Upside Business Travel Reviews | Glassdoor

Upside Business Travel Reviews

Updated July 24, 2018
51 reviews

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4.4
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Upside Business Travel CEO Jay Walker
Jay Walker
39 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "If you're not up for a fast-paced, close-knit environment, this isn't the place for you" (in 3 reviews)

  • "One nice "new" would be office space" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "The Opportunity of My Career"

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

    I have been working at Upside Business Travel full-time

    Pros

    It's a rare gift to be able to work for and with people who you both like and respect. Leadership at Upside is comprised of quality human beings who are the most intelligent I have worked for. They are accessible and genuine.

    Everyone is here because they truly want to be. Not everyone is built to thrive in this environment. But if you are, you will. There is a palpable energy.

    Leadership and management here trust employees not only to do their jobs but also to take risks, and learn.

    Often I find myself so engaged in what I am doing that I forget I am actually at "work." I think about work when I am not at work… not because I have to, but because I want to.

    It is exciting to be a part of something that has grown so quickly in such a short time. It will be exciting to see what happens next.

    As a designer with a storied career, I understand the importance of loving one's job, and I do.

    Cons

    So much activity and things going on that at times it is hard to focus. That would be true at any startup though. Slack is hard to keep up with. Also, true anywhere.

    Office space is a challenge... but again... it is a startup and will evolve.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to protect everything good that has been built here, especially the remarkable culture, which starts at the top.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Jan 15, 2018 – President

    Thank you for the kind words! Upsiders like you keep us moving forward and work to consistently take us from good to great. Please keep the feedback coming! - Scott


  2. "Excitement is Contagious"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Upside Business Travel full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Best co-workers around. Smart, engaging, enthusiastic, collaborative. Management values transparency and communicates early and often. While we go fast, we also take the time to self-reflect and optimize. Fantastic work environment if you're motivated.

    Cons

    Fast pace, might be overwhelming for some.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Jul 30, 2018 – President

    I agree! We have an awesome team and it's colleagues like you that help us maintain a great work environment. Thank you for the feedback! - Scott

  3. "Great team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Upside Business Travel full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Health benefits are great
    Awesome company culture
    Very diverse

    Cons

    The extremely fast paced, high results driven environment isn't for the faint of heart.

    Advice to Management

    Always maintain the company culture!

    Upside Business Travel Response

    May 7, 2018 – President

    Thank you for your comments and feedback around our culture and benefits. I agree, the pace is fast and energizing for many, but it's not for everyone. Glad you had a positive experience and thank... More


  4. "Great learning opportunity and amazing co-workers!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Member of Technical Staff in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Upside Business Travel full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Extremely smart and driven co-workers
    - An amazing product built from the ground up using microservices and a state-of-the-art technology stack
    - Given ownership of problems immediately and no constraints for how to solve them
    - New office space in Thomas Circle is amazing

    Cons

    - Recent layoffs were a bit of shock, but were necessary for the company and product to move forward
    - In the old office, it was sometimes difficult to stay connected with various teams when the company was split on two floors, but the new office solves this problem

    Advice to Management

    - Keep laser focused on the product and what our customers are saying about it
    - Continue to be transparent and open about the direction of the company

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Apr 13, 2018 – President

    Thanks for your great feedback. Glad you are diggin' the new space. Thanks for working hard to continuously deliver toward our product vision. We really appreciate the positive and constructive... More


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great while it lasted"

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

    I worked at Upside Business Travel full-time

    Pros

    The best people I've ever worked with were all here. No office jerks. Very little ego and amazing teams to work with. Decent work-life balance for a startup and some okay perks. Salaries were a bit higher than other places. I will always rank this as one of the best places I've ever worked. I miss everyone terribly and more than anything would just like to be back at work doing my job and helping move the company forward. CTO, COO/CFO were two of the most inspiring people I've ever worked with.

    Cons

    The irony of firing the people who were talking about making better margins while keeping the people who blew through the money that led to layoffs will not pay off in the long run. The marketing team in general was weak and given way too much freedom in the company. It grew so quickly that the other departments were quickly overwhelmed by their requests. As others have mentioned, there did seem to be some nepotism, but I generally liked those people and found them reasonably competent at their jobs.

    Communication could have been better. Despite a commitment to transparency, when it came time to lay people off, it was not transparent at all and everyone was treated like a criminal. Funnily enough, most of the people who've posted reviews since who worked there are generally positive while the one negative review is from a current employee.

    Also health insurance just isn't on par with any company I've ever worked at. Not matching 401k contributions is pretty common at startups, but usually compensated for it other ways. It kind of felt like they were skimping to save a bit of money.

    Advice to Management

    You just fired all of your managers, you've got to fill that void somehow. Managers might seem like they're just in meetings all of the time, but they did a lot of important communication work for their teams. The people left need to figure out how to find room for people who are left to do that management work.

    I think you made a lot of missteps when you did the layoff, from who you let go to how you executed it. For the sake of everyone left, I hope you guys figure it out. Morale is really low and current employees weren't given the resources they needed to cope with a third of their friends leaving. I hate hearing that from them and really want it to work out for them.

