Living LivingSocial How D.C.'s homegrown coupon giant is trying to change its culture—and ours

Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

On a recent Wednesday night, a couple of bands are playing at 918 F Street, the Penn Quarter building LivingSocial has converted into a playground for young professionals. Past the front entrance, a stairwell curls around a 19th century steel elevator cage to the credit card–only “Speakeasy,” where bartenders mix throwback cocktails beneath bare lightbulbs. It’s just like Prohibition, except LivingSocial is sucking data off my Visa and queso sticks are available for purchase. A band plays one level above, visible through the exposed beams of what used to be a ceiling. Up there, a lone, hip guy in a cowboy shirt is coolly nodding his head by the side of the stage. This is unusual; the concert, attended largely by friends and family of the Bethesda-bred opening act, has all the edginess of a school play. So I climb a set of spiral stairs, sidle up to the head-bobber, and ask him about the band.

“Mission South,” he shouts. “They’re local.” I squint at the recent college graduates. “#918fstreet” is projected onto the exposed brick behind them, suggesting they’re supposed to catapult the venue to viral success, rather than the other way around. Across the room, one of the musicians’ moms snaps a photo with her iPhone. “They’re good,” I say to cowboy-shirt guy. “Do you know them?” Handing me a business card, he explains that he books LivingSocial’s shows.

Between sets, the booker, Matt Corrado, invites me up to 918 F’s improvised “green room,” where we sit among empty liquor bottles and unimbibed pickle-juice chasers—remnants of a drinking experiment unfit for the genteel confines of the Speakeasy. I ask for his impression of LivingSocial. “It’s pretty cool. It works. I mean, they have a lot to learn about how to run a music event,” says the 29-year-old, whose Maryland-based Pick-Up Productions is by then in its fourth week of arranging LivingSocial’s fall concert series. “They have a big ego behind what they’re doing, and they think that their brand can’t be tarnished. They think it carries more weight than I think it does.” He adds: “Just because you put it up on your website doesn’t mean it’s going to sell.”

Corrado is actually pretty happy with sales—about 100 tickets, for a space that fits double that—but he’s right that there’s a certain paradox in maintaining corporate brand identity while running a rock show. (“They want to be mom and pop,” he scoffs. “I’m mom and pop.”) How, in other words, does a 4,500-employee online coupon company—that partners with Starbucks and is part-owned by Amazon—deliver the sort of concert that’s going to pull people away from D.C.’s grittier, more established venues? “This is not a rock ’n’ roll club,” Corrado says. “For example, they didn’t tell us originally that the bar was going to close at 10. Which is fine, I guess, for a Wednesday night. It’s like, they want to party, but everybody’s got to come tomorrow to work at 9 a.m. or whatever.”

Corrado may be pleased to learn that on weekends, the Speakeasy stays open until 1 a.m. But his broader observations remain salient. As the event space testifies, LivingSocial is in transition. Since it began offering discount deals in July 2009, the D.C.-based company has made it big as a middleman between consumers and merchants, slicing the cost of restaurant meals in half and taking a cut of the revenue. Now, with rival Groupon’s stock price in the gutter and the future of the daily deals industry in some doubt, the District’s flagship tech company is capitalizing on its brand to convince consumers to buy goods and experiences straight from the source, instead of selling someone else’s product. No wonder, as Corrado observed, LivingSocial is so protective of its brand.


Ask LivingSocial employees what distinguishes them from Chicago-based Groupon and they’ll tell you that their company’s name connotes a way of life; Groupon just rhymes with coupon. Go-get-’em mantras plaster the walls of LivingSocial’s six D.C. offices, where potential employees receive distinct “values interviews” and current workers are encouraged to live the brand by a full-time Culture Team. The precise value of that brand will determine not only the fiscal sanity of the record $32.5 million tax break D.C. gave the company this summer, but the personality of Washington’s professional class for years to come. So it’s worth figuring out not only how LivingSocial brands itself, but how it’s branding D.C.

LivingSocial has had a bad couple of weeks. On Oct. 19, it coughed up $4.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit led by a woman who couldn’t redeem an expired kayak voucher at Jack’s Boathouse in Georgetown. Then, on Oct. 25, Amazon, which owns about a third of the company, announced that it landed in the red for the first time in four years, thanks in large part to LivingSocial’s whopping $566 million third-quarter loss. The backdrop to all this? The precipitous decline of industry-leading Groupon, whose share price has dropped from $20 to less than $4 in the year since its initial public offering. The daily deal “bubble,” industry watchers began to speculate, was ready to burst.

Unsurprisingly, LivingSocial is trying to distance itself from Groupon. In an October phone interview, I ask LivingSocial founder and CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy why anyone should believe his company will fare better than Groupon has. “We’re the marketplace where you think local. We’re the place to buy and share the best things in your city,” says the 31-year-old. “I think the brand identity that we’ve been able to craft has given us permission to go more directly interact with our consumers.” In other words, as it pivots from daily deals to home goods, a takeout and delivery service, and various events, “escapes,” and “adventures,” LivingSocial is not just slashing prices, but running the gamut of local commerce. (Groupon provides many of those things too, and 75 percent of LivingSocial’s revenue still comes from vouchers. As the recent failure of LivingSocial’s Social Studies D.C. website suggests, it’s unclear how profitable the local stuff can be.) “We’re not a daily deals company,” LivingSocial spokespeople keep insisting to me, like moderate politicians trying to distance themselves from the extreme factions of their caucuses.

But LivingSocial’s identity crisis goes beyond the bad Groupon-inspired PR. When it began as Hungry Machine in 2007, the Georgetown-based startup was four friends doing tech consulting for companies like ESPN and JibJab, while creating Facebook applications on the side. By 2008, LivingSocial was developing apps full-time, and a year later had created the wildly popular “Pick Your Five,” before following Groupon’s lead and getting into the group coupon business. Now, as LivingSocial has grown from 30 to 4,500 employees in less than three years, it’s trying to spin off from the product that generated all that growth.

O’Shaughnessy says the common link among all of LivingSocial’s iterations—the special sauce that distinguishes it from Groupon—is its company culture. “You have that personnel transition that has been constant, but I think a lot of it comes [down] to the cultural dynamic that was instilled in the company very early on,” he says. “We’ve been able to keep a lot of the core DNA in how people think about things. “

The person responsible for holding that DNA steady is Andrew Dolan, the leader of LivingSocial’s “Culture Team.” LivingSocial’s values, the effervescent 24-year-old tells me, “are part of daily life, and not just something we put up on the wall.” The company-wide “LivingSocializing” events he organizes every night aren’t “just for giggles,” in other words. “A big hunk of it is living the brand and aligning what the company is all about.”

Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil.” Facebook’s is “Move fast and break things.” Those slogans speak to the idealistic, disruptive promise of the Web. “Recognize others,” and “Surprise, entice, delight,” two of LivingSocial’s core mantras, are about connecting with others, whether that means coworkers, merchants, or customers. Which should make it a cinch to “live the brand.” Dolan’s effort to successfully instill those values, however, recalls the mom-and-pop paradox that Corrado pointed out at 918 F. LivingSocial wants to be your one-stop shop for local commerce—but scaled up, and in cities all over the world. It’s intent on maintaining its startup roots, but must do so in a top-down way. And to a great extent, it’s pulled it off. Just as LivingSocial has convinced consumers to treat daily deals with more respect than traditional coupons, it’s persuaded its employees that they’re working much more than a job.

A day after the concert, I’m back at 918 F for an employees-only rock climbing session. A 21-foot climbing wall is the centerpiece of a carpeted sixth-floor game room, which also features a ping-pong table and a putting green. I’m hazy on how immersive the experience is meant to be (hipsterish spokesman Brendan Lewis will later make me jump into the company ball pit), so I stuff shorts and sneakers in my backpack. “Sexiest reporter ever,” Lewis declares, after dropping me off.

Milling around the liability-form table, I meet 23-year-old Michael Verdi, an antic ping-pong whiz, and 24-year-old Ed Weng, his straight-laced sidekick. Both are software engineers. Verdi bounced around the start-up scene in Thailand before coming here; Weng quit investment banking, explaining, “You would never have rock-climbing night at Goldman Sachs.” They’re recent graduates of the Hungry Academy, LivingSocial’s in-house programming boot camp.

After I introduce myself, the following exchange takes place:

Verdi: Do you need any, uh, good quotes or anything?

WCP: I’m dying for some good quotes.

Weng: Are you doing an in-depth piece or something?

WCP: I guess. I don’t know. Do you guys read City Paper?

Weng: Can’t say I do.

Verdi: Can’t say that I do.

Weng: New York Times!

After a brief, discouraging conversation about print media in which Verdi lambasts some high-schoolers for trying to sell him subscriptions to the Washington Post, I explain what I’m after: a window into LivingSocial’s company culture. “I’d say we probably felt really connected, like it was a family, after Tim had an all-hands-in sacrificing of a baby,” Verdi offers, presumably joking. “That really brought us together.”

With that, Verdi marches off to the putting green, yelling stuff like “boo-yah” and “the dingo ate my baby!” Munching on a slice of free pizza, I decide to delve deeper into LivingSocializing. Minutes later, I emerge from the bathroom in shorts and sneakers, receive a few mild catcalls, and strap into my harness. I make it up the wall’s “easy” section in what seems like record time, but freeze at the top. Eventually, with tips and encouragement from the LivingSocialites, I push off. The descent feels slow and symbolic, as if they’re all waiting to catch me.

What follows is an enormous information gap in my notebook. (“Not a lot of notes there, bro!” Verdi comments.) Suddenly, I’m immersed in, yes, the culture. I’m LivingSocially. The event is inclusive and without pretension, and it’s doing its job: I feel a small frisson when employees from “Takeout and Delivery” and legal meet for the first time.

I’m only snapped out of my gauzy daze by the sprightly 24-year-old Julia Lovett, who works in the company’s new “shop” division, from which consumers can buy goods directly. She’s wearing a company T-shirt that reads “Month of the Customer.” Perhaps to cater to my professional interests, the recent Georgetown grad begins talking about Aaron Sorkin’s HBO show The Newsroom. “There’s a particularly funny scene where [news anchor] Will McAvoy brings a reporter in and, well, leaves him to figure out his own conclusion, but creates this elaborate web for him to stumble into the story that McAvoy wants him to write.” Yes? “So, this is, like, the opposite of that.”

Is it? Now I’m wondering. Lovett, who LivingSocial once tapped to appear in a promotional video for its short-lived “instant deals” service, might as well be a plant from the PR department. She never strays off-message, telling me how despite its size, LivingSocial doesn’t feel corporate, and how, after college she chose LivingSocial over Teach for America, citing the company’s “broader goal to be the face of local business.” But Lovett’s giddiness—“I just love any excuse to talk about LivingSocial!”—is also a product of that vaunted culture.

Washington has “an abundance of overeducated people getting paid nothing on the Hill, and so motivated to take over the world,” says “Mike,” an employee who left this summer, and wished to remain anonymous in order to preserve his relationship with company employees. “Now this cool, hip company comes in where you can wear shorts and T-shirts to work and gives you free beer with a bunch of good-looking people around.” Moreover, LivingSocial has tailored its Silicon Valley vibe with a social mission, convincing goal-driven employees like Lovett that it’s on the cusp of a revolution in local commerce. The genius of the company’s brand, in other words, is that it makes the same pitch to consumers and merchants as it does to employees, ostensibly creating a seamless transition between work and play. “Everybody drinks the Kool-Aid,” says Mike. “It’s only, ‘How does that Kool-Aid settle in?’”

LivingSocial’s New York Avenue headquarters has all the trappings of a Silicon Valley startup. A kitchen is equipped with snacks, a beer-stocked fridge, and a Skee-ball machine. Red English phone booths provide a measure of privacy, should anyone tire of the open floor plan. Jeans are de rigueur, even for older employees, who appear somewhat uncomfortable wearing them. It looks like a tech company, it feels like a tech company... “Damn right, we’re a tech company,” hammers home spokesman Lewis the first time we meet, rebutting a frequent criticism from naysayers who objected to the tax break.

A week after my first visit, I’m back at HQ, talking to 29-year-old Web developer Jess Eldredge, who has a different take. “People are pretty involved in the [local] tech scene,” Eldredge says, listing several high-profile LivingSocial engineers. “It’s kind of crazy because we’re not really a tech company. We just have a high concentration of really smart developers that work here.”

The question of what, exactly, LivingSocial is is a complicated one. On one hand, its perky, driven workforce is of a part with the rest of D.C.’s Millennial strivers. They ride their bikes to work. They’ve helped gentrify Bloomingdale and Columbia Heights’ 11th Street corridor. They organize happy hours at The Hamilton. Though some, like Verdi and Weng, came here to be engineers, many might have landed in D.C. anyways. Only 15 percent of the company’s D.C. workforce works in programming or I.T. A plurality makes sales pitches and deals with disgruntled merchants, as evidenced by the Mumbai-style call center across from the Verizon Center. Its editorial team features former and aspiring journalists. Chinatown, around which five of its six buildings are clustered, is its Capitol Hill.

On the other hand, Hill staffers and paralegals aren’t wearing board shorts to work. What best distinguishes LivingSocial from D.C.’s establishment—besides not feeding off the federal government—is its effort to break down the barrier between work and play. While most of D.C.’s worker bees don’t need to be reminded of the task at hand—pass the bill, win the case—LivingSocial’s broad ambitions are less clear. And that’s where the Culture Team comes in.

In early October I sit in a makeshift office at HQ with Dolan and Kim Perrow (we couldn’t all fit in a phone booth), the other Culture Team staffer. Dolan started out as an all-purpose Mr. Fix-It office manager two years ago, and sees his current gig as an extension of that job. Perrow was an accountant at LivingSocial before Dolan took her on last February. In front of us is an Excel spreadsheet detailing the coming month of LivingSocializing events, which span from jalapeño jelly-making to flag football to “Annual Bosses Day.” Every Sunday night, Dolan sends LivingSocial’s 900 D.C. employees an email alerting them to these happenings, which occur at least once a day. (When Dolan & Co. aren’t organizing events, they can be found overseeing their 30 or so “Culture Vultures,” employees who have volunteered to monitor the vibe of their departments.)

