CouchSurfing

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CouchSurfing Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 28 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Tony Espinoza

(5 ratings)

54% of employees recommend this company to a friend
28 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Amazing company, idea and office. But poorly managed

    DevOps Eng (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsAmazing company culture, people, love, team.
    Work is really interesting, and there was a lot to improve, and build why was really exciting!
    The office is really cozy, feels like a huge living room with couches everywhere
    Company retreat every year

    ConsReally poorly managed by people that did NOT understand what CouchSurfing culture and idea really is.
    They're managing it heartlessly and kept firing and hiring all the time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGood benefits package, dental health vision
    Lunch & dinner every weekday
    Unlimited paid time off (based on agreement with manager)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    1 person found this helpful  

    Fabulous people & meaningful work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWonderful co-workers, great pay & benefits, excellent food, puppy-friendly, great warehouse space in Potrero Hill.

    ConsYou'll put on weight due to the excellent food!
    A smaller team means that there is a lot of work to be done - work / life balance can sometimes suffer.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of certainty and direction.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsThe food is phenomenal

    The office is open and airy, with swings, ping pong table, and plants/trees

    A really cool platform that creates a great community

    ConsMore than one mass layoff and several other firings made for a company culture where employees wonder whether they would also suddenly find themselves unemployed one day

    Revenue model ideas that changed on a weekly basis made for uncertainty

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Time to go back to the roots that created this awesome community

    Programmer (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsHere are some of the good things about this company:
    Great Chef
    Great Office
    Good Pay
    Awesome product
    Talented Team
    Phenomenal Passionate Community

    ConsHere are some of the things I did not like:
    Lack of Clear direction
    Upper Management takes no Responsibility: blames, fire and rehire.
    The last two years the new Management TOTALLY 'missed the boat'

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake responsibility of your fault and stop blaming all us employees that had trouble keeping up with lack of direction all the time.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Speechless...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsNice people, handmade chef meal for lunch and dinner, spacious fun office, competitive compensation.

    ConsDefinitely capital ruined this place. Bunch of employees got fired suddenly including people just got hired within a month. I don't think this company has clear vision and strategy to generate revenue to pay back to VC unfortunately.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease do not forget there are actual people who love doing Couchsurfing all over the world. This is about being curious, making a connection and giving them more than you took.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    1 person found this helpful  

    Future not looking good for this company.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros- Great food
    - Friendly people
    - Didn't feel like you were a slave to the man
    - Chill, open vibe

    ConsAll of the pros were remnants of the previous regime. Capital ruined this place.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTransparency rules all.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Learned a lot in a short amount of time

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsMy coworkers were passionate, intelligent and committed to solving challenging problems that affect millions of people's everyday lives.

    ConsThere was a difficult period in the team's integrity when the new CEO, Tony Espinoza, came on board and adopted a higher set of standards and expectations of everyone. Some of the veteran employees didn't adapt to the cultural shift and there were some bitter endings.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A Short Experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros-Great Perks
    -Inspiring Office Environment
    -Good Food
    -Great Balance Between Work and Play
    -Flat Structure
    -Skilled Fantastic People Working There
    -Tony the CEO is a very Cool Guy!

    It was fantastic to work at Couchsurfing. However, my whole team got laid off due to change of focus. Couchsurfing in itself is a very cool concept that I believe is making a significant change in this world!

    Cons-Lack of Direction
    -Recent Change from the Original Founders to a new CEO created Massive Layoffs and I think they lost trust and momentum.
    -Uncertain Future
    -Reliant on Investors to operate at current capacity
    -Lost the passion that shined from the Original Crew

    The new management was not honest with the employees. And it seemed that the managements solution to problems was always to hire or fire, rather than effectively directing and managing the current staff. In my short time there, I saw people come and go on a weekly basis.

    They also favored a particular culture or skill sets rather than embracing different types of employees, which the original Couchsurfing was all about.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGood luck! You need it...

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    A Company that Lost its Soul

    Engineer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros-Great benefits
    -A typical Generic Silicon Valley Company
    -Lots of Employees from reputable companies such as Apple etc.
    -Many great talents
    -The CEO Tony is a very nice guy and a joy to work with.

    Cons-If you looking for a different company with extraordinary values and the diversity Couchsurfing community represented, this is not your company. Don’t get fooled by their ‘we are different’ marketing. However, if you looking for a crowd that all think a like. Go for it!

    -There are a lot of “know it all” and big Egos in the middle management that will quickly resign their ideas to blame others for the failures they constantly make. Lots of Politics here!

    -As you can see from reviews the new management was not happy with the old employees. They are also bad mouthing their performance. How can you bad mouth someone who created the biggest social travel site in the world with over 5 million members? Did any of you new employees do that? Any takers?

    -You can read from these reviews the new crew seem very intolerant to what they call hippies? That’s showing a very intolerant attitude towards a diverse culture Couchsurfing is, and if you read reviews online you will find upset previous members that feel the new management is very incompetent.

    -Yes, they were “hippies”, that didn’t know what they were doing and got screwed by the investors. They worked for free for many years and had real passion for this community.

    -Take away the salary lets see how much time the “new crew” is putting out.

    Advice to Senior Management-The management is very insecure and not flexible to understand other types of values than numbers on a spreadsheet. (I guess thats what you’re hired to do)

    -Stop blaming the old system for errors. That is getting old. You have had 1 1/2 Years to change things around. Your “new” product such as place pages is worse than the old one. Thats just to show how “bad” job the old members did.

    -I understand a new management wanted to hire their own crew. However, it could have been done in a less sneaky way. You could have communicated directly to people instead of giving them no indication of what was going on. I think that’s why it created such resentment. This could have gone down very differently.

    -And if you fail to reach your goal don’t blame the hippies and don’t give the investors the copout “8 of 10 Startups fail.. not our fault, we did the best we could. Lets find another job!” Couchsurfing has been around for over 7 years and it’s not a startup.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    A fascinating experiment to be a part of

    Web Applications Engineer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsYou already know this if you've read the reviews, but it can't be said enough — the food is fabulous, the office is beautiful and sunny, and our office is full of thoughtful, intelligent and talented people.

    You get to contribute to a product that changes people's lives and makes the world a better place, and I say this as a hardened cynic.

    Management is receptive and accessible, and while there are layers of bureaucracy, they're thin.

    The paid time off policy is pretty rad (although it isn't actually "unlimited")

    ConsCouchsurfing isn't run by hippies anymore. It's run by people whose primary experience has been in more traditionally commercial arenas, and it shows.

    Couchsurfing has worked in the past because of a community of people who stepped in to fill gaps left by the technology, which were (and continue to be) enormous. The upside of this is a global community that is extremely engaged and passionate about Couchsurfing. The downside of this is difficulty to scale, constant internecine warfare, and a system that *kind of* worked, but only for a certain type of person.

    The new management doesn't believe the community should be the main force that keeps the site running, and they are intent on replacing lots of functions that used to be served by the community with technology. I personally think this is a bad idea, but management is honest about it, and I am willing to be party to this experiment to see if it works.

    Also, from a technical perspective, you're swimming upstream against massive amounts of technical debt the day you start, and while there is lots of institutional support for fixing it, things move so fast that it's hard to get a foothold against it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't talk trash about people that are critical of the company's new direction within earshot of all the employees. Also, don't talk trash about "anarchists" and "the occupy movement" as if you can safely assume all of your employees have the same opinion about those things. Assume there is political diversity in your workplace and act accordingly.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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