empowr Reviews | Glassdoor

empowr Reviews

Updated October 27, 2018
123 reviews

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3.9
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Michael Pousti
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great and inspiring working environment" (in 20 reviews)

  • "I work from home anytime because the work time is very flexible and this is great" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Zero work life balance and business practices with users of the platform is a shade away from being considered a pyramid scheme" (in 6 reviews)

  • "When he attends he makes everyone super uncomfortable since he's socially awkward so no one really talks" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (10)

    "Fantastic company"

    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 empowr part-time

    Pros

    Great support, wonderful team members, flexible hours.

    Cons

    No downsides to this company, love it!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.


  2. Helpful (19)

    "Failing Company"

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

    I worked at empowr full-time

    Pros

    1.The idea for the product is interesting.

    Cons

    1. CEO is awful to work with. This company is TINY only about 8 people so you HAVE to interact with him every morning for scrum. Multiple times he has cussed at and belittled employees, including the VP. He completely lacks professionalism, many people have left and only 7 people remain.
    2. The company is failing. They have been unable to make payroll so they have moved everyone down to almost minimum wage, that includes their senior developers and DBA. For this tons of people have left.
    3. THIS IS NOT A STARTUP. The company was originally founded in 2002, they were originally SMS.ac and FanBox. FanBox received tons of negative publicity because they did not pay their employees.
    4. You will be expected to work weekends, mornings and everything in between. The Founder has said people who need work life balance are losers and will NEVER be successful.
    5. NO Culture. If you have to go in for an interview the first thing you will notice is it's DEAD QUIET. You could hear a pin drop. There are company happy hours but the Founder goes to them. When he attends he makes everyone super uncomfortable since he's socially awkward so no one really talks.
    5. the product looks like it was made in the 90's and is not very user friendly. There are always tons of bugs and problems with the code because the main developer is super sloppy with his code.

    Advice to Management

    1. Get the founder out!

  3. Helpful (9)

    "Top down inexperienced management and founder"

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

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

    Pros

    Occasionally get free lunches ordered via GrubHub

    Cons

    Founder Michael Pousti lacks professionalism across the board. Zero work life balance and business practices with users of the platform is a shade away from being considered a pyramid scheme. Even the platform is built in such a way to compound impressions and inflate numbers.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to say no the founder and if possible push him out of day to day operations.


  4. Helpful (23)

    "History of corrupt practices"

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

    I worked at empowr full-time

    Pros

    Free food. You are free to leave.

    Cons

    Be sure to research the founders, Michael Pousti and Brandie Williams-Smith. I wish I had. Be sure to research their past companies, SMS.ac and FanBox...they had many legal issues related to employee relations as well as fraud and other problems.

    You will be asked to work for little or no pay, so you can "change the world" which is really just an online MLM thing. Even if this is your first job and you're desperate, don't accept an offer. You will regret it. The founders have a very bad reputation among VC's and the general San Diego tech community. They have to hire very junior people, usually from somewhere else, because nobody who knows what they're doing will work for them. Pousti has no moral or ethical hangups about treating people poorly, using them up, and then tossing them aside like used tissues. He will promise that you will become a zillionaire, but just search through LinkedIn and contact any employee at the companies mentioned above and see how that turned out for them.

    Advice to Management

    No point in wasting my time here.


  5. Helpful (20)

    "Member Services"

    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

    Pros

    Your coworkers are amazing people, lunch and dinners, snacks, and fully stocked fridge.

    Cons

    The CEO and management don't care about the well being of any of their employees. Just their own paychecks.

    Advice to Management

    Realize your employees are what keep you in business, not the other way around.


  6. Helpful (14)

    "Growth Opportunity"

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

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

    Pros

    I have learned a lot while working here over the years, more than I would have thought possible. Being a small team, I am able to wear many hats and help others. I have a voice here and am able to make an impact.

    I believe in the companies mission and vision. The product is getting better every day, it is not perfect but no startup is at the beginning.

    Cons

    Hard work. There is a lot to do and always more that can be done so if you like to be busy and challenged this is the place for you. There is pressure at times as well so if you don't have think skin, you will get it.