“I always joke that planning out LivingSocializing from day one, in a weird way, ended up mirroring a lot of our processes for planning out a city’s deal schedule,” Dolan says. “Like, if I hammered you in your inbox every day with ‘spa deal, spa deal, spa deal,’ you’d have to unsubscribe.”

Indeed, each event in the spreadsheet is color-coded to reflect the same product categories LivingSocial offers its customers, some of which in turn reflect company mottos: Appreciation/Recognition; Entertainment; Wellness; Surprise and Delight; Food & Drink. (Before 918 F runs its sausage-making or wine-tasting events, the employees perform dry runs.) “We’re obviously very passionate about our external product,” Dolan says. “And we have the opportunity to bring that to our internal audience.”

In one sense, the point is to make LivingSocial an attractive place to work. “As everyone is trying to make the company big—more markets, more products, more everything,” Dolan says, “at least part of our job is making sure it still feels like that small company.” Along with the video games and the Rice Krispie Treats, the occasional 6 p.m. group guitar lesson no doubt mitigates stress incurred during the workday. Of the handful of former employees I spoke with, the ones who were most disgruntled about puny paychecks and long hours worked in outside sales, away from the ball pit. “Working in the D.C. offices probably would have been a lot of fun,” says Tampa-based ex-salesperson Joe Sale, who quit in 2011 by mailing a garbage bag full of company materials to headquarters. “When you’re out here, you’re out here alone.”

But in another way, LivingSocializing is just another means of reinforcing the very values employees are supposed to emphasize on the job. This is most evident in LivingSocial’s editorial department, where writers and editors strive to couch the company’s core values in their copy. It’s there that LivingSocial begins to seem less like a start-up and more like a corporation, and the culture-worship starts to feel a little bit inorganic.

If you receive emails from both Groupon and LivingSocial, you’ll notice a distinct difference in tone. Here’s the photography class Groupon advertised to D.C. subscribers on Oct. 19: “Digital technology has allowed for the introduction of many new art forms, just as Leonardo da Vinci once predicted on his blog. Upload a masterpiece with this Groupon.” Now, here’s a missive from LivingSocial for a microdermabrasion service: “Living in our dear District can cause monumental stress and hairy situations. Today’s deal from Spalon is here to lobby for your relief.”

Groupon’s copy is witty and irreverent; LivingSocial’s is cheesy and inoffensive. This is by design. According to a New York Times feature on Groupon’s Chicago editorial team, scores of Second City aspirants sit around all day dreaming up the weirdest copy possible, and editors often make it weirder. They’re aiming for the Groupon “voice.” LivingSocial, on the other hand, asks that all copy fit into a four-point rubric that reflects a company slogan. It must “inform,” “entice,” “delight,” and include “local flavor.” And, as 32-year-old staff writer Isabel Galbraith explains, “delight” and “local flavor” are gradually being phased out of the equation. “We used to write opening lines that were funny and clever, little puns, or witticisms,” she says. “But in the end, we realized, it’s more like clever for clever’s sake, and now we’re trying to do more strategic marketing.”

The LivingSocial writers I meet at the editorial office in Mount Vernon Square, unlike their Groupon counterparts, aren’t given much creative license. Galbraith, who has an MFA in poetry from Ohio State, says her day job helps her work on “strong verbs” and sentence structure for when she writes poems in the morning. Erih Prah, a 25-year-old editor who graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism, insists she’s putting the skills she learned there to good use. “Friends always ask me, are you using what you learned?” she says. “I think I definitely am, because we have our own style guide, but we definitely pull things from AP style, and basic grammar and verb usage.” Prah and Galbraith seem happy enough, but the professional toll of adhering to a certain cultural dynamic—however laid-back—seems to wear on others.

At my next LivingSocializing event, a charcoal drawing class that immerses me even more deeply than the rock climbing, I encounter a few PBR-toting members of the design team, who seem wary of the company culture. “We’ve had ‘culture fit’ firings, actually,” says graphic designer Maggie Famiglietti, who created much of the visual identity for 918 F. “So that’s like if you don’t get along well with [people].” Another employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells me on another occasion that “the culture is sort of ramped up in this company, whereas originally it was pretty much just a startup, [with] talented, motivated people willing to work for less pay...but to sell the culture as something that still is very much a startup culture is not really genuine, because I barely know anyone in the company.”

Sarah Ware, a former “instant deals” salesperson who left LivingSocial earlier this year to form her own startup, Markerly, noticed something similar. With LivingSocial’s rapid growth, “everything just becomes a little more monitored and scheduled, and it’s just different. When you have a startup at first, it’s ‘here’s a keg, have fun.’ But when it’s a company-company it’s ‘here’s a drink and be professional.’”

At the same time, LivingSocial is adamant about not turning into a typical corporation. O’Shaughnessy sits at a regular desk, among the plebes. “Mike,” the former employee, says former top executive Dickson Chu was let go this summer in part because his corporate style didn’t fit in. (LivingSocial says they parted ways amicably because of business reasons, suggesting he was overqualified for his job.) That muddled middle ground between startup and corporation is to some extent exemplified by the ongoing class-action lawsuit several ex-salespeople filed against the company in May, alleging that they weren’t paid overtime. Since when do people at startups ask for overtime pay? Isn’t that what the fridge beers are for?

But perhaps the best example of LivingSocial’s midlife crisis occured in mid-October, after a member of the design team invited me to a house party in Bloomingdale that some employees would be attending. The party, with its beer-pong table and baseball game on in the background, was standard D.C. 20-something fare. Within a minute of my arrival, however, someone from LivingSocial’s press office, who just happened to be there, introduced herself and promptly tried to declare the party “off the record,” even though it was at someone’s house. Happy to show off the beers in its work refrigerators, LivingSocial’s PR team prefers its extracurricular activities be blocked from view: Maybe somebody won’t be living the brand.

O’Shaughnessy, whose first job out of Georgetown was at AOL in Tysons Corner, is a perfect emblem of Washington’s mid-2000s tech scene: made in Northern Virginia. When LivingSocial announced it was weighing offers this spring to leave for more fertile economic ground, tech-mad Mayor Vince Gray feared the District would lose its very own AOL and the homegrown Tim O’Shaughnessys it might spawn. As much stock as LivingSocial places on the habits of its employees, D.C. doesn’t care what they’re up to, so long as they don’t leave. So in April, Gray proposed a $32.5 million tax incentive to keep LivingSocial local, the largest ever granted to a private corporation. Gray’s not the only one who thought a LivingSocial departure would be “devastating,” as he put it this spring. At a June D.C. Council hearing, a Virginia tech consultant equated LivingSocial’s regional importance to the Pentagon’s. More than a few of D.C.’s own tech mavens were adamant that without LivingSocial, the District would lose all the international tech cachet it has built up in the past couple years.

LivingSocial is no doubt the city’s hippest corporation—and is already the largest in the downtown business district—but the rise and fall of once-mighty Groupon should give pause to those anticipating a “thousand millionaires” windfall, à la Facebook. Besides some shady accounting tricks, Groupon has been plagued by two factors. One, increased competition has bred merchant and buyer fatigue (Google, eBay, and even Washington City Paper are in the online coupon business now). Two, as a result, Groupon has had to spend an unusually hefty chunk of its budget on marketing to keep its email list padded. Through it all, the Atlantic reported in September, Groupon’s effect on Chicago’s tech sector has been minimal.

But Groupon, at double LivingSocial’s market share, has a leg up on the hometown team. According to a February Wall Street Journal article, LivingSocial willingly accepts a smaller cut of revenues from merchants than Groupon does, in order to gain a competitive advantage on its Chicago-based rival. Indeed, says Ashley Boehler, who left sales jobs at Groupon and LivingSocial in the past year (“the daily deals industry is dead”), the company now routinely takes a 15 or 20 percent cut on most deals, well below the 30 to 50 percent splits daily deals companies are assumed to take. “Every big national deal is costing LivingSocial money,” he told me, citing an instance in which it sold one million Whole Foods vouchers in September 2011 at a 0 percent commission, purely to increase its reach. (LivingSocial didn’t comment on this, except to tell me to be wary of a former junior salesperson’s financial information.)

Add that to the company’s dismal third-quarter showing, and it’s no wonder the $32 million tax incentive rankles. (In an email to employees, O’Shaughnessy partially blamed the $566 million loss on a $496 million “write down” of companies LivingSocial had purchased.) Some argue that the money could have been used more efficiently elsewhere. Navroop Mitter, a D.C. tech denizen who runs a mobile security startup, showed me a spreadsheet he made, calculating that the cost of housing 100 different startups each year, over the course of a decade (high rent being the biggest issue for new businesses in D.C.), runs to about $6 million dollars. Following Mitter’s math, D.C. could achieve about the same job growth LivingSocial is promising, at a fifth of the cost. (Despite this, Mitter was careful to emphasize his support for the LivingSocial deal.)

Others point out that the bill plays favorites and sets up unrealistic expectations for future tech companies that try to locate in Washington. “I don’t care that they got the tax deal. I care that no one else did,” says Michael Goldstein, who runs the Georgetown tech accelerator Endeavor D.C. “That’s kind of bullshit.” O’Shaughnessy is also the son-in-law of Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald Graham, which Goldstein suggests may have aided him politically. There’s no evidence it has; the $36,000 LivingSocial spent hiring Holland & Knight to lobby for the bill probably helped more.

The most common complaint, issued vociferously by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, is that the law didn’t do enough to mandate job growth. The deal, as the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development wrote it, is split in two. The property tax credit portion, worth $15 million, is contingent on the hiring of 1,500 new employees from 2010 to 2015 and the maintenance of at least 1,000 through 2025, when the credit expires. But about 1,000 of those employees have already been hired, and the company could fill the remaining spots just by losing and then hiring new employees. The $17.5 million corporate income tax credit, meanwhile, requires that 50 percent of those new employees live in the District, as the current ones do now. In other words, LivingSocial can secure most of its tax credit simply by maintaining its status quo.

What’s more, critics contend, the jobs it will bring aren’t even useful to the District’s growing tech sector. LivingSocial uses email marketing to provide customers with real-life goods and services; the platform is Web-based, but the product isn’t. “These are good jobs, but they’re not tech jobs, and don’t contribute to a tech hub,” Ken Archer wrote on Greater Greater Washington in April. “The people who fill these jobs wouldn’t necessarily work in technology firms after LivingSocial.” Equally, DCFPI argued unsuccessfully for a provision that would have required that at least 15 percent of LivingSocial’s employees work in tech, and that the company keep all of them in D.C. proper.

LivingSocial ultimately helped push Gray’s bill through in early July sans amendment, making it clear that it might bolt if even the slightest modification was introduced. But while the firm ultimately turned down better offers to stay put, it understood that the tax package looked like a sweetheart deal. In an email City Paper obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, LivingSocial’s head of communications, Andrew Weinstein, told several DMPED officials that the firm wouldn’t agree to discuss the bill on a July episode of WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show. “The media strategy that we have discussed and implemented since day one has been to let your office and our allies in the local business/tech community (DC Chamber, Downtown BID, Tech Cocktail, etc.) serve as the primary advocates for the bill in the press, so we could position the bill as a high-level win for DC, not a handout to one company,” Weinstein wrote. “Putting a LivingSocial executive on the show for a grilling…could leave us looking self-interested and intransigent for not being willing to modify any of its positions.”

While the LivingSocial deal represents D.C.’s largest-ever tax break, it also includes some taxpayer protections. Daily deals skeptics will be relieved to learn that LivingSocial won’t earn a penny in tax credits if it fails to occupy a 200,000-square-foot property, or goes bust, before 2016 (i.e, if it “fails fast,” as a LivingSocial mantra might put it). And if it does survive past then, LivingSocial will have likely helped diversify the local economy, whether through its contribution to the tech sector, or just because of its own independence from the federal government. (To say nothing of its role in fostering the food-truck-and-Bikeshare ethos of downtown D.C.) Still, LivingSocial’s greatest impact on the District may lie elsewhere. Just as LivingSocial has prepackaged, mass-produced, and exported its internal culture to about 70 offices worldwide, it also wants us to accept its own wholesome, curated idea of what it means to live their brand. In the same way that Google has become our one-stop shop for news, reference, and e-communication, LivingSocial aims to make itself indispensable to our social lives. (Fifty thousand people have walked through the doors of 918 F Street since it opened in February.) By succumbing to its particular vision of fun, we may all soon be LivingSocial one way or another.

In late September, Tim O’Shaughnessy announced that LivingSocial would pay for late-night Metro service running out of Navy Yard after any Washington Nationals playoff games that ran past midnight. (The team refused to pay, demanding the city cover the tab, and O’Shaughnessy stepped in to break the impasse.) The move heralded the company’s official status as an all-purpose middleman for local commerce. Though O’Shaughnessy didn’t end up paying a dime for it, the Metro deal in some ways branded D.C. as a LivingSocial town as much as the tax break did. To have fun in D.C., the announcement suggested, you’ll be going through LivingSocial.

After the press conference, I follow O’Shaughnessy and his two communications gurus into the Navy Yard Metro station, feeling somewhat unwelcome. Once we board the train, I attempt some chitchat, not knowing if it’ll be my only chance to talk to the CEO.

WCP: What are you tweeting about?

O’Shaughnessy: If you followed me, you would know.

OK, then. Radio silence for the rest of the ride to L’Enfant Plaza, at which point it appears the trio tries to lose me. I catch up just in time to follow them onto the Orange Line. Trying to keep it light, I make a joke about LivingSocial’s 918 F sausage-making classes, telling him we don’t want to know what goes into a sausage. Somewhat robotically, O’Shaughnessy answers that the sausage-making classes have been selling well.

O’Shaughnessy: I have actually bought tickets to events at LivingSocial. I think I’m actually probably one of our better customers.

WCP: How many events have you been to?

O’Shaughnessy: I mean, it’s beyond events. Through our takeout and delivery, I probably order about five times a week.

WCP: Really?

O’Shaughnessy: Yeah. Gotta eat. It’s convenient, great options.