    Finally, while OKRs should be a guide, I think that if you look back at the ones you set at the end of last year, you could easily see how you got into the position where you had to layoff a bunch of your staff. Distractions like WSJ and other projects crowded out the work engineering needed to do. Try to not let that happen again.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Apr 2, 2018 – President

    We're really glad you had a great experience on the team. The process of right sizing the business was based on customer feedback indicating that we are on the right track but have to invest more... More


  6. Helpful (16)

    "The Downsides to Upside..."

    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 Upside Business Travel full-time

    Pros

    Some great people work here and you build connections that are very genuine. For the most part no "office jerks" and everyone is willing to help you out. Willing to start at a higher than typical entry level salary,not much higher but it's something. (Also not certain if this is still the case).

    Cons

    Reviews are not always what they seem. They push for new employees to review Upside as soon as they join and strongly suggest we give 5 star ratings and nothing else. The Leadership is very disconnected, often times implying that if something is "wrong" the issue is not management, lack there of structure, etc. but in fact it is you and "aren't the right fit for Upside". Not very helpful. No constructive criticism, only weird roundabout questioning to "give you leadership" but in fact just delays and frustrates employees. They advocate for radical transparency but they are definitely jumping on that start up bandwagon and do not actually practice this. Additionally the question of nepotism can be raised. Some folks here are just carry overs from previous Jay Walker companies and they are clearly not the most qualified person to be in that position but no questions are asked or raised due to some type of unspoken "immunity". Lastly there is lack of any consistency in terms of what the "culture" here is and it's difficult for the leadership team to even define; so the certainly aren't promoting it in the office.

    Advice to Management

    Manage. There isn't much of that going on and there needs to be an understanding that everyone is not like everyone else; some might love the laissez faire approach, but the methods practiced here are is a little extreme. Also practice what you preach. Transparent? O.K. Give us transparency. Otherwise strike it from being one of your pillars. Figure out what the Upside Culture really is and put it into place. Lastly hear and process feedback from employees. They are genuinely trying to help boost the company but that falls pretty flat after constantly being ignored or told they are better suited elsewhere.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Apr 2, 2018 – President

    Our team is definitely filled with smart, hardworking people and we have a zero- tolerance for jerks. We listen and process all the feedback we get and we definitely have a strong bias towards... More


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Half of the team laid off without notice"

    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 Upside Business Travel full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Well, things were alright while they lasted. Everyone was drinking the Kool-Aid, and then... Bam. Half of the personnel were let go. Massive waste of time, and disappointment.

    Cons

    It all was a con.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Apr 2, 2018 – President

    Startups are filled with feedback loops and sometimes new information requires us to take actions that are incredibly disruptive. We should talk when you are ready so you have a more complete... More

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Big Blind Spots"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Upside Business Travel full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Amazing group of people. Incredibly talented team.
    -Competitive pay
    -Will give you a competitive edge in your career
    -President, COO/CFO and CTO are inspiring leaders. Some great people work here.

    Cons

    -Company is not doing well and many employees saw it coming. Leadership doesn't listen to constructive feedback. Anytime anyone has feedback on team collaboration, the product, environment, etc they are told that the problem is their own negativity.
    -CPO (People Officer) is completely tone deaf. Leadership doesn't realize the business problems caused because of her hostility and how difficult it can be to work with her.

    Advice to Management

    -Listen to your people. Be open to criticism. It will benefit of the company.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Apr 2, 2018 – President

    We are all owners - each of us with the responsibility and authority to improve the business. We do have a remarkable group of people and we listen carefully to our primary customers (DIY business... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "If you want to work with smart, innovative, people revolutionizing and industry - this place is for you!"

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

    I have been working at Upside Business Travel full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Start up culture. No formal hierarchy. Fast paced - working with cutting edge technology. Leadership team is very transparent with information - more so than any place I have ever worked before. Almost everyone is super passionate about the mission and comes to work every day ready to get after it. Nerf gun fights every Friday! Location, pay is good - they pay very well for top talent.

    Cons

    Not a con for me - but if you are looking for a 9 to Fiver job - this is not the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Feb 25, 2018 – President

    Thanks for the kind words! It's great to hear we've set the bar for you (so far!) on transparency. If you ever want more info don't hesitate to ask - chances are other members of our team may have... More


  10. "Fast, Friendly & Energizing"

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

    I have been working at Upside Business Travel full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Upside is customer focused and has come a long way in the past year figuring out product-market fit. The team has handled the twists and turns well. Co-workers are welcoming and supportive even with the incredibly fast pace. Overall the energy is positive and infectious - especially since you get real ownership from day 1. Exciting to see the product incorporate more machine learning & AI to enhance the overall trip experience.

    Cons

    This place is fast, fast, fast. New tech, new tactics & change are happening daily. A day feels like a week - if that's not energizing this isn't a good place. One nice "new" would be office space. It should help with crowding and limited meeting room space. Being on two floors is a drag.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to customers & employees and acting on the feedback.

    Upside Business Travel Response

    Jan 15, 2018 – President

    Thanks for the feedback! We definitely move fast here and are growing rapidly! Running out of office space is a good problem to have, but we're working diligently on identifying a new space. Stay... More