Richard TK

142 karmaJoined Dec 2022


Thank you for your response.

It's important to note that Emerson hasn't worked at Dose since 2017 so none of those Glassdoor reviews were about him

Glassdoor states 12 of these comments are directed at Emerson Spartz as CEO. 

Additionally, if you have as many employees as Dose has, you will inevitably get some bad reviews

This repeated statement that every large org will have the same problem does not seem to be correct. There might be some disappointed or unhappy ex-employees - but not every company will have an average of 0% management approval and a rating of 2.7 while employees repeat the same very serious issues over a long period of time (starting in 2014). 

Lastly, Nonlinear had been predominantly funded by not Emerson. He's been less than 10% of our funds and we've been funded by all the major EA funders.

I am referring to the initial funder playing the most critical role, enabling an organization to jump-start easily (increasing the possibility of securing outside funding in the future) vs. having to rely on external funders / having to gain their trust first. 

I am surprised about the immediacy of strong downvotes of my comment within the first couple of minutes (7 votes). It does not seem to be such a clearly poor comment, nor does the strong negative reaction seem like the standard EA community behavior.

After a ~5min online research on Emerson Spartz's past CEO role at his previous company "Dose", it looks like there were a lot more "disgruntled ex-employee[s]" (even if this is external to EA). 

Overall, CEO approval is at 0%.  Some examples out of the many:

  •  Terrible, Toxic, Traumatizing, Environment I actually consulted lawyers about a potential retaliation lawsuit after my experience working at this sicko company. 4 years later, I still have nightmares. Like, actual nightmares while I'm asleep. There are some seriously manipulative, narcissists at Dose. If you are a semi-decent person who cares even an inkling about your own well being or the well being of others, I highly suggest staying away from this insane company.
  • Yikes. Working at Dose is like being in a sorority who thinks they're really cool, popular and making a difference in the world, but are so blinded by their own delusions and egos, that it couldn't be further from the truth. Specifically, I'm talking specifically about upper management. The "leaders" not only have no clue what they're doing, but they refuse to listen to other people's opinions and play favorites. If you're not extroverted or as "hyped" about the company, you’ll become less respected. Those who can speak their language of BS buzzwords with enthusiasm are those who get promotions, get invited to happy hours, etc.
  • Stepping Stone Job Toxic workplace, with little to no career pathway. Inexperienced management.
  • Toxic:Truly the only way to succeed at dose is to suck up to upper management, as your growth there will depend more on how well you manage to befriend the higher ups than your actual work ethic. Beware: lack of training, constant gaslighting, putting people on the spot [...] are the norm. Dose acts like it's fun and cool but there is a reason why half the team quit [...]. Also, there is rampant nepotism at dose, with the CEO hiring many of his friends that aren't actually competent (and you can't really say anything because they are friends and there is NO HR - big red flag). I could go on, but in general, upper management at dose is stuck in a high school mean girl attitude and it seems that will never change. if you're looking to 1up your career, use them for a period of time and then get out. Otherwise, run far far away. The managers put on an amazing front of being friendly and will tell you things like oh your mental health is important etc etc so you think it's this amazing place, but it's really not.
  • Progressive Company? No amount of snacks make up for the toxic and traumatizing workplace environment nurtured here. The leadership micromanaged, gaslit and blamed everything and everyone but themselves while team members quit one after the other and the remaining unrealistic workload fell on fewer and fewer shoulders. The expectation was that working “just” 40 hours a week wasn’t enough. On any given week in the office, the chances were pretty high that someone would end up crying, screaming or melting down. All this from a company that once called itself “progressive.” Also, from a diversity perspective, look out if you are a person of color. The sometimes “subtle” and often explicit racism and prejudice I witnessed had real impacts on many careers, kept promising candidates away and sent talented professionals to the door. Everyone was aware this was happening and nothing was done. This is not a progressive company and I don't think it's an ethical one. Maybe things have changed. I hope they will. Advice to Management: Try kindness, trust people and believe what they tell you. do something
  • A discouraging place to work Toxic work environment -Lack of infrastructure -Burnout galore. Witnessed employees having crying breakdowns at least half a dozen times due to the pressure and workload. -Unpaid overtime -Tight deadlines for a high volume of work -Too many cooks in the kitchen/top-heavy upper management/everyone wants to feel important -No matter how hard you work or how much you accomplish, unless you're willing to consistently be on call past working hours, your work is seen as lacking, or, at best, on par. -The other reviews say it all. The goalposts are always changing, workflow is chaotic, and everyone is overworked. Advice to Management:  Stop taking miles when your employees offer inches. When you're a decade-old company, the "we're a scrappy startup" line comes off as a glib excuse to treat your employees like workhorses. Deliver when you say you care about your employees' well-being by creating actionable solutions instead of just doing damage control and trying to placate them when things get especially bad. Hire more people, especially creatives, to handle the workload or stop overpromising to clients.
  • Values their clients more than their employees Toxic culture - Expected to work overtime without extra pay - Our mistakes are called out constantly, but our hard work is rarely acknowledged - Management often changes the organizational structure/goals of the company, which results in disorganization and more stress. - Creatives (designers and copywriters) are not being heard by upper management. No matter what the client asks for, management says yes without even thinking about the capabilities or bandwidth of their creative team. This often results in creatives spending an unnecessary amount of hours bending over backwards to execute something. - At least half of the company has had one foot out the door for the past 6 months. There is nobody here who enjoys this company. - Don't work here unless you want to be belittled, stretched too thin, and undervalued. Advice to Management: It's not enough to just say "I hear you" when your employees are expressing their concerns. Stop telling them to "be agile." Listen to them, believe that they know what they're talking about, and learn how to push back to your clients when necessary. Your employees are exhausted and unhappy. Get it together.

There are many more negative and honestly very sad comments on Glassdoor

Given the time it took me to look this up, I wonder if background checks are ever being done at EA in the first place (specifically when multi-b/millionaires such as SBF and Emerson feel the urge to embellish their reputation by suddenly becoming "highly caring altruists" without having displayed any signs of altruism before).  Highly wealthy people could simply be treated like new hires at regular companies because they have a lot more power and are more likely to have different intentions than the average EA.

Doing quick background checks is a very low-cost and reasonable thing to do in order to protect  EA  and its members.  

The problem with people like Emerson S. is that they come with a lot of private resources, enabling organizations like Nonlinear to pop up, rise and survive out of nowhere. They never had to gain the trust or follow standards like everyone else had to - they can just self-fund.

 They're not subject to the same scrutiny as others. 

This is even worse, given that they learned how to get so far/accumulate so much wealth in the first place: they know how to behave strategically to get what they want. 

I am truly sorry for anyone who has had to endure such management practices inside and outside of EA. I hope that background checks will be normalized to avoid such problems in the future.