All true. I try a new strategy.

WCP: What really distinguishes 918 F—and that’s really emblematic of your approach—is that it’s not just really about deals, it’s about engaging with the community.

O’Shaughnessy: We could be a very powerful force in the city, and you know, that requires people to believe in us.

At one point, it occurs to me to ask what his favorite office is—there are six of them, after all. Spokesman Lewis cuts in: “They’re all your beautiful children.”

“I know,” O’Shaughnessy adds. “I love all God’s children.”

Our Readers Say

As a current employee "Mike" is accurate with his assessment. LivingSocial new daily deal is called Bread and Circus. They have taken a page out of the formula the Romans used to keep the people at bay. The working conditions are terrible so they paint this great picture and disguises it as "culture." Take away the bread and circuses and you have an extremely unhappy employee base.

They are creating jobs in Arizona and eliminating jobs in DC and the lawsuits keep coming. The road to profitability is a figment of the imagination. The management structure at LivingSocial entails a group of unqualified idiots who lack management skills.

Tim loves all of God's children? <-Insert laughter. I have friends who are minorities and with different sexual orientations. I must say this company is very racist on all levels. How many minorities are managers or even executives with the company? I work in 1445 the main site where I see and hear all.

By the end of the year they will get rid of consumer services, production, merchant services, and editorial in DC while moving those jobs to DC. Dickson Chu was fired because he was a innovator and didn't fit unstructured culture of LivingSocial.

Chu wanted LivingSocial to compete against Square by venturing into mobile payments. (Please see Roam Data)
"By the end of the year they will get rid of consumer services, production, merchant services, and editorial in DC while moving those jobs to DC."

You mean Arizona right? You can add Take Out & Delivery to the scrap heat. I used my lunch break today for a job interview. LivingSocial "used" to be a great working place but I'm like "Mike " and must leave. You must work on the product team because only a few knew about the mobile payment prototype.

Hey Washington City Paper reporter, you should email me or let me know your email address for you to find the real scoop. Off the record of course...

cat calls my ass. just saw your headshot, dude. you look like almost as much of a tool as you write!
Those quotes aren't accurate. You left out a lot of information about how good the culture is at Livingsocial, how well they treat their employees as a whole, and how well the company has adapted to the changes in the daily deals market. It's still an uphill battle but this story is garbage.
Notaccurate and ontherecord - your versions are much different than every person I have heard who either used to worked there or works there now. From what I have heard - everyones too cool for school, money sucks, and yes the lawsuits are ramping up as I know a lawyer involved in one of them.
$566 million lost???

No wonder why Associates make more than some MC's and Specialist yearly!
You're going to see a lot of comments, especially if this gets any circulation in the employee pool at LS, calling this article garbage and extolling the amazing company values and how much the company cares for its employees. Beware these koolaid drinkers. LivingSocial has a lot of young, impressionable kids just out of college who think this place is the best place on Earth.

As a former employee myself, I can tell you with all honesty that this article is, for the most part, on the money. The lines about ego and misplaced brand obsession, blind faith in the market power of the LivingSocial website, and the eroding "culture" inside the hearts and minds of longer-term employees are 100% accurate. I worked in the 829 office in Chinatown (The Nest) and in the 1445 office downtown (HQ) for over a year and the comparison between what I experienced on day one and my last day is scary.

LivingSocial suffers, immensely, from old-boys-club management, extreme favoritism, and a blind faith that the company will take care of you if you put in all the extra hard work. The unspoken expectation is that you show up at 8 and work until 7 every night with no OT and no thanks. Rather than boosting salaries, providing bonuses, or investing in better perks that might make all the extra work worth it, they blow money on extravagant parties (LivingSocial Oscars and the end-of-year parties) and leap-before-looking product rolls outs (like Instant, which is now—3 revisions later—takeout and delivery). This makes for a glitzy, deer-in-the-headlights wow factor for new employees and the no-life-outside-the-office types, but does little to actually lift employee morale.

Beware the koolaid drinkers, they'll defend anything… even the entire marketing department being laid off with no explanation.
See, here's the thing about antecdotes. Everyone has heard different things and nobody is "Wrong".

Personally, I've talked to many Engineers at LivingSocial and found each and every one to be happy. Maybe that's not true to other departments, but maybe that in and of itself is testament to the focus on LivingSocial being a Tech company. I know many engineers clamoring for a chance to work there.
If work was all about fun and culture they wouldn't call it work.
Trying to figure out where this unwarranted animosity is coming from....Which pretty LS girl turned you down urging you to cry about it to the whole city?
There's a ton of "Simon" in this story and a lot of personal swipes at people who he encountered at LS. That's very odd for a journalist, hardly best practices. It degrades what should be an interesting outsider's look inside a start-up going through puberty. It also smacks of something that's not quite right, especially his attacks on the 24-year-old woman and complaints about not being able to "cover" a private party. I wonder if he told the party-goers he wanted to document their activities or just figured he'd pull quotes on the sly? I suspect the latter. So why the axe to grind? Did he get a bad massage?
I am a Kool aid drinker, and it taste good! LivingSocial is a great company! We are to DC what Google & Facebook is to Silicon Valley!!!!
LivingSocial - everyone's favorite multilevel marketing company masquerading as a DC "tech" company.
1. No one reads the Washington city paper.
2.The kool aide tastes great
3.I love coming to work EVERDAY and I dont know many people who can say that
4. Your rant makes you sound unprofessional and cynical
5.Sandy, no associates makes more than and MC/Specialist.....EVER
Call Groupon's voice "witty and irreverent," but the common customer isn't going to spend a lot of time wading through BS jokes and wordplay. I actually think Living Social is being smart by focusing on a simpler approach, even if it means dumbing down their text. You're selling coupons, not words...and half the time I don't get groupon's jokes :(
No diversity at all! Where are my fellow Latino sisters and brothers, and etc. LivingSocial is not diverse but really WHITE?

I love working for this company, great perks, but pay sucks.

As a former employee on the culture team (hey guys!) I have to say a lot what's written in this article is accurate. There is sometimes a "drink the Kool Aid" atmosphere. However, there's nothing malicious in this. Working on culture, and helping cultivate culture and create the LivingSocial culture back in the early days, I know we all worked hard to make long days fun - with a lot of things listed above (snacks, beers, events, a relaxed atmosphere). There's nothing wrong with doing this - and working there (despite taking an effective pay cut when I moved to LS), was some of the most fun I've had at a job. Most people there are happy, like working hard, and enjoy their jobs.

You'll hear stories like this about Google, Facebook, any company that goes from a small, tech vibe to a large corporation. On the whole, I think LivingSocial has done a good job of trying to balance this. DC definitely needed an injection of cool and "hip" (as this article puts it). It's not he perfect work environment - nowhere is.

Here comes the butthurt 20-somethings! You know telling people you're hip and cool for selling discounts on chia pets and auto detailing is a great way to hire lots of cheap young people, right? "Erhmahgerd free beers and this is WORK? LOL!" Meanwhile: PROBLEMS!
There a lot of good food for thought in Simon's piece about the role of company culture in a tech company. Here's my reactions:

(1) Simon's piece really gets to a core tension/debate in tech company strategy: Is it critical to have a central problem you are solving such that your innovations build a growing IP asset over time, or is it enough to just have a culture of innovation that finds opportunities? Google has a single type of problem that they solve with interrelated innovations - techniques for structuring unstructured information to make it usable that began with their search algorithm. Some folks say a culture of innovation that looks for opportunities is enough - but I disagree, and think that mindset emerges from dealmaker-driven tech hubs like northern Virginia. Which, Simon rightly notes, is the culture that LS comes out of much more than the DC tech scene which is driven by innovative, entrepreneurial software developers.

That's why a LS engineer says in this article that LS is not really a tech company - LS engineers aren't really part of the innovation at their company like Google engineers are because no central problem has been defined by LS execs for people to solve. The quotes from LS execs in the article where they try to articulate the problems that their innovations solve - that somehow we need a middleman for all local commerce or something - are pretty unconvincing and even strange.

(2) Simon's piece also shows the complexities of company culture, in particular how a culture that initially has a business purpose (innovation) can grow and cross a line, until you have an undefined "culture" that is effectively just "the type of people we like to hang out with". I'm always skeptical when people in my company or other companies evaluate potential or current employees based on "cultural fit" without having a specific definition of their culture and the business purpose their culture serves. That inevitably leads to discriminatory hiring and promotions, which multiple commenters here point to as a problem at LS.

Ken Archer
As a current employee I don't drink the kool aide and never will. Why, I am typing this as I eat my sandwich from Phillips and sitting at my desk (1445). The show is over and this ship is ready to sink. LivingSocial wastes money and lacks a strong management structure. The management here sucks and they promote individuals who lack credentials or the best qualifications. Oh and we pay out merchants late...very late. We had this month of the customer and I shadowed merchant services. Every call was, "Where's my check. " The business owners were literally screaming and the company uses merchant services as a buffer because our accounting office can't talk to the merchants.

I shadowed customer service in 702 and that place is scary. Customer service reps are on mandatory overtime and working long hours. Plus they are losing their jobs soon because we created about 100 new CSR jobs in Arizona. Go to our Facebook like page to see what our customers think about us. This is not silicon valley but death valley and I'm getting out. To my chums in 1445, 702, Boomtown, and 1005...get out while you can. I would say the nest but we own the nest and recently placed a renter there to make revenue because we are too much in the red.

" No diversity at all! Where are my fellow Latino sisters and brothers, and etc. LivingSocial is not diverse but really WHITE? "

Um...yeah...really white. Like 12% -15% of the company in DC represents the diversity. Within our Executive Management team and managers there is no representation of people of color. No Latinos, no African Americans, no Asians, no Indians...nothing friends. I mean this is DC but behind our walls is the Georgetown Polo Club. I think Tim is scared of people of color.

I am baffled how the former culture manager was promoted to LivingSocial Shop when a job announcement wasn't announced. Welcome to LivingSocial friends, I hope you enjoy the ride.

I really like Ken Archer's comment within this discussion. To be quite honest our engineers don't know what they are doing. We outsource our work and design to developers and engineers outside of the United States. The developer I work with lives in Scotland. We are not that innovative and can't fall in the category of a tech scene When Chu was fired that destroyed our credibility because we were rolling out a product for mobile payments (think Square and Paypal as a competitor) and would generate a revenue stream for the company.

While I can rant and rave on the inefficiencies of this once great company, I am leaving. I don't want the stock options, the free beer, Oscars, Holiday Party, and other bs they feed us.


How are we different from Groupon, when we search through Groupons/Deal Chicken/Google Offers/Deal Finder/Travel zoo, old merchants to hit our quota of 30 plus Net rev?

But LivingSocial rocks, Culture is great, events are fire, and girls are hot (Well some of them are after a few drinks)

I recently made the decision to leave the company after a couple of years with the organization. I was a Kool Aid drinker until one day it dawned on me that over the last year I realized I had been working 10-12 hour days with no appreciation or even acknowledgement from a "manager" who was one of the originals at the company. This man has been reported to HR several times and still remains in his role. Original company employees are untouchable and can get away with murder. Several of them are also very disorganized and unqualified to be serving in the positions they have been promoted into. I know countless people at the company who are also looking at other jobs and are preparing to, or have already, left, most recently in the last two months. These original employees who may have contributed a relevent vision early on is what is leading to the destruction of the company, whether it's a fading industry or not.

I am now at a better job, earning three times what I earned at LivingSocial, and very happy. LivingSocial provides fun opportunities to interact with other young people in DC, but at the end of the day I was unwilling to sacrifice my own career and succses potential for 5pm beers on Fridays and a ball pit.
My wife works at LivingSocial, and I've met a bunch of her co-workers. This article is pretty accurate, though only a few are drinking the kool-aid. Most can see the ship is sinking, because there's no way that something so poorly-managed could do anything but.

Another commenter mention the old-boy's club atmosphere, and couldn't be more right. From everything I've heard, it's a frat house: the dudebros get promoted and praised, and the women are ignored or blamed for problems. I've been to some of the company events, and yeah: white people.

I would be pissed about the tax breaks if I thought they had any possibility of still being in business come 2016.
Well shit. If you thought I was kidding about the old-boy's club, you've got "Yea buddy!" in comment 22 to back me up:

"and girls are hot (Well some of them are after a few drinks)"
Wait so LivingSocial actually means LivingWhite? No diversity with this company? 2012 folks...time to get with the program. And what is a "cultural fit" with the company? Has "cultural fit" become the new euphemism for discrimination?
"I would be pissed about the tax breaks if I thought they had any possibility of still being in business come 2016."

Exactly. I've been wondering for years how these guys and Groupon would stick around long term, considering that the merchant pool willing to work with them keeps getting smaller and smaller.

A good friend of mine works at LivingSocial as a developer and he likes it just fine (I think they get paid better than the poor bastards in sales and merchant services), but I've been telling him for a while to keep his resume updated.
So the taxbreak will save the company about $32.5 million in taxes over five years beginning in 2015? Um...the company is so much in the red, how will they turn a profit?

I also read that part of the provision involved LivingSocial mentoring D.C. students who want to pursue careers in science in technology, grant internships to D.C. youths, and support business affected by street construction products. So have they started this yet?

Dear DC Government:

You got screwed and fell for the okey - doke. You are providing nearly $33 million in tax breaks for a company that has questionable hiring practices, lack of diversity (this is DC), and will not turn a profit (see Amazon).

Good luck.
Sounds like a typical startup. All smoke and mirrors and no real profit, just burning venture money.

These startups prey on recent college graduates, tempting them with a fun atmosphere despite low pay.

Trust me, I've worked at 4 of them in the DC area and it's all BS. The investors hope they can dupe someone into buying the company so they can cash out quickly an all those college grads are laid off. The only thing they get to add is another single year of employment to their spotty resume.
Sorry I am not drinking the Kool Aid, but I am loving the drinks at the bar during this sales conference!!!

New to the company, but so far so good. Didn't know all it took was some drinks to get these woman open. One more day, and if it is like last night, I am never leaving this company!

Special thanks for upper management giving some people their own room!!!!!
In breaking news, Groupon will have layoffs.

