Sparkcentral Reviews | Glassdoor

Sparkcentral Reviews

Updated February 21, 2019
35 reviews

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Sparkcentral CEO Joe Gagnon
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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Many More Hits Than Misses"

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

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

    Pros

    • Autonomy - Employees are entrusted and empowered to do their job
    • CEO - Davy brings a ton of energy and vision to this role, and is as approachable and open a CEO you will ever find
    • Cooperation - Members from all departments are quick to offer assistance and lend their skill and expertise to aid others
    • Passion - Employees truly care about the success of the product and the client base
    • Workplace - Great location, all the office perks and amenities you will need, fun people to work with

    Cons

    • Churn - There has been a fair share of likeable and talented people leave the company for various reasons which has hurt morale and culture, but the overall energy in the company is on the upswing
    • Communication - For a small company, there are too many communication gaps between teams, upper management and subordinates, etc.
    • Experience - There has been a dearth of tried-and-true department leaders which has hindered the company as it looks to mature. However, as a result of some recent changes, new leaders are emerging who have thus far demonstrated a level of commitment and tenaciousness that was lacking in some previous execs, so there's reason for optimism.

    Advice to Management

    • Continue to hire smartly and bring in experienced people who can push the product and the team to where they need to be, while also positively contributing to the culture we have all helped to foster
    • Continue to invest in the people who are here for the right reasons and bring their best day in and day out, and have results to show for it
    • (To Davy) Be more decisive, especially with personnel decisions. Dragging your feet on making difficult but necessary decisions leads to backchanneling and uncertainty amongst your team. People will stand behind your decisions, especially if you act decisively and thoughtfully.

    Overall, keep grinding, keep your execs accountable, and keep pushing Sparkcentral to reach new heights, and let's continue to have some fun in the process.

    Sparkcentral Response

    Aug 28, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you. Whoever you are on our team - know you're one of my rocks.

    I fully agree with your review and I'm working to address the cons as swiftly as possible. Per your personal note to me - I am... More


  2. "Good product, management struggles, nice people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Enjoyed working with the team and solving technical challenges

    Cons

    Struggling to have a fixed roadmap and focus on delivering features according to it.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Outlook not so good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Unlimited PTO
    Quiet office
    Free lunch
    Chill colleagues who care about the company's future.

    Some really compelling use cases if the company can ever get them into production.

    Cons

    TLDR: Not growing; restructuring workforce, product too expensive, circling the drain.

    The company tried to ramp and scale after a round of funding and shortly thereafter had a restructuring after missing target goals. The problem was that they made a typical startup mistake by backfilling roles internally with people that weren't equipped or skilled enough to do them.

    Everyone is a Director of this or a Director of that. The company is dying for skilled leadership and managers on every level: engineering, marketing, sales and customer success. For the love of God, bring in outside people to re-align departments and get some serious expertise into the building.

    The product also suffers from being tethered to outside platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    Very little enhancements over the past few years despite being very expensive for the space.

    Not convinced customer engagement is a core spend for large companies over more pressing matters.

    Losing logos, little growth.

    Advice to Management

    Sell.


  4. "Nice colleagues and work but bad management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very friendly and passionate colleagues
    Challenging work atmosphere
    Catered lunches
    Unlimited vacation

    Cons

    Management does not know what they are doing.
    Priorities keep changing
    Low pay


  5. Helpful (3)

    "fun while it lasted"

    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

    I worked at Sparkcentral full-time

    Pros

    Get drunk with the CEO
    Fun people to work with
    Good spirits

    Cons

    CEO is a cool guy to hang out with, but not sure if he knows how to lead a company.
    Same can be said about some other VPs, seniors

    Advice to Management

    Need an engineering leader who has done it before: scaled a big data platform, grew through the ranks from individual contributor to a respected leader, and isn't afraid to hold people accountable. Someone who actually makes engineering decisions and know help young hungry developers grow.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "The good, the bad, and the ugly..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I have been working at Sparkcentral full-time

    Pros

    The problem the company is setting out to solve is a huge pain point for businesses, therefore the market for a product like what Sparkcentral wants to become is definitely there. Like most companies in the Bay, there are some truly talented gems here and it's a diverse mix of people. The HR leader sincerely cares about the employees has done a lot over the past year to improve morale, considering all the unfortunate changes that have gone on. Last but not least, the SF office space has great views and is in a convenient location for commuters - just a few short blocks from the Bart station and several Muni stops.

    Cons

    Should you find yourself in a leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks....