    Advice to Management

    Spend as much time with your employees as possible to get them to where you want them to be. Easier said than done but find the time...


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    Free employee lunch and flexible time

    Cons

    Lack of how to proceed with their vision

  8. Helpful (26)

    "Zero Direction or Work/Life Balance"

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

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

    Pros

    First, set the sort on these reviews to review by rating and start at the last page. For a company with less than 20 employees, there sure are a lot of reviews. This is because the users/success coaches on the site are also writing reviews (but have no idea what it's like to work for the company).

    Nice coworkers, passionate founder - he was abrasive and demanding, so if you are overly sensitive I would suggest working elsewhere.

    Cons

    The other 1-3 star reviews hit the nail on the head but I will reiterate:

    1. Too much focus on the future vision of the company and a complete lack of focus on making the current product less cringe-worthy because of the constant first to market mentality.

    2. The vacation time is not actual vacation time, you are still expected to work and answer your emails on weekends and even on holidays. This is not a M-F 9-5 its a 365 day a year responsibility. Your job will be threatened by management otherwise.

    3. Since management doesn't even know what they are asking or looking for, they create vague project assignments and set unrealistic deadlines.

    4. Everything is considered urgent, and therefore nothing is - yet you're expected to have it all done immediately.

    6. There is zero work life balance and your physical and emotional well-being will suffer tremendously while working here.

    7. I had a senior business valuations expert take a look at the valuation they placed on the company, and found my “shares” to be worth less than $200.00 today, so you have to be in it for the longgggg haul and believe in this company – which means drinking the kool aid and living, eating, sleeping and breathing this company while being compensated pennies. Take your salary offer and to figure out your hourly rate, make sure to divide your weekly pay by at least 55hrs.

    8. Zero health benefits, extremely low salary, and you have to pay for parking ($12-$20/day). They say they will start offering benefits when they get to 50 employees, but the turnover rate is so high that this won’t happen anytime soon.

    9. They provide a lot of free food (2 meals a day, sometimes 3) but that is so you don’t ever leave the office or take breaks. I would sit at my desk from 8a to at least 630p (sometimes later) because a) that’s what the rest of the staff did, b) they’d want to meet with you about a finished project before you left, so if you didn’t finish you had to keep working. Since most of the employees are misclassified as exempt, this is extremely illegal.

    10. After working there and using the site, I would never recommend becoming a user to anyone I know. It’s extremely difficult to make any real money, and it takes hours each day to meet these goals. Everyone’s just posting and clicking aimlessly to meet their daily goals, and aren’t providing any valuable content. You might even lose a few brain cells.

    Advice to Management

    Don't assume new employee's have the same zest for the company as you do.

    WORK LIFE BALANCE.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great collaberative team environment with amazing learning potential. I learned a great deal in my time there. I will use these skills and the work ethic i gained for the rest of my career. My thoughts and voice was heard which meant a lot to me. I made an impact.

    Cons

    There can be a lot of pressure at times. It's a startup so things can change with very little notice so you have to switch gears and be ready to perform. No one can just cruise by, everyone adds value and is important the companies success.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest time and energy into your employees as it's going to pay off...big!


  10. Helpful (24)

    "Deceptive Practices"

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

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

    Pros

    During my time there what I loved most were the people I worked with. They were smart and dedicated. They were all sucked into a bad situation.

    Cons

    Simple: Was hired and not told that there was money issues. Job and company were miss represented. Week over week we would be told that there may be a time where we would not be able to collect a paycheck. Mike the CEO is mentally abusive and completely full of himself. I left on my own accord because I could not stand to watch people be used. He loves hiring straight out of college because he figures they are less likely to know what a real company looks like. Making engineers work a obviously illegal amount of time. The atmosphere in the office is complete silence, because there is no joy in being there.

    Advice to Management

    You seriously need to shift the toxic culture you have there. You cannot lie to people to work there and expect there to be loyalty. The way you hire and the way management behaves is a joke. I am upset I allowed a year of my life to be taken.