So I wonder what company is next? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?
haters gon' hate
It's absolutely absurd to compare LivingSocial (internet coupons and shootin'-and-drinkin' day trips) with Google and Facebook. LivingSocial isn't a tech company, they're not providing a solution to any problem or difficulty, and they're not building a new platform for interaction or social interaction. There is no innovation there. They sell coupons. That's it. Coupons.

I wish them well with their 918F experiment, but I want to point out that so far all of their attempts to break into the brick and mortar world of commerce have failed. Things like Instant, GiftBox (what a clusterfuck THAT was), and gourmet—actual services involving a physical product going directly from LS to the hands of the consumer—have failed miserably. And things like closing the bar at a music show at 10pm, just because it's Wednesday, aren't going to help.
I agree with Mark haters gon' hate!!!

Livingsocial rocks!!!!!
Soon enough, having LivingSocial or any other of these silly, non-functioning "tech" startups on your resume will be the new "English / Communications / PoliSci Major".
Did someone say LivingWhite? I chuckled...hahahahahahaha. I just read that Groupon will experience layoffs. Yikes!

The 918F is a great way to rip off merchants who had original ideas. We used to offer wine-and-painting classes with Uncork'd Art. So to take out the middle man, we took his idea, revamped it, and now offering it as an event for the 918 building. God bless capitalism.
Is LivingSocial funded by Mitt Romney?
How many million wine-and-painting classes does LivingSocial need to sell to turn the numbers in their books from red to black?
As an LS employee, I long for the party we’ll get when our stock is bumped up from “Sell” to “Don't Buy."
As a former employee, I agree with the comments above...The company is sinking, fast and faster each month. Management is poor and the company grew too fast for it's own good. There is a reason the turn-over rate is so high. I know dozens of people that have left over the past few months and dozens more looking to get out. The Kool-Aid has run out.
RIP Social Studies
As a current employee at 1445 I agree with the comments.

1. Tim is an out of touch CEO who doesn't have a clue about his employees. Plus his All Hands are lame and boring. Dude buy a LivingSocial voucher for a personality.
2. The company lacks diversity. I'm white and grew up in New York so I'm used to diversity. LivingSocial doesn't measure.
3. We grew too fast, acquired companies with bad debt, and wasted money on dumb stuff.
4. Take out and Delivery is dumb and not profitable for the company. Why do we still have it?
5. We are moving operations to Arizona so when are you going to tell the staff in 702 there jobs are no longer available.
6. The employees should go for a class action lawsuit.
7. Leave the company.
8. Did I mention that Take out and Delivery was a dumb idea? Add Gourmet to the list as well.
9. RIP Social Studies.
10. When is our IPO? I was promised shares so...
Props to the guy who said "Nobody reads Washington City Paper!" (as he's reading... Washington City Paper)
I'm always confused by those individuals who complain about working somewhere but continue to work there. Those who like to comment on the fast failures of a quickly moving tech company but don't point to the successes in local, Escapes, 918F, Shop, Families, etc. T&D will have it's day and if you can't understand the utility you should likely call that Domino's CEO and tell him that his online ordering service is not solving anything for anyone. "Oh god, I hate ordering pizza online," said no one <insert of those fun e-cards everyone raves about on FB>.

As a current employee, I only hope that those people who have said they're leaving do...go over to the Hill, put your suit on, work for ~$25k, and wait for your upside to come in (along with your obviously politic free environment). If you want out, get out. Leave a note at the 1445 front desk with your name and address and I'll send you a thank you card personally.

For those who do want to win, who do want to innovate, who do want to turn DC into the next great tech hub, I would just say this - come one, come all. There are wickedly bright and hard-working people here who want to do all of those things and they're looking for people to join. Regardless of color, creed, or orientation, you're wanted. It's a small enough place still that anything is possible with the right people behind it.
Living Social moved into the 7th and NY Ave space near the Convention Center. The neighborhood got nothing from them..they don't even come over to Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood events and they are so quarantined in their building. Dag, these kids move into the area and act like they are still in collge with their beer bongs, Bro!/Dood!-speak, Flip-flops, etc. So insular, unlike people from many races and walks of life (including other Caucasians like myself) who blend into the neighborhood and particpate.


So " Going the Distance" do I detect a Kool Aid Connoisseur? Hi Tim, how are you? To be quite honest T&D goose is cooked. How can you compete with, Feastly, and Grubhub...oh you can't. Let's face it local, Escapes, 918F, Shop, Families, and T&D are borrowed concepts that LivingSocial makes an attempt to revamp and achieve a profit.'s that going? The " wickedly bright and hard-working people" at LivingSocial are undervalued. You do know what "undervalued" means?
<3 Going the Distance, where do you sit so I can bring you baked treats, good vibes, and other things you give people who say everything you're thinking?
@PurpleKoolAid -- if you hate work that much, find work that makes you happy.

own your life.
I love working here. The projects are challenging and different. My coworkers are my friends in the office and out. And I've never felt shot down for voicing an opinion or idea. I don't know many young professionals who feel as fulfilled as I do in their corporate jobs (if they're lucky enough to have found employment). I hope you made the splash you needed to lift you out of internship, Simon. I'm just thankful my job doesn't involve following around people who don't want to talk to me. Also: I drink whiskey, not koolaid.
I’ve been a LivingSocial employee for just over a year now, and I have to say this article is fairly accurate. If anything, the author goes a little too easy on the company. The fact is LivingSocial is plagued by some seriously ingrained systemic problems both in its business model and its company culture.

I won’t go too deep into the financial side for now. Just take a look at the WSJ or BusinessWeek and it’s pretty clear LS’s days are numbered (at least in its current form). However, I do want to speak up about what it’s like working here. In case you can’t tell from some of the other LS posters on here (hello, fellow disillusioned employees!) there is a lot of frustration pent up in our wonderfully appointed offices.

One of the basic one's is management pisses employees and calls it a champagne happy hour. I won’t go as far as to say LS is exploitative, but it sure gets a lot of mileage out of kids who don’t know any better. Beer in the fridge is not a replacement for a decent paycheck or professional opportunity. Essentially, LS culture thinks frills make up for unrealistic expectations. Working 55+ hours a week is the unspoken rule and if you don’t pull late nights most of the time you will catch grief about it. Yeah, there is a ball pit, but we also get fewer vacation days than almost anyone else in the city. Which would you rather have?

A fellow coworker over in 1005 has a great story about his team being asked to work overtime for several weeks to meet one of the manager's arbitrary goals. In return everyone was enticed with.... a pizza party.

But you got to act like you love it because the 15% of people who are obsessed with it run the place.

These comments are absolutely hilarious. LivingSocial is not "LivingWhite". Be more creative...

The ship is sinking but LS will try to scale their events and escapes to local markets.

Do not listen to the entry-level "associates" on this thread. They are all dumb.

Zoolander out..
This was a well-written article. It did a good job explaining the business, its local significance, and the allure of LivingSocial while pointing out the slightly creepy aspect. The freakout reactions here in the comments suggest he was perhaps too accurate for comfort.

Speaking as a twenty something who used to date a Facebook executive, the whole culture is just hell. It's perpetuating college for immature whiz kids (or wannabes) who refuse to grow up and think they know better than centuries of economic theorists. I got out of that shit and found an engineer who didn't think wearing a tie to work made him a totally lame square.

The comments from current employees are enlightening. Can we get a follow-up article? Dig a little deeper?
Way to get out there "Jane" that you dated a Facebook Exec.

Your comment was retarded.

So hot right now...

To the koolaid drinkers and associate haters. Having been an associate back in the golden era when LS was still in start up mode I can tell you a few things.

1) most associates then were not dumb. There were people with law degrees, MBAs and mainly G town and GW grads.
2) associates did and some still do continue to make more than MCs or specialists. We made upwards of 5,6,10 even 14K in commission alone each month for a descent amount of time.
3) LS was a great place to work in 2011 with countless fun events and overall outstanding morale even in sales.
4) the amount of delusional people still in LS and on this thread in general are incredible. Companies grow they get corporate and people leave for greener pastures. The turnover in sales is now consistent with traditional salesforces of not worse.

I wish LivingSocial well and hope they right the ship. Just no more kool aid should you sip.
LS is a cool place to be .. but in the recent months it has lost it's mojo- its NOT the same place and part of it is we've a leader who does not know how to run a BIG start up - we're not hungry machine anymore but a 4,500 people strong company.We need a Sheryl Sandberg as a COO who can run the company and then Tim can continue to bullshit on his all-hands.

Overall, we've great leaders esp Mandy Cole - one of the best in the company who knows how to navigate the sales ship! The company has to pivot from a daily deals company to a more social commerce and be innovative and not follow others !!
I am not the typical twenty-something that you apparently think all LivingSocialites are, at thirty-something I am apparently the 'older' employees referred to earlier. As an 'older' employee the only reason people wouldn't love working here is because it is their first job out of college and they have no idea how amazing it is to work here. They don't realize most companies don't give you free snacks, drinks, and beer. Most companies don't offer amazing insurance benefits. Most companies let management sit in offices down a hall and you never see them instead of everyone sitting on the floor together as one family. Most companies require you to work your ass off (after all it is a job) but don't provide you fun perks, events, amazing buildings to work from, and a culture manager devoted to making employees happy. I have no idea what greatness they think is on the other side of the fence but I vote you go find it...or at least try cause you are messing up the culture at my living social.
-KoolAid Drinker (can I have a second cup please)
Well, if the shoe fits wear it! It is all WHITE company and men blame the women. They ask you for ideas and then incorporate into their process. They recognize the same people all the time. It is becoming a micro-managed company.... They have a mgt team that does not mgt, but likes to criticize you..mgrs make it seem like they are working but they are not.. Youtube Video's anyone?? sorry people, but the writing is on the wall. if the little house is not happy, the big house, will have a bigger mess to clean up. The exc's made their money... so why care about the people who get screamed at all the time?? it gonna be like the real estate market.. over saturated, overworked then BOOM.. The bust, the layoffs and well .... another one bites the DUST.. Sit back and watch.. it will happen ..
The irony here is that you, The Author, go out of your way to write a provocative piece with some mis-guided thought that doing so will allow you to finally be accepted by your journalist peers, yet instead what you're left with is 10 pages of inaccurate banter that makes you no more relevant than a 6th grade girl upset because being a whiney little bitch didnt make her cool enough to sit at the popular table at lunch. Congratulations, you've successfully been the topic of conversation on an otherwise slow Thursday. Enjoy the rest of your time in obscurity.

Couldn't Care Less
I wasn't sure if this article was accurate so I asked Jeeves and found some great info on a geocities site. I PtC'd a couple times and came to the conclusion that lunch is over, lunch is over...
This article is so critical and unnecessary. LivingSocial is offerng employment to 4,500 people. If you don't like your job or career then go somewhere else. I personally love it here, I'm not higly involved in the culture activities because I have a full life outside of work that my LivingSocial paycheck provides. I'm really surprised by all of this negatively. I have been working professionally for 10 years and this is my favorite job. You haters need to move on or actually do something with your time. LivingSocial is full of young kids who will only know how good they had it until they go to another job. It's a pleasant place, nice perks, decent pay for my industry, and yes I work really hard but such is life, I have always worked hard. There are much bigger issues in DC and the world then the wonderful company that LivingSocial is and wants to be.
For all of you cowards that are posting this while employed at Livingsocial, nobody is holding a gun to your head and keeping you there. If you're so angry then leave. You sound so foolish.
@Ron: I completely agree with you.

When you attempt to hire passionate people, you're bound to elect those who are well over-opinionated. Unfortunately, I think that the latter represents a majority of opinions expressed within this discussion and their sense of over-inflated self-entitlement flat out depresses me.

Although I think there are some valid critiques within this article (the future of the local commerce platform), Simon did a half-baked job at executing it. Having to rely on catching a couple of employees off-guard at a 918F event, questioning Julia's genuine character (as a "product of that vaunted culture" - fuck you, Simon: LivingSocial's culture is a product of Julia's character), and quoting Tim while on the metro? Please. I can find better journalism in the Washington Post Express.

For those who are unsatisfied with the company, there's a simple solution: leave. Do us all a favor and find an employer who can tolerate your feeble attempts in trying to undermine the success of the company. For the employee who typed up a rant during their lunch while on a lunch break at work: you should be fired.

I would be happy in publicizing a boycott against WCP if I knew that people actually read it.
C'mon People, the media is paid to stir up shit, and the WCP is infamous for it around these parts. Simon van Zuylen-Wood has obviously been a snarky confused kid since the day his parents hyphenated his last name, no wonder he writes for them.

All of the complaints here are coming from self entitled crybabies that don't understand what it's like to work at 99% of the companies out there, who don't appreciate that they have been given an opportunity to be a part of something pretty fucking awesome, gain great experience, and be paid decently for it. If you have to be micromanaged, you probably aren't very good at your job. If you don't like the culture or working in a laid back, work-hard play-hard environment then please go work somewhere else because the company doesn't need your negativity. If you can build a perfect company that employs hundreds and hundreds of people in the city and thousands internationally and does it's best to make it's employees happy then tell me where to sign up.

Is everything at the company perfect? No. Do we know what the future holds? No. But, I'm proud to be part of it. If you don't appreciate what this company has done for you then go get another job, but just remember, the reason the next company decided to talk to you is because you work or have worked at this company.

For the rest of you naysayers out there suck on Bofadeez.
Well said #63!! Let's just be thankful to have a job, to provide a roof over a head and to have fun!! Life is to short!!

You can't criticize the author of this journalistic piece for writing an accurate view of LivingSocial behind closed doors. To the world we are this "hungry" company that exemplifies hard work and innovation. However if you poll the masses there is another story. The company is dividing between kool aid drinkers and non kool aid drinkers. The company lacks diversity, better managers, and innovative products, community engagement, and career advancement.


If we have an office in 1005 then why are we not engaged with the Mt. Vernon community? I mean we can create great PR and say we are going to pay the Metro tab for the Nats. Unfortunately the jokes on us because we have done a piss poor job in DC's community. Yeah we can make sandwiches for Miriam's kitchen but what about the communities that are around our offices?


The diversity issue is huge and needs attention. Why is the company lacking in managers who are of color? How many Latinos, Asian, African American, and Indian managers exist with the company at either 1005, 1445, Boomtown, 702, 918F, and the Nest? If the perception is LivingSocial means "LivingWhite" what diversity programs has HR rolled out to the company? How does one become a manager at LivingSocial? Why is it perceived that LivingSocial is the "Good Old Boy" company?


The comments from Ken Archer are valid. We are not a technology company. What original innovative product have we created and designed? Innovation is linked to performance and growth through improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitive positioning and market share. We are a carbon copy of Groupon and other ideas hoping to achieve a profit.

Breads and circuses Kool Aid drinkers...breads and circuses.
"I am not the typical twenty-something that you apparently think all LivingSocialites are, at thirty-something I am apparently the 'older' employees referred to earlier. As an 'older' employee the only reason people wouldn't love working here is because it is their first job out of college and they have no idea how amazing it is to work here."

That's BS, too. I'm also not a young, fresh thing just out of college. I've been in the job market for years, and I do not love working here. In fact, it's become something of a chore to have to drag myself out of bed and plaster a smile on my face, because I have to make sure everyone knows that I'm LivingSocial. I agree that yes, there are some that complain here who are young that make me go, "Wow, you have zero clue about the real world, and what it's actually like out there." But I am not one of those people. 

The sad part is that's what's made my decision to leave so difficult. Because I know what it's like at a lot of other places. That said, the perks and benefits do not make up for the fact that I cannot be here anymore. And for those who are saying, "Well just get out," (1) I am, and (2) I guarantee you most people who are shit talking are already in the process of doing just that. We're just not idiots; we have bills to pay, so we're not going to quit overnight in some self-righteous rage.

This used to be an incredible place to work. I was so happy that I found a place I could really grow professionally. And I did! I will say that. I absolutely did. There are so many things I would have not gotten to do had I gone anywhere else. But then things changed, as things are wont to do when there is rapid expansion. But that's not an excuse. The expansion only exposed flaws that were already there, but not as big of a deal when you're only in a two-story brownstone above a Hooters. 

Now, things are a mess. I feel like I'm drowning in favoritism here. They're perfectly content to take advantage of people when they need them, and then give them no credit or push them back down once they're done. Management has constantly changing expectations or ways to do things, and they tend to cycle every couple of months. Not just little things. I mean "we are completely changing how we function" changes; the types of changes that should not be happening every two months for over a year. Management is ridiculous. Thanks to aforementioned favoritism, you end up with fresh out of college children as managers, who have no idea what they're doing, but lordy, do they love the power they have landed. And don't even get me started on the fact that there's one department that's like... in their 11th week over mandatory overtime to the tune of 10 extra hours/week, while LS builds up a cheaper version of their department out in Arizona. YET NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING! It's all smiles and jokes about no-shave November.

I used to love coming to work every day. I would try to get my friends to come work here too. Actively. Now I warn them away. When I told my best friends I had finally accepted it was time to move on, there were literal cheers, because they had seen how unhappy I had become.

I'm not saying I expect LS to be perfect. And I'm sure there are some pockets in the company where they genuinely do not experience this kind of turmoil. But there are more than just a few of us who are depressed by the fact that this place WAS incredible. Now it just feels like a fraud. I mean seriously, you should have seen this place yesterday. People were GLUED to this article, laughing and agreeing along with many of these comments. Like I said, it's not everyone who has this experience, but there's enough of a problem that I didn't find one person yesterday who disagreed with the negative commentary.
I feel like I'm reading the burn book from Mean Girls. Take a deep breath and enjoy life, people. If the 'ship is sinking' then jump off. Don't complain about it publicly while still getting a paycheck.
I'm not the prototype livingsocialite portrayed by the article and comments (woman, ethnic minority, and in the 30's club). My preferred drink of choice is red wine and I haven't had koolaid since I was 8. Believe it or not - I honestly enjoy working here.

The objective truth is that livingsocial is a startup that has grown rapidly in a short time that isn't perfect. It's still trying to navigate the best path and forge a solid identity. At the end of the day, with any business, there is always a dollar bottom line that must be accounted for and hard decisions are going to have to be made. The fact that we have a culture team and lofty perks isn't for smoke and mirrors, it's an attempt to foster a work lifestyle that models the same brand we are trying to project externally. While it might not be perfect, at least it's genuine.

I suspect that the people who are that discontent with working here came in the door with out much life experience or perspective. They were likely very thirsty and eager to drink the koolaid only to find out some of the ingredients where still being figured out and now are left with a bitter taste in their mouth. My advice - you should leave.

The grass is always greener...
A few questions based upon my observation from the comments.

So LivingSocial received a tax break from DC but created new jobs in Arizona?

Is the DC government aware of this? If new jobs are created in Arizona then what happens to the departments within LivingSocial? From what I understand the company has yet to make a profit so I suspect downsizing to occur. So when will LivingSocial downsize its departments? If Groupon had layoffs, I assume LivingSocial is next.

What is LivingSocial's diversity initiative? If the management structure lacks people of color, how is this "culture team" addressing this? Any people of color on the "culture team" ?

What civic and philanthropic engagement has LivingSocial done and continue to do?
My favorite comment so far:

"Do us all a favor and find an employer who can tolerate your feeble attempts in trying to undermine the success of the company."

Yeah, if only the complainers left, maybe they'd only lost $500 million next quarter!
To Couldn't Care Less:

"Congratulations, you've successfully been the topic of conversation on an otherwise slow Thursday."

Isn't a slow Thursday in your business an indication of, um, a problem?
The message I'm getting from many of these comments (aside from the perennial "Nobody reads Shittypaper, anyway!")is "If you have a problem with this organization, just leave!" Come on. Can't someone raise valid points about an imperfect organization without this response? If an organization is dysfunctional in some way, you're saying that employees shouldn't draw attention to the problems or call for change, but instead should just "leave if they don't like it"? Hopefully the upper management of LS won't take such a defensive stance, and will maybe take this article and comments as a wake up call that some things need to change.
This article is amazing. Exactly what all of us outsiders have thought for years. That poster Don got it right. I don't work at LivingSocial but I know a few who do and they believed (brainwashed) it to be the BEST JOB IN THE WORLD (at first) and they post pictures of playing in the ball pit (really? disgusting) and their "spirit weeks" (hello, I'm 16 years old), and us "outsiders" feel sorry for our friends. We know that it's all bullshit (working for LS). When LS employees are in a group, stay away. Male or female (and yes, usually all white), it's like going to a freshmen frat party. Pretentious and totally clueless about the CULTURE of the real world. The DC area is so tired of the arrogance, LS. I love how people who are applying for jobs get interrogated by a culture wizard or whatever and if you don't have a favorite superhero, you're probably not getting the job. WHAT??!!! LS is the best comedy material yet.

For the record, my friends at LS are not associates. They are managers in a few departments. And ONE of them agrees with this article. Finally. And to #66 "Nope" , you're expressing exactly what my friend said.

Also, why is no one talking about the Metro ordeal? He says he's going to pay for it and then doesn't? What kind of unethical business standard is that?
Would all you self righteous twits give up on the KOOL AIDE references!
Does anyone on here know what this actually refers to?? Get on your MacBook and Wikipedia the Jonestown Massacre.
Over 900 people were snuffed out via murder/mass suicide in an afternoon. A sitting Congressman was gunned down. For all of you to throw this reference around so lightly as you pine over your PBR cooler, rock climbing, and sausage making BS at the amusement park you call a workplace is a disgrace to all of those poor souls' memories.
@Ben, Hooray for a voice of reason! Seriously. Thank you.
TRUTH: It's okay to fail. Accepting that is admirable. Denying that is shameful and foolish.

TRUTH: LivingSocial denies everything.

TRUTH: LivingSocial LOST money and had to pay Starbucks for the deal.

TRUTH: There will be MANY layoffs in the near future.

TRUTH: There are so many lawsuits going on right now that they are trying to pay off to stay quiet. Close to 50M has been spent on lawsuits that I know of.

TRUTH: Execs are cashed out. Period. Mentally checked out too.

TRUTH: Verbal abuse is real in this company, ego's run wild.

TRUTH: Money is lost every single time LivingSocial holds an event in their events space.

TRUTH: They respected seniority more than intelligence or knowledge of the industry. Therefore, most management is not skilled, and the entire organization crumbles.

TRUTH: "Recognize Others" doesn't exist in the day-to-day. Recognition doesn't exist - working your ass off 60+ hours a week is expected and not rewarded.

TRUTH: Again, LivingSocial denies everything.

TRUTH: I've seen their books.

TRUTH: Eddie is the smartest of them all. He has the most fun, too.
@NOTKOOL shut up you minge.
Businesses fail. What's the big deal? There is no conspiracy here. They messed up. It's going to be over soon. End of story. It happens all the time. I'm not sure what is so fascinating about this.
i worked at living social after the navy - i loved it.

To be clear, I did not suggest that political connections helped Living Social gain the tax break. In our conversation, you mentioned the connection to Donald Graham and I acknowledged the connection but gave absolutely no indication I thought there was a connection between that relationship and legislation.

Michael Goldstein
I asked Jeeves about LivingSocial and he told me if employees had a scheduled PTC break every day, it may lead to some 'sticky' situations but the workplace would be more productive as a whole.
And the employees speak out! LOL! What? They're unhappy? How can that be? It was voted one of the Best Places to Work in DC. How is that so? Did someone buy that vote? You're saying beer and pits of unhygienic balls from Chuck E Cheese don't equate to actually having a rewarding job at a valued and respected company? No? Sarcasm aside, I am pretty elated that this company may be on its way out. Never cared for anything they had to offer, and according to the thousands of complaints on its own Facebook page, no else seems to care about them either.

Come see local bands Drop Electric and Whales play at 918 F Street on 11/30!
Plus it's spelled "kool-aid" you idiots
I work at LS. I'm miserable. IDK why everyone is saying if you're miserable just leave!! It's not easy to find a job in DC - yes we are a tech company, but it's sales, customer service and merchant service/account services. I'm scared for when everything explodes soon and we are all looking for jobs...I'm actively interviewing, but in the past month nothing has come along. I'll continue searching.

Hope to find something great soon before everyone is competing for the same job.
LivingSocial is awesome. The management that I've come into contact with is great. The people are smart and ambitious. If you do your job well, you'll be fine. Haters gonna hate
Hey GREG MAZANEC, (aka the "Maza-Fire") Thanks for recruiting me and 30 other people from other jobs with a lie and then firing our entire Instant travel team with an e-mail and then refusing to talk to us.

Take a lesson from Greg, the most inexperienced and disconnected manager I've ever had. It's easier to mass fire through an e-mail. It's called a MAZA-FIRE.

Looks like they turned Instant into Takeout and Delivery and from what I've read they are about to shut that down too. I wonder if he'll maza-fire them.

Thanks man.
maza-fire!!!! how come i haven't heard this one before!!!! #boom
@I like wine:

"I suspect that the people who are that discontent with working here came in the door with out much life experience or perspective. They were likely very thirsty and eager to drink the koolaid only to find out some of the ingredients where still being figured out and now are left with a bitter taste in their mouth." 

Absolutely untrue. Just not true at all. Maybe for some, but not all of us who also don't fit the stereotypical green/idealistic mold you're describing. I concede that potentially these feelings may really be flaring in select divisions, but there was a distinct backpedal. I had no illusions about ultimately this is a job that requires a lot of dedication, long hours, and effort. I would say that up until about six to nine months ago, things were going well. We had a clear path of what we were doing and what we're trying to accomplish. 

Now? It's gray. No one tells us what's going on or what we're trying to do. Any professional development was literally flushed down the toilet -- I was point blank told this in a much more polished manner. We're overworked to the point of mutiny, but there is no end in sight, and no talks about what we're trying to do here. Not only that, there used to be an effort to make sure all divisions were made to feel like a whole -- something critically important when you have departments scattered in different buildings. Now we never talk to anyone anymore. There are tons of closed door meetings, with more middle management being put in place, furthering the divide between the worker bees and the decision makers. 

That's a bit of a brain dump, I admit. But the point is where there once was cohesion and teamwork, there is now none. Communication happens in a vacuum, and when we voice our concerns about things like this article for example, we're told that it's nothing to be concerned about, while we watch everyone around us job search. Hell, maybe this article is doing them a favor. It's pushing people to look for jobs when they were going to close down certain orgs and ship them across the country anyway. 

WANT TO REACH THE CEO? TRY or and the person to get your check if it is late is
+1 - perfect.

so true - when we ask for answers, we receive robotic responses about how great things are. livingsocial is a lot like romney in the presidential election. the guy thought he was gonna win. he spoke like he was winning. everyone on the outside believed he might win from the confidence.

the way livingsocial tries to cover it all up is exactly like presidential propoganda campaigning.

oh ps. the irony is that romney didn't win. you saw how sad he was and you almost felt bad for him. but then you remembered you never liked him in the first place because he didn't do any good for anyone and just cared about money.

actually, livingsocial and romney have a lot in common!!!
This is better than TMZ. I never thought a business could be so juicy! When will the next article be published?! I'm addicted. I had no idea there was so much controversy in my favorite company! I basically eat off of livingsocial so I hope they don't go away...but this is just TOO good!!!!!!!!
If this article hasn't hit a nerve it wouldn't have almost 100 comments. Face it, the author sketched an image of LivingSocial that the brand doesn't want you to see. And now the employees are fleshing it out.

This shitstorm is addictive---more, more, more!
*hadn't hit a nerve. Stupid autocorrect.

What do the LS goons have to say to their detractors beyond "if you don't like it, leave"? Are they just going to deny that anyone can possibly be dissatisfied at a company with beer and ball pits (ew)?
YES!!! MORE!!! Honestly, we should know the truth...but more importantly...the poor employees there should know the truth! Can we get a follow-up article? Less fluff, we can read through the lines. What's REALLY going on behind this company?

Any company that has to work that hard to employ full time culture people, have culture vultures, and everyone is STILL miserable has to have a lot of secrets....why exactly is everyone so unhappy? They work so hard to paint a picture of happy employees!! And it's not even true!!!
Hey reporter - did anyone of the employees tell you about how LivingSocial pays for positive GlassDoor reviews?

Or how they have fired people for writing reviews on Yelp?

Controlled Culture to the max.
Just putting it out there: I'm an employee and I've been mistreated in many ways - being forced to work more than 20 hours more a week, EVERY week since I started (about a year) than I'm getting paid to do, and threatened when I don't. That's 80 hours MORE a month that I am forced to work to keep my job. I get paid on a 40 hour work week, but 60 is mandatory, and many times, because of the workload to keep up with unachievable goals, I am putting in about 70. How would one go about contacting a lawyer for a potential lawsuit? Earning back on this is only fair.

I was promised a promotion if I did this, and after being told "another month" every month for the past 9 months, I was recently told that the position didn't exist anymore. All of that for nothing!!

I'm not happy. How do I find the right lawyer for this? Any recommendations? I'll be checking this post, so just post it. Thanks. I think I know of a few more employees that would be willing to join in. If LivingSocial is crumbling, and we are all out of jobs, I need to make sure I am compensated for all the overtime I have put in.
I've never worked as an employee at LivingSocial, but over the years I've served as an advisor to their exec team as well as many other tech startups in the DC area. This company has grown too fast and the executive team simply doesn't have the maturity and experience to keep pace with this explosive growth. Unfortunately, this growth now seems unsustainable and LS is unlikely to become profitable unless they dramatically reimagine their business model, their workforce or both.

The odd thing is that the best tech companies in DC aren't in DC. They're across the river. I've had a chance to see the inside of many of our region's startups and in my opinion CustomInk and OPower are the most impressive and deserve to be the most admired. They are DC's bright spots and most worthy of being compared to Silicon Valley companies (not Google, Facebook etc but the next tier down.)

They both have legitimate business models that provide meaningful value to their customers, have fun respectful cultures that care and invest in developing their people and that are lead by sharp yet humble leadership teams. If we want to develop a startup community in DC to rival Boston or New York then we should look to these companies as role models not LivingSocial.
The reason you are all so unhappy is because you probably don't fit in with our company culture. We are fucking badasses and if you think you're too good for this and you can do better, take your weird social skills and awkwardness somewhere else. You're so smart? Go build your own LivingSocial. We don't need you. You all know who you are. I'm staying put. LivingSocial is the best place to work. Everyone's happy, the office is a ton of fun, and if you're not a WEIRDO, then you'll make a ton of friends and the longer hours won't be such a downer. The only people unhappy are complaining here. We don't want them anyway. Be a downer somewhere else and get out of our fucking way so we can move faster to GLOBAL DOMINATION. BOOM that
@DC Tech Insider - You're right. It's unfortunate, however LivingSocial has had numerous opportunities to help nurture and grow the community in the city that propelled them to success. Instead, they chose to never appear at events, sponsor anything, or show a care in the world for their early supporters.

The executives never care to talk to anyone in the community, unlike every other major business in the area - they simply do not exist at events, not even speaking.

LivingSocial made a deliberate decision not to be a DC company (besides having an office space here and wanting us to buy their deals, they do nothing), but wanted to receive all of the perks. Not only have they screwed the community over, the ones that would have open arms as they adjust/pivot/fail/whatever, but instead they brushed us off. I don't think they should expect anyone to care.

They did the same thing with merchants. How many merchants have now filed for lawsuits against them now in DC? The same small businesses that trusted them and partnered early on, are the same businesses that LivingSocial is hurting by duplicating their businesses (whatever sold best on LivingSocial) and selling it in their new 918F space. This is totally contradictory to trying to help local businesses.

Any time you go to a LivingSocial event you are taking business away from a local merchant that needs it, and giving your money to a business that steals business ideas from their most successful partnerships in an effort to stay alive.

Well, LivingSocial loses money every time an event goes on at 918F. By supporting LivingSocial, you are putting local businesses OUT of business. Poor Blush 'N Brush was the first to get the idea stolen, and it just snowballed from there.

So ask yourself, do you care about helping or seeing good happen to a company that turned their back on their community, business partnerships, and as it seems, employees, while asking DC to spend their time creating tax breaks for them (because they are SO special) as they secretly build out offices in Arizona for when they start letting everyone go in DC. Come on, that was a publicity stunt at it's best.

I'm not happy with LivingSocial. They aren't honest. They aren't transparent. They are greedy and foolish. They want everything, and will end up with nothing because they have ruined too many relationships along the way. Their values may be written on the wall, but they are not lived or executed.
Dear Lord Tim Romney- O'Shaughnessy,

As a representative of the 47% who work at LivingSocial, we sincerely thank you oh kind sir for feeding us breads and entertaining us with circuses. It appears that during this cycle the ship is sinking. I was supposed to be serving as your 2nd class nobility, within reach of the one percent. Instead, I am livingsocial. Can you fire me oh kind sir so that I may use the customer list I downloaded from Salesforce to start my own empire?

Help us oh kind sir.

Your humble peasants.
I've downloaded the entire customer list and merchant list with all the notes. Easy hack to get the real good contacts, too. If they let me go before I start/find another job, I'm selling it to the highest bidder.

When a company isn't honest to you, you don't feel any loyalty what-so-ever. I've been jerked around like a nut for the past 6 months.
So LivingSocial lacks diversity, not engaged in the DC community, not really a tech company, steal merchant ideas, has a horrible management structure, and has shipped jobs to Arizona? Why are we supporting this company?

I laughed at the GREG MAZANEC, (aka the "Maza-Fire") comment. Dang dude, you really pissed off a few of your employees.

I think we need to remind LivingSocial that this is DC. In DC we organize, engage, and mobilize the people against a bs corporations like LivingSocial. I also read somewhere there wasn't any other businesses in Prince George's County that were on LivingSocial platform.

Can we get an investigation into this company or something? Or how about we just assemble the masses at their offices around Chinatown and show them how we deal with racist companies like LivingSocial.
Simon van Zuylen-Wood is my hero! Thank you for this article. I'm an employee at this hell hole and Lord O'Shaughnessy and his goons are idiots. Please do a follow up article. I know tons of employees that will give you the real scoop. Just stay away from the Julia's and the "Maza-Fire" of the company. Interview employees in consumer service, merchant services, production, t&d, associates, deal quality, and inside sales for a real exclusive of this Dante Inferno. Give em hell Simon!

DC is not a community that supports lying to merchants, abusing their trust, putting them out a business, lying to employees, lying to the local government, lying to the press, lying to everyone.

The best thing we can do is boycott LyingSocial. My friend who works there (and is miserable) said that DC is the highest grossing city in revenue for the company in the WORLD. Why are we making a decision to hurt our local businesses to support such a dishonest company?

We need to stand together and share this article with as many people as we can and alert them not to buy LyingSocial deals. Perhaps someone will be willing enough to write an article on why we should boycott LyingSocial deals in the city, and investigate to talk to all of the merchants that have been negatively affected by a deal. We're a city that stands together.

Until LyingSocial tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help them Amazon, I will NEVER buy another deal from them again, and instead, will take that extra $5 I am saving and put it towards helping a local merchant thrive in our wonderful city.
Dang...over a 100 comments?
The truth is, these comments sound exactly like everyone's gchats, lunch convo's and water-cooler talks. It's hilarious to see this all broadcasted for the world. It's like a prisoner that's finally broken free. But I'm scared of being reprimanded on Monday. Literally, scared. I don't know if I can go. I'd probably run to the bathroom whenever my manager walked by. DUN DUN DUNNNN.

Maza-Fire. This cracks me up. He's such a joke. That's what you get for having friends in high places. A guaranteed cushy job, and no clue how to run anything. He gave me 15 minutes of his time after trying to talk to him for weeks, only to talk the entire meeting without letting me get a word in. Then time was up. He thinks he's really smart.

I hate seeing LyingSocial go down the tubes like this but, to be honest, they've really not treated me well. I'm in sales, and my commission changes whenever I make any decent money, and I'm forced to deal with unhappy merchants all the time. It's sad. I just don't know where to find another job right now. It seems like everywhere I interview, other LivingSocial employees just fill it up before I can get in.

-A Scared LivingSocial Employee

Remember when the managers told the guys who had a subscription sunglass company that they would take legal action if they didn't stop selling sunglasses because it was going to distract them from spending all their time on LS?

Am I dreaming? Is this happening?
On a positive note, LivingSocial may have been a stepping stone to enter the startup world. I checked out the company mentioned in the article from a former employee, Markerly, and it's surprisingly ingenious. Are there any other companies from LivingSocial spawn that are worthy that DC can look forward to seeing more of?
As another former employee, I am actually heartened and surprised to learn that others shared my exact experiences: from the infallibility of longtime employees and the complete ineptitude of middle management to the old boys club mentality. I loved working with a lot of my coworkers though and I push the ones I'm in contact with to leave before the ship sinks. As a minority as well it's great to see that other employees recognized the complete lack of racial diversity. This place had a lot
of potential to innovate in ways to Sell you coupons but its blocked by its culture. Feel bad for the people who won't have more kool aid to drink after they realize that it's a business and if you're not making money then culture and all the other garbage they try to instill is worthless
Monday is going to be awkward. Either they are going to completely ignore this, or, they will send an e-mail out that if you're unhappy, there are other choices. My money is that they will completely deny everything that we all know is imminent, and continue on with the Kool-Aid.
I think we are all forgetting, Tim did do something nice for all of us, about a year and a half ago. Remember? He made us pasta!!!!!
I had no idea that almost everyone else was sharing the same experience as I was. Everyday at work, I have to plaster on a fake smile, and pretend to be enjoying myself so I "fit in" with the culture. I have to kiss ass to managers that don't respect me, appreciate me, or offer me any honesty. Most interactions I have had with management, they look me in the eyes and lie to my face. There are many closed-door meetings everyday. Those privy to information let it go to their head, and mistreat the rest of us. As if they are the only ones stressed. I have only been here a few months, but I've worked at startups before and this feels more like I'm working for the Chinese government, minus the pretty colors, ball pit, and beer. It's all vanity. My personal relationships have suffered, I feel guilty when I leave the office before 8, even though I am salaried on 40 hours a week and making only 38K (a big pay cut from my previous 56K). I'm never appreciated when I do a good job. It's expected of me to slave over my work, as I'm lied to and I'm will I just sit at my desk on Monday, watching everyone else...knowing that they feel just as trapped and scared. Management is an old boys club. They talk to you in a condescending tone, don't listen to ideas...and yes, ideas here are stolen and taken credit for by management ALL the time (see: glassdoor).

I feel like no one knows I exist. i was so excited to work for this company, and after month 1 I realized it was a huge mistake and I should never have let their recruiter mislead me like he did. This is NOTHING like they said it would be.

Whenever anyone has voiced opinions, management and the few that do drink the kool-aid lashes out and tells them that they are wrong, makes them feel foolish, and makes their work-life harder, everyday. In a way, it's like permanent hazing. I'm always walking on glass, pretending to be happy just to fit in with rest of the "stepford" employees.

-- Nervous in DC
In my department we have moved from critical thinkers to a call center environment and graded under the auspice of “quality assurance.” I graduated college in order to receive grades on empathy? Every single day I hear ‘where’s my check’ and ‘ I didn’t get my direct deposit.’

You want your check? Email management -

LivingSocial Quality Assurance

Opening Comments 
Listening Skills 
Listening Skills Comments 
Empathy Comments 
Communication Skills - Verbal 
Communication Skills - Verbal Comments 
Communication Skills - Written 
Professional Behavior Comments 
Offer Assistance 
Offer Assistance Comments 
Issue ID and Solution Provided 
Set Expectations 
Resourcefulness Comments 
Escalate/Transfer Comments 
Create Case 
Create Case Comments 
Tool Documentation 
Quality Documentation 
Adherence to Policy 
I've read this article several times through and continue to check the comments & there's some serious nonsense getting thrown around. I've worked at Livingsocial for several years on the sales side in DC and feel that I've lived a more well rounded experience here than many of the trolls posting above and feel compelled to comment.

As with any highly competitive and quickly scaling operation, people aren't always going to make it and change will be a constant and sometimes frustrating reality. Yes, we've been on 10+ comp plans, there have been times where associates made more than senior reps and there is little to no interaction with other departments. But for anyone actually interested in a sales career, tell me where else you can get businesses the type of exposure we generate without any upfront money and a pay for performance model. Also, for anyone who has done well here financially (I would consider myself in this bucket), tell me where else you can make this kind of money without ever having a client write you a check? Answer: YOU CANT.

It is true that there are lots of people trying to get out and that is largely a product of our rapid growth and many coming here because it was "cool" to work here. Welcome to the real world, Livingsocialites. The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. It's easy to get down on something that has always given so much - taking a second to reflect on all of the advantages we have working here should add some perspective. How many of your friends work on the hill/consulting and making 1/3 -1/2 MAX of what we do?

I welcome any commentary and feedback and I too am frustrated at times - taking a second to reflect on what we have always helps me though. Livingsocial continues to be a GREAT place to work, trust me.
Wow. You certainly told us, FUCK YOU and CALL ME MR AWESOME.

You don't sound irrational or ridiculous at all. Aside from FUCK YOU's all caps, my favorite part is how you backed everything up with tangible facts supporting your position that we must be socially inept weirdos not to like our jobs.

Oh wait.
FUCK YOU and CALL ME MR AWESOME = Mazatard and Darmanin? These old boy winners = what's wrong with Livingsocial 2.0.

Copy first boys, innovate later.
I laughed at the TMZ reference. Awesome! Why does Leslie Hall still have a job? She sucked over at consumer services so why is she still on the payroll? Hey Graham, can you answer that? I mean the company fired Matt Lattman and eliminated his entire department for what? Because he was in DateLab? Trolls.
I've never seen such a bunch of fucking whiny babies in my life. YOU signed the contract to work at livingsocial, knowing what you would get paid. YOU are the one remaining in that position because you can't get a job anywhere else. Any guess as to why? The economy is shit. This isn't a socialist country. There are free-market principles at work. It's called supply and demand. The demand for jobs is high, the supply is low, and wages are going to reflect that. Go take a high school econ class before spewing your ignorant 'give me more, i'm entitled' bullshit.

In regards to the 'old boys club' nonsense, we do still live in America right? LivingSocial brings in the best talent it can, regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. If the ethnic makeup doesn't reflect that of the DC population, it's not because of some hidden agenda, it's because people are hired based on TALENT, as they should be. I personally work around several people of different ethnicities who are extremely bright and we have never had a single problem with this. It's just a pathetic race ploy (that works all too often) to generate hate against a group. You are the real racists.
I think LivingSocial boys club is behind all of these semi-positive comments. I have worked in several jobs before LS and I was always treated with respect. Management never lied to my face and expected me to respect them as they refuse to keep their word. There is zero communication between departments, and employees are expected to keep their heads down and not as questions. When we ask, we are given prepare answers about how great the company is doing, and how the stock will be worth so much.

I don't expect any job to be perfect, but I do expect honesty and appreciation and those are not ingredients of LivingSocial.

They could have scaled successfully by:

Treating employees better, especially the sales employees that manage all of the revenue and relationships.
Not creating impossible quoatas to meet (selling 38 deals a month in certain categories is a disaster waiting to happen) don't make sales employees make a decision to lie to close a deal, or make their rent ad earn commission.
Reward people for doing well.
Darminian and Mazanec? Worst management I have ever seen by far at any organization. (to be fair, at least darminian doesn't have mouth diarrhea and too much false entitlement)

You know why merchants hate us? It's because they have forced us to lie to them.

The only good thing about working here is Jason Rozenblat.

If you had to log in w fb to comment, this thread would be a ghost town. However if we get to 200 comments, I will spin a set at the holiday party.
Why is TechCocktail listed on the "allies" list? What is the relationship between TechCocktail and LivingSocial? Does this mean that TechCocktail isn't...real, but paid or sponsored articles?
Are the sales employees invited to the holiday party this year? Or is it another game of inviting, uninviting, inviting and uninviting the sales team that generates the revenue for the company.

Another not normal, unmotovating aspect of being at LivingSocial. Another rumored mazatard decision.

That doesn't happen at other companies.
TechCocktail is ran by Frank Gruber who also worked at AOL back in the day. He's on the payroll for writing positive messages about LivingSocial. Never has he written an objective piece about the company. Frank drinks the Kool Aid.
Never reading TechCocktail again.
Gotta love how the one company always hoisted up as a shining example of DC's "booming" tech scene is basically a frat-boy pyramid scheme.

Was one of the requirements of the tax credit to be at least as corrupt and mismanaged as the DC government itself?
My friend got hired for the Arizona place. Looks like they will be laying off here, and re-hiring a small amount there.
Ludwig von Mises in 122:

"In regards to the 'old boys club' nonsense, we do still live in America right? LivingSocial brings in the best talent it can, regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. If the ethnic makeup doesn't reflect that of the DC population, it's not because of some hidden agenda, it's because people are hired based on TALENT, as they should be. "

If you truly believe that to be true, you are most definitely part of the problem.
While I can appreciate the passion behind some of these posts, the fact that you hide behind a wall of anonymity speaks volumes as to your character. You want the truth, here it goes.

I have met some of the most talented people I have ever come across in my career here at LS. It is a true world class operation, in all aspects. We can whine about comp and 10 comp changes, but guess what every comp plan has increased my earnings little by little.

It is no secret that there are some issues, and that is one of the dangers of exponential growth. I also believe that when growing so quickly you also end up hiring folks that aren't necessarily a good fit as is evident on this blog.

The point is that neither the writer (amateur) nor the hipsters we have working here are experienced enough to have the insight necessary to understand the bigger picture. Green staff and lack of experience seems to be the theme associated with this loaded post.

You are making it seem as if fostering happy working environment and doing all things possible to boost morale is somehow a bad thing. Truth is most of you have nothing to compare it to, and one day you will look back and be proud that you were even exposed to the brainpower that has turned livingsocial into what it is today. Life's lessons are consistent in the workplace, and it has always been survival of the fittest. The A students are placed accordingly and the D students sit and whine as to why they can not get to the next step. For many of you this is comparable to your senior year of college and in some cases have this sense of entitlement that will get you nowhere.

You are the type that will have a gripe no matter where you are. Lucky for you, you were given a smoother transition out of college as you so clearly need it.

This is a one sided, limited perspective article written by amateurs for amateurs. And for those of you that steal customer data, and want to sell it, you are a bunch of idiots. You say that Livingsocial steals ideas, yet you want to steal IP and sell it? Really? Then in the same breath say that LS is unethical and unprofessional? I think its time for you to do a bit of soul searching and fond a home better suited for you and your ego's. Just know that the real world pays on experience, and your lack thereof.

As for Joe Sale in Tampa, he is a perfect example of the guy that will never be taken seriously, and never get ahead due to his own errors in judgement. There are ways to do things and ways to scar your name forever. Use him as the benchmark of where you would like to be, when you decide to resort to unprofessional tactics for your ten minutes of fame.
Ohhhh von Mises... that's rich. The best talent? I can't tell you how many people here have their jobs because they were in the same frat as one of the guys (and yes, it's only guys) in the company's inner circle, or are related to/family friends of someone in the inner circle. Do they work hard? Mostly yes. Do they actually know what they're doing? That's debatable.

Most of the people defending LS so desperately in the comments are part of the inner circle and have their entire identity so wrapped up in the company that they cannot see what's really happening. Any criticism of the company is a criticism of them directly because the company is all they have in their life. It's really just sad.
131, I'm frightened to hear your alternative suggestion for a hiring process if you don't base it on skill and talent.
It would be fantastic if the company actually hired based on talent. My point is that they don't. Management is all frat brothers, college buddies, and old AOL managers. If you're cherry-picking talent from AO-fucking-L, there's a problem.
Speaking of boycotting, I haven't purchased (and I unsubscribed from emails) after the 918 F St was introduced. Someone got it right on the money: stealing ideas from the small businesses like Blush N Brush, etc. Thanks LS assholes. I'm in for a boycott all around. I loathe this company and I'm happy to finally see a real and raw perspective. Kudos to City Paper!
I'm enjoying watching this rousing display of Stockholm Syndrome from current LS employees. Go on. Tell us more about how such a diverse assortment of brilliant young minds parties on the deck of the Titanic.
I don't even know where to start. This will be as long as Simon's shitty excuse for "journalism," the "facts" for which he obtained by deceiving LivingSocial into thinking he was going to be doing a fair, neutral piece about the company, so I'm not even going to waste time on that.

I've been with LS quite a while and I have to say that it's disappointing & disheartening to read some of the negative viewpoints/experiences expressed by past employees in this forum. I'm sure you were hired because you are smart & talented with a lot to offer, so it sucks that it wasn't what you expected or wanted. Hope your new gig is more what you're looking for. I mean that sincerely, irrespective of your comments about the company here.

As for present employees spewing negativity cloaked behind a veil of anonymity (yes, I am too, but i'm being positive), I have a few simple questions for you: have you done everything you can to improve your situation? Have you shared your discontent directly with your manager? With someone in HR? In any one of the employee satisfaction surveys you've received? If the answer to that question is no, then you are a whiny coward who doesn't deserve to work for LivingSocial to begin with. Especially you, No Kool Aid, bragging about tarnishing the company's reputation publicly while you eat your Phillips sandwich at 1445... really showing us! You probably think we should give you a bonus for being so coy...

And to those of you who are calling people out by name, I'm assuming you've never said any of these things to the person's face directly, so you're even bigger cowards. Seriously, do you have a spine? Does ice run through your veins? Like working at LS or not, like your CEO/manager or not, you don't publicly bash people behind their back in a public forum like that. Here's an idea: send that person an e-mail directly if you've got something to say. Fucking embarrassing. If I was Tim, I'd send an e-mail out to the entire company on Monday telling anyone who posted negative shit on here to own up to it, prove it, and resign in exchange for a couple months pay so that we don't risk paying you for another 6+ months to surf online job boards and interview elsewhere. I bet you cowards wouldn't do it...

On the flip side, it's also pretty encouraging to see that some of the employees who DO enjoy working at the company are standing up for it. It's people like these who are what make LivingSocial a great place to work, and what will ensure long term success - whether it's through Daily Deals or some other business line. I'm referring to the following:

Going the Distance (44), HLKKEPA (56), Ron (60), If you don't like it, leave (61), SuperHans (62), Bofadeez (63), ReginaGeorge (67), I like wine (68), Devil's Advocate (118), Ludwig Von Mises (122), I must be working somewhere else (132)
Challenge to some of the claims on here:

- LivingSocial is a company that "preys on" or "takes advantage of" recent college graduates.
Are you kidding? How do you give a company shit for employing hundreds of fresh grads and throwing more work & responsibility at them from day 1 than any government organization, association, or law firm would be willing to bestow upon them in 5 years time? Do we hire a lot of college grads & young professionals? Absolutely. Why? Because they tend to be the ones who WANT to put in the time & effort required to grow a business as quickly as we have. The ones we hire also tend to come to LS w/o massive egos and an unjustifiable sense of self-entitlement, although clearly a few bad apples slipped through, as evidenced by comments here. To the quips about not paying enough, I challenge any 21-25 year old in this city to go out and get a job that pays you $50k+ to work only 40 hours/week w/ 0-3 years of real world experience. What do you expect? Entry-level means entry-level. You gotta start somewhere and prove yourself, we all did and you're not special. I don't give a shit what your daddy tells you. Plenty of boring associations will happily pay you 40k/year to watch the clock 8 hours/day w/ a nice hour long lunch break. Have fun with it!

- LivingSocial isn't a tech company.
Let's see... founded by 3 software engineers and a really smart, data-driven product manager. We have hired all of the best Ruby on Rails devs in the DC area, and many more across the world. We established Hungry Academy, an intensive training program that taught smart, dedicated people with aspirations of becoming software engineers how to do so. How many other "tech" companies anywhere, let alone in DC, have done something like that? Certainly don't hear about programs like that at Northrup Grumman or any of the other bullshit govt contracting IT companies around the beltway. Speaking of that, now we've got a LivingSocial Sales Academy aimed at teaching those desirous of entering a career in sales the fundamentals they need in order to do so. And yes, many of the candidates are recent college grads. I suppose it's bad that we are teaching them the fundamentals they need to be successful at sales, right? We're "taking advantage of them" again, right? Asinine.

- LivingSocial as a "racist" company.
That is absurd. Our company doesn't give a shit if you're a man or woman, black, white, or purple, all we give care about is that you are smart, hardworking, and bring a good attitude to the table. That's it. Companies who hire less qualified candidates over better qualified candidates, simply because they are trying to hit some type of diversity quota, aren't making the best decision for their business. Successful businesses hire based on qualifications, skill, and culture fit. Nothing else.

- LivingSocial is a sinking ship.
Has the Daily Deal industry changed? Absolutely. Is it all the rage that it was 2 years ago? Maybe not. But to classify LivingSocial as a sinking ship is a bit drastic. After all, we still have revenues in the hundreds of millions annually, and sure there are losses that get blown up in the press, but the fact remains: we make money. Consumers buy things from us. Merchants sell things through us. The mechanism is there, whether or not it remains as it is today will depend on the landscape of the industry as a whole, but it's there and that's more than a lot of other companies can say. Some of the biggest names in tech still don't know how to make a dime...
LivingSocial's gross revenue doesn't cover but 10% of the employees salaries and it's a shrinking market.
The frat-boy party will soon end, all the koolaid will be gone, LS will have run out of money and Amazon will run out of patience, and soon we will no longer have to keep reading in the WaPo that LS's CEO is the son-in-law of WaPo's publisher.
Just another startup ready to flame-out.
I'm not going to bother with personal swipes or gross generalizations, just simple facts from my two years at LivingSocial.

- It's not the Gulag but it's definitely rainbows and sunshine.

- Bread and Circus is probably the best term that accurately reflects the culture at LivingSocial. It didn't feel like that during it's true startup weeks/months but from the meetings I've been in, that's the sole purpose. How do we keep people wanting to come into work.

- The demographic that is hired is impressionable. Being able to drink beer at work is something you can't find at most places, makes for an easy distraction. Plus all the other perks make work a little less like "work." Again bread and circus. But one day you realize that you might be getting screwed or the short end of the stick and you see through it.

- Many sales people were promoted and moved to better positions because of a very lucky draw. I'm sure these people think they "did it on their own" but it's quite evident they got there because of the inept ability to manage from above. That's not to say they didn't do it on their own but when your threshold for someone being successful is an arbitrary sales number and you're comparing someone who has San Diego as market to someone who has Bumfuck, Alabama it's not quite fair. But it happened, you got screwed while others got to move up. People lost their jobs because of poor management decisions only for management to adjust their metrics after the fact.

- Glassdoor has a good amount of fake reviews from LivingSocial's PR/HR department. They're very easy to spot and follow the same formula. Read them and you'll notice they all have the same tone and structure.

- When you boil down to it, it's work and you're hired to do "x, y, and z." What sucks is that you probably got sucked in because of certain promises or hopes but if you discount all that and just do your job, you wont be as dissapointed.

- There's currently a lawsuit for lost overtime pay. LS did not pay it's inside sales employees appropriately which is why they're required to now make sure they don't work more than 40 hours. This happened for two years+.

- Sales people (especially inside sales) know how to game the system and do so every month. Eventually the gaming gets caught and so things are adjusted. No one really gets fired for it either, a blind eye is turned because the numbers just look higher for everyone. Someone actually gamed the system by not sharing appointments to their sales people and keeping it all to him/herself. When it was brought up to a manger, he just laughed.

- No one washes their hand in 1445. It's a disgusting phenomenon that I've noticed. I've seen a girl walk into a stall and heard noises that can only be described as "out of this world." She walked out and strolled right by the sinks. The bottom of the sinks are as dry as the Sahara.

- When issues are brought up to management, nothing has really come of it. I've read that many times from current employees to report things to management but when nothing happens then there's no point you know? Just give me another bag of Cheez-Its so I can sit in front of my computer and push some papers around.