    Unfortunately, there are too many issues at this company to count, which is why most people are leaving + they recently laid off a huge portion of the company. The product hasn't made any significant feature improvements in years (BIG platforming issues) and all the core customers have finally caught on..talk about churn rate. Leadership and engineering did a great job hiding all the product flaws from the sales organization until customers caught on and started leaving like wildfire. The product and technology execs (although smart) were extremely young and under qualified (first-time execs.) and it set the company back at least a few years from the competition. Last but not least, the CEO is notorious for saying unprofessional comments ALL THE TIME. He's an immature twenty-something-year-old (who refers to himself as a "sociopath") and an HR ticking time bomb. Eek.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to the board - if you want your investment to have a chance of returning anything, hire an experienced CEO. To the other leaders - hire a metric obsessed, focused, product leader with a successful track record (and one that actually gets along with engineering). Pave the path for employees to grow within the company. You can't create great followers under poor leadership.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Company has deteriorated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Sparkcentral full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible work hours
    Catered lunches
    WFH option
    Clean and big office

    Cons

    No transparency from leadership
    Immature CEO
    Inexperienced VP's (fake it until you make it)
    Product stability
    Customer churn
    No diversity
    Product is sold on vision, not function
    No career growth

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Sinking ship"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -catered lunches
    -work/life balance
    -good vacation policy
    -some fun and dedicated employees
    -good location
    -regular company meetings
    -Work from home options

    Cons

    -Immature CEO
    -too much vision, not enough action
    -management and upper leadership are more focused on their position in the company than doing what it takes to turn the company around.

    Advice to Management

    -be vocally supportive of your employees. Good people constantly fall through the cracks because of no review or development structures in place.
    -sales should stop hiring one type of employee. Diversity is a good thing and it might just help the bottom line.
    -"wherever you go, there you are"- just because headcount/employees change doesn't mean functionality problems go away.

    Sparkcentral Response

    Aug 4, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you, I appreciate the feedback!

    Send me a personal note, I'm happy to go grab a coffee and learn how you feel I could improve.

    With that said, we're definitely a company that's evolving... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing Place to Hang Your Work Hat"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Friendly, passionate coworkers.
    -CEO is very vision focused and is transparent as possible with employees on where we are headed as a company/steps to reach that vision.
    -Everyone has a "pitch in and help" attitude-- I've yet to encounter anyone that possesses a "that's not my job" vibe.
    -Super positive work environment.
    -Excellent work/life balance.
    -Awesome benefits: Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k, FSA, Company Equity, Unlimited PTO, Catered Lunch (even for those with dietary restrictions!)
    -Always something to do/project to tackle!
    -Ability to work from home when appropriate.

    Cons

    -Typical growing pains for a young/expanding company in the organization/daily operations department, but everyone in company is eager for systems to be put into place.
    - You can't bring your office-friendly dogs to work because of building rules (sorry, Fido)

    Advice to Management

    -Management team can benefit from trainings to have a unified tone and consistent approach to issues that pop up with staff.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great environment for motivated people"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Autonomy - if you're moving the company forward, hitting your goals, and contributing positively to the culture, you will be rewarded with more responsibility and autonomy.
    Opportunities - This one is tough for startups. With increased responsibilities and autonomy, there is implicit career development. I have seen colleagues grow into management and senior roles.
    Interesting work - Once you understand what Sparkcentral is, you realize how cool and interesting it is (relative to other SaaS companies).
    Fun and smart people - I'm not friends with everyone at work, but everyone is very friendly. The executive team is approachable and willing to have a candid or friendly conversation if you make it clear that you want to talk (more on this in the cons).
    Growing company - Business is good and our leadership is getting smarter and more strategic. We are growing and seeing new faces on a regular basis.
    Work/life balance - I have never worked at a small startup where I was able to sleep for more than 6 hours a night on a frequent and regular basis until now. There are weeks where we eat dinner at the office a few nights in a row, but those are productive nights and infrequent.
    Perks - The usual: unlimited PTO, lunch four days a week, coffee, snacks, 401k, flexible WFH policy

    Cons

    Management not mind readers - The executive team and other management can seem out of touch with the rest of the company at times. Often talking with them solves this.
    Resources of a startup - If you can make a good case why you need more resources (raise, software, conference, etc), you can usually get them. But this is a startup and budgets are strict. Salaries aren't higher here than large companies, but are much higher than I have seen at other startups that are at our point.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example. If you want open, candid communication, you physically have to be there and help initiate it. Don't let checked out employees or redundant roles slow down the momentum we have today. Encourage us to get back to the culture we had prior to the last six months by celebrating the small things with us.

    Sparkcentral Response

    Oct 3, 2016 – CEO

    This is Davy, CEO. Thank you for the feedback. I absolutely agree with your points and I feel that this review is the most accurate representation of the company at this very moment.

    In regards to... More