life insurance program of which we cover 75% of our team members portion of their health and dental insurance ... More


  7. "You'd have to live in California to find an awesome job like this!"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Hot tubs
    -Saunas
    -Free lunch prepared everyday by an awesome chef!
    -Fitness facility
    -Yoga room
    -Smoothie Bar
    -Pool/ping pong table
    -Awesome bean bags!
    SparkNet is a very high tech company that is inspired and built upon the creativity of each other; being able to learn amazing new things by watching or hearing someone else. In this way, SparkNet creates an environment that is sometimes slow and dull, but at other times challenging. As far as wages go, they may be low, but the amenities by far way out the bad, I mean, where else in Green Bay can you go down a slide to get from floor-to-floor? I highly recommend!!!

    Cons

    -More communication
    -More focus on people, rather than items

    Advice to Management

    -Less time play, help/talk to us more.


  8. Helpful (10)

    "Great Experience, Terrible Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lunch provided daily, an okay benefits package, a fitness area, and some awesome co-workers.

    Cons

    An oblivious leadership team that truly believes the lies and half truths they spew when addressing criticism.

    In a response to a negative review leadership said that turnover is in the low single digits. Depending on what data you use to calculate turnover this may be true, but keep in mind that SparkNET began 2013 with over 50 employees and ended the year with about 35 and as such is no longer required to provide FMLA benefits.

    Leadership also claimed in a response that Editorial positions have 50% higher pay than just 3-4 years ago. Based on this Editorial positions would be paying over $30,000 per year which is untrue. If this were the case there are employees in far more technical roles that are grossly underpaid. Even so, bottom line is that current wages and benefits are not enough to attract and retain top talent.

    Base pay and vacation time were recently increased. While some employees were given a raise or extra days off for no reason other than the sole purpose of responding to criticism, not included were those employees that have worked hard to earn extra pay or time off and were already over the newly established thresholds.

    On the assertion that no one in SparkNET leadership ever encouraged team members to submit reviews, while no one encouraged a "fake review", the truth is that the VP of the company did encourage team members to leave positive reviews.

    Advice to Management

    The recent public comments and actions taken by leadership in response to the naysayers is creating even more resentment amongst your team. Most of what is left have been there long enough to see right through your side of the story. Responding to criticism that is over a year old does nothing to address the problems of today.

    SparkNET Interactive Response

    Apr 22, 2015 – CEO

    If you disapprove of the CEO, have a negative outlook on the company and don't recommend people to join us, then I wonder if you're part of the problem? ie: Why not leave if you hate it so much? I ... More


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Good tech & employees, horrible management"

    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

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

    Pros

    Free food, decent benefits and most of the tools you need to do your job. Newer tech being used, too.

    Cons

    Narcissistic management. Very low pay for employees while management flaunts expensive toys and offices taking up half a floor. They will hire you with low pay promising it'll improve with performance, but it never does. They are always looking to have something on you to threaten, demean, and eventually fire you.

    Ignore the obvious PR feedback on Glassdoor. The company has pushed people to come up here and post scripted feedback with 5 stars in every category, with cons that sound positive for the company.

    Advice to Management

    No point, they aren't listening.

    SparkNET Interactive Response

    Feb 11, 2014 – CEO

    I've never told anyone on our team to write a scripted review but when team members tell us that they really enjoy working here, heck YES, we'd ask them to share their experience. As for pay ... More


  10. Helpful (9)

    "More Lies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Control in De Pere, WI
    Former Employee - Quality Control in De Pere, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free food and hmm, that's it.

    Cons

    I read the responses Knight/Knutson keep leaving to negative reviews trying to save face and can't help but laugh hysterically. I sure wish Glassdoor gave us reviewers the ability to respond to those responses. All of these negative reviews are spot-on, however.

    First off, YES, management did encourage current employees to 'fluff' the company up. Want to know why this is a fact? One, more than one person left a review on here claiming so. Quite the coincidence?? Second, I wasn't even employed with SpankNET anymore - but was forwarded the email by employees still unfortunate enough to work there - how else would I have known to graciously write a truthful review on Glassdoor if I had not heard about that?

    Next, I was supposedly given a 35-42% based on the response left to my initial review. So, take into consideration my starting pay was $10 and after 5 years I made less than $12 despite consistently leading the team in production along with QUALITY of production. Instead of pretending I made $13.50-$14.20, why not just admit you completely fail at big business ownership and management? How dare you try and refute my claims when I have paystubs to prove such things. Not to mention, out of everyone I knew employed there, I MADE MORE THAN THEM and was the longest tenured employee upon my departure! The only raise I ever got out of this place was a bathroom nooner with another employee.

    Also, as a side-note, it's disgusting to feel uncomfortable simply talking to the HR person about a problem without feeling like the only outcome is you being scolded.

    Let's follow up this honesty session by concluding the only people happy here are the people lining their own pockets, along with the people who have never had another job in their lives and think the ability to find an employer who respects and appreciates you is nonexistent because of the 'economy'.

    Folks, if you want something bad enough, it is yours for the taking. Don't succumb to the flashy style of SparkNUT. Find somewhere else that will truly listen to you and help you and recognizes your value. This is not the place for anything good unless you're into sitting in a hot tub containing the urine of your colleagues.

    Advice to Management

    Fold. And seriously, stop lying. The culture is absolutely brought on by poor leadership. You are the fuel to the negativity fire.


  11. Helpful (9)

    "Personality Cult Driven With Unfortunate Personalities"

    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

    Read the company website for the pros, but realize it's all window dressing. This place is a sweatshop, the developers are treated slightly better but ultimately anyone at the bottom is underpaid and treated with no respect.

    Also, be aware that benefits are subject to be taken away at any moment.

    Cons

    Company mantra is that you are always failing, and can be replaced at a moments notice, if they aren't hearing this directly, you can rest assure your supervisor is hearing about and is tried to protect you from their insanity.

    You will be treated like you deserve nothing until you are attained perfection. Fortunately upper management has already achieved this, and is now infallible.

    If you think of a small company as a family, this one is highly dysfunctional. Management cannot admit there is a problem, they refuse to take their meds, go to their meetings or see their shrink.

    Advice to Management

    If this company was public the CEO and VP would have resigned or been forced out, my advice is for both of them to do that now, admit you failed and leave.

    But first, prepare the company to be relaunch without yourselves. Rehire you're fleeing development team, all the way back to developer #0. Entice them with massive salaries with back pay and hope they come back.

    Then leave the technology field forever.

    Alternatively, admit publicly you don't know what you're doing. Admit that you drove a Top 50 Alexa company into the ground by refusing to listen to your developers. Admit you are incompetent and cut your salaries to $1 until the company is profitable.

    Give every employee a 40% pay increase and increase pay until you are able to hire and retain senior level developers. Until then, stop claiming to be a technology company.

    Final option, admit you are the Walmart of Technology companies. During orientation include an anti-unionaization video and documentation on how to apply for government assistance. Because at your company wages, they will be eligible for government assistance.

    Admit that while times were good you will again sucked up the profits and never shared any of the gains with your employees, because you are the job creators. Continue to remind your employees they are lucky to have a job.



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