Ludwig Von Mises: Reading a Wikipedia article about a guy doesn't make you an expert in Austrian economics. Or any economics. Or anything. Let me guess, we should also vote for Ron Paul?
I am having a hard time grasping these comments from employees who say that the ones complaining have not done enough to change anything.

I have taken every precaution possible. At first, I believed that raising my concerns to my manager would change something. Since he was part of the problem, obviously it was dismissed as soon as I mentioned. Things became progressively worse. Have I mentioned it in employee surveys? No. Why? Because I am not sure if those are actually anonymous, and I'm already so scared of my manger that I don't see how anything could change.

My manager is part of the old boys club. He's good friends with Tim. Maza-hire and Mazatard are accurate, but I'd prefer to go with Maza-nster, because in my case, he's been a monster.

I have much more experience than my manager, but he refuses to believe that anyone could have an idea that is better than his. He constantly belittles who he talks to. It's a miserable environment. Everyday I have to force myself to go to work, because in the end I know I am making no difference and I can do nothing but be a sheep and listen to him and watch him destroy everything he touches.

I hope my dear friends and I aren't out of jobs before we can find them, but until then I will continue to look to find something available to get out of this before the ship sinks.

I used to love working here. But as power got handed off to some of these manager, everything changed. It saddens me, it really does. I really didn't see this coming when I first started. I think the misery began as soon as Greg managed me as an associate. From there, everything just got worse and worse. There are great managers (I'm jealous of those that have Rozenblat as a manager) and Zang (who knows what he's doing but doesn't have any power so has to screw people over because of his superiors).

I can say it's pretty unanimous across the board that Greg has not only belitted everything he has managed, but he has destroyed all loyalties, all aspects of enjoyment, and all feelings of working towards a bigger project. With Greg in charge, you are constantly reminded that you are easily replaceable, you shouldn't speak up, and that he is in charge of everything. If you don't suck up as much as possible, you're doomed.

Tim is not a bad guy, but in ways he's like Romney. Tim's worth is what, 200M or more? He's extremely disconnected with the day-to-day (which is understandable) but because of this, he doesn't know to fix anything, because he hasn't seen it or lived it, and everyone is to scared to tell him that his best friend, Greg, is one of the major problems of the organization.

Even though this is anonymous, my fingers still shake at writing this because I feel like Greg might figure out who I am, and as soon as that happens, my life will become hell and I haven't found a job to replace mine yet. I don't know what good it does to vent this here, but I do want others who feel the same as me to know that we are not alone. As numbered, or not, as LivingSocial's days are -- the employees should feel like they are heard by other employees. We are not alone, and like you, I understand that we have done everything we can to change the course of our destiny here. We have tried. We have worked hard. We have put our sweat and tears into this company. Walking away with nothing...hurts. I don't care about money. I care about a manager that listens and respects me. I have nothing.
I call this "Just another day at the poppin' company" - I've worked for three over the past ten years (Whole Foods, Busboys and Poets, Apple). They all start the same and maintain the same, especially once they go into rapid scale mode. Not to mention, getting duped by the same "bait & switch". From the outside looking in, they always look like a great place to work. There will always be employees who will stand by this, no matter the negative remarks in the comments section or an expose on the Sunday NY Times cover. I almost fell for it again having applied to Livingsocial a couple times with no luck on landing an interview. Thinking to myself, 'Hey isn't this the same process I went through before getting hired at the other poppin' companies?' I just saw it as a sign and took my ambitions elsewhwere.
As a former employee, I can say I understand some of these frustrations. Companies change, especially when joining a startup. I feel very lucky to have been able to ride this rocketship from take off to orbit. If you want to make a bigger difference--do it! Start your own business! I understand the economy isn't amazing, but if you realize that, be grateful for what you have. LivingSocial's environment as it has grown to be, can be frustrating for entrepreneurs at heart. If you recognize that, take a risk and follow your dreams! If your heart is elsewhere, recognize that. Don't resent your position. There is a lot to learn from your frustrations. Don't be angry that someone doesn't manage like you would, store it in the memory bank for how you will manage later on in your career. Don't underestimate the inner knowledge or stress these people are under. It's easy to make judgements before walking in their shoes. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

How these frustrating employees feel is completely understandable, and "feeling heard" goes a long way. I hope the best for this company, truly, for better or worse, through pivot after pivot, being able to experience and see the growth from inside and out is a wonderful experience and I am blessed to have had the experience and have made the friends and connections that I did at this ever-so-relevant company. Namaste :)
LivingSocial has grown exponentially, I agree that upper management lacks the ability to cope with the speed in which the company has developed. LivingSocial is a good company, no company is perfect but the flaws of the company outweigh the good of the company.
Financial perspective, as LivingSocial is a startup they borrowed money from Serie A investors, the most known of these is Amazon who invested 175million into the company. Livingsocial had done this with several other Serie A investors who were keen to back LivingSocial so eventually they could become a premium player within online E commerce arena. However, when such huge amounts are invested, the investors turn round to the beneficiaries and they can ask for some shares of the company or some sort of ROI (return of investments.). LivingSocial had several Serie A investors who they had to pay, to get the money they borrowed from other Serie A investors and used that money to pay off their current investors. Its a vicious cycle to be in, somebody ends up losing. The biggest loser was Amazon: .

Amazon: Investment: 175million. Return: A loss of net loss of $274 million.
LivingSocial: Generated $245 million. Return: A net loss of $558 million. Instead LivingSocial drag you down like a mentally handcapped rooster!

The highest forms of management, CEO, CFO, UK MD stand at all hands and say we are becoming profitable, however the facts as they stand show despite the increase in net revenue, the increase in net loss far outweighs this. Because its LivingSocial, someone left a document on the printer with the salaries for Directors, £120,000 base salary, quarterly bonus if targets are reached is 23,000. We pay these guys big salaries however half the problems that have been encoutered are as a result of these Directors yet we pay them handsomely, and people below Directors do not receive bonuses or salary increases, instead they give you a beer, screw beer what are we going to buy with this!!!

Ethical perspective: LivingSocial lies to its merchants, does not enforce its contracts. The contract which applies in most of our bases of operations globally is the first payment is made within 10 business days. Thanks to our CFO who decided that the UK and Ireland base of operations needed a American bank, payments now take a extra few days, so we do not pay people on the 10th business day the payment is processed then, goes to the US then to the merchant, this takes between 2-5 business days.
80% of queries for our dear colleagues in merchant services has been :"wheres my money"!. Very soon, this clip of Stewie will be a reality of a merchant kicking the bejesus out of a MA, Wheres my Money!!! .

As well as lying to merchants, LivingSocial lies to world outside of LivingSocial. Example, the companies valuation, its been told to everyone that the companies worth billions. Valuations tend to consist of assets (for example, investments in marketable securities such as stocks, options, business enterprises, or intangible assets such as patents and trademarks). LivingSocial has not clue specifically what the values of these things are, they speculative forecast meaning they guess where we are at financially but its not founded on data. In a nutshell, upper management has no idea what specifically where we at with finances. The people who know, are not managers they are the Business Intelligence Analysts, the reports they run in SQL primarily is what our finance teams across UK and US and Europe use for month end and all these vital accounting procedures that take place.
If you sit down with the BI Analysts and discuss what im referencing you will find that everything I say is true.

Personal experience. I have been in LivingSocial over a year. I have been to the UK, all the DC base of operations. Liaised extensively with the French and Korean base of operations. I have helped shape and mold departments across UK and Europe. I build databases, can code, have had management experience, can communicate in several languages. This does not merit promotion because its actually intelligence, LivingSocial does not promote intelligence but seniority. For the Covent Garden base, there is a manager who does not know her seven times tables and also does not know how many days there are in a year, yet shes management material.

If it has not become clear, if you have real ambitions and skills to back those ambitions your best looking else where, nobody is going to feed you and your families apart from you. Considering the finances I described earlier, mass redundancies are on the horizon. We have had a forecast of this, lets take the UK and US as examples. For the US, Dickson Chu was fired and some other senior executives. For the UK, the entire Netherland market was scrapped overnight, a lot of people were made redundant. Why? Because they realised after 18months the loss in this market was huge, as a business LivingSocial is making money but loses more, I have not even touched the 50million or so in lawsuits the company is trying to pay off.

Woah, this article was meant to save PR/HRface for LS, but now the comments section is blowing UP!

Seems like more and more has changed for the worse in the past 12 months. SAD, shouldn't be that way for what it was, though I completely understand/saw it coming based on the BS I saw my last few months as an employee, as well as the current chatter.

Rethink your business model, keep and grow/reignite culture, and hire truly experienced, professional managers if you want to stay alive and social.
To address the Tech Cocktail comments:

-LivingSocial is not a Tech Cocktail sponsor or advertiser
-All Tech Cocktail event sponsorships and paid-advertisers are clearly labeled as such
-Some members of the company did work for AOL prior to 2010 (we're not sure what AOL has to do with anything here)
-Tech Cocktail did not cover this story on the site during the time LivingSocial was in discussions with the city

Some officers of Tech Cocktail, along with many other members of the DC tech community, were asked if they would be willing to state that LivingSocial was an important asset to DC. They, along with many other members of the DC tech community, did agree to that. No Tech Cocktail articles were written specifically on LivingSocial's tax credit and our content has not been affected by such politics. That said, we have a number of contributors around the country and one of Tech Cocktail's contributors did write an article about DC's growing startup ecosystem which briefly mentions LivingSocial.

This should clear up any confusion.
Thanks, Frank. Good to know that there isn't any fishy business going on, as the "allies" list suggested. Appreciate it.
Can any employees update us about how the company is handling this on the inside?
I'm assuming there's a gag order. This thread got real quiet real fast as soon as the work week started.
So far there hasn't been any official word from the company - there's been plenty of quiet chatter among the staff though. The comments haven't stirred up chaos (not even an awkward talk from a manager), but it has certainly gotten a dialogue going between the folks here who are unhappy.

In the long run, I'm sure the employees will find something equally fun/sad/exciting/hip/distracting to occupy their non-work hours by next week.
there has been zero official/executive acknowledgement of this article inside LS
LOL to #154 "I'm sure the employees will find something equally fun/sad/exciting/hip/distracting to occupy their non-work hours by next week."
The executive team is pretty relaxed about it and brushing it off. Time kills all stories.
I heard an executive say today not to waste time by reading any of the comments and that the employees will forget about all of this by next week.
What you guys don't realize (or maybe you do) is that it's not just employees reading this. WE are. The customers. The people of DC and the metro area. And we have ALL read this. We all believe this shit to be true (and aren't surprised by it). So there's a lot of us who feel duped (maybe we have thought this all along). We have talked about this article (and its comments) over the weekend. Maybe we've talked about it with current employees (who believe the company is sinking). Maybe they have reaffirmed our suspicions. If management chooses to ignore it, then they are the biggest cowards of all.
I have to agree with the above statement. The circulation of this article is reaching well beyond the employee circle. At brunch it was brought up between a lobbyist, elementary school teacher, investor from Miami, and a professional athlete. If that's not reach, what is? We are very disappointed at seeing a company we once supported, refuse to respond and address the issue at hand. We see through that. At this point, when and if this gets addressed, we'll know it's a forced statement.

LivingSocial doesn't respect it's employees, merchants, or it's customers.
As a member of dctech I have to say that selfishly, I am interested in the startups that might come out of this collapse. Markerly is the only startup I know of coming out of LivingSocial. With the amount of brilliant young, driven employees they have, I hope to see some more great businesses pop out soon.
Can someone please clarify why they fired Matt Lattman and his entire department? Because of the WashingtonPost DateLabs?! He was one of the first employees and one of the best at the company.
Why do we have offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Boulder, Portland, New York and Santa Monica? There are employable people in DC. There's some money to be saved right there.
"- LivingSocial isn't a tech company.
Let's see... founded by 3 software engineers and a really smart, data-driven product manager."


If Living Social was founded by 3 chefs would it be a restaurant?
Response to #163, or why are they building a new HQ in Arizona?
They're creating a space in Arizona to host more customer-service focused jobs. Not a new headquarters. People are complaining about working too much overtime in those positions so they're expanding the employee base trained to handle the job. Oy. Can we chill out with the wild-fire rumor spreading?
To all of you employees that aren't being taken care of well enough by your employer, something for you to read:

Response to @Ugh:

Okay, I understand that...but why did LivingSocial decide to open up a new office in Arizona to manage the overload of the customer service reps instead of being in DC, VA or MD? Why was Arizona chosen, when such a fuss was made about the tax break? How come they couldn't expand the employee base in the area?
@Arizona Tuscon is a call center hub in the united states. Read a book before you hate.
Leslie Hall is probably one of the WORST managers I have ever had to deal with. She will steal your ideas and claim them as her own, she is incredibly condescending, abuses you verbally and then smiles and acts like she's your friend after shes done destroying you, plus she's good friends with HR so any complaints you have are just brushed off and basically told to her so she retaliates (that seems to be a common theme at LS) Leslie Hall is a clear example of inexperienced management being placed in a position they aren't ready for.
LivingSocial, Groupon, and the rest of them are like the fucking Titanic. Looks great on the outside, but it's headed to the bottom of the sea.
I'm currently employed and work as an RSM, regional sales manager. What we have at LivingSocial is a place that's turned into, has a senior level manager, Jennifer Terell, who leads, not by teaching, but by intimidation, and on top of it all, no one makes money anymore. Fun Stuff!
Leslie Hall has somehow avoided all HR complaints. Employees stopped bothering to report her because her retaliation was so severe. Her verbal abuse of my intelligence has brought me to the edge of quitting many times, but I have to suck it up until I find a job elsewhere.
so basically there are no other startups coming out of livingsocial and no one wants to build their own business and are only looking to jump job to job. wow our tech community will either prosper or crumble when they sink. from the comments so far it seems that crumbling is the way its going. are any of these interns interested in building a business? employees if you are unhappy join the dctech facebook group. there are tons of people in the city looking to build their own startups.
I gave my opinions about my experience with LivingSocial to Simon. If you can't tell, I speak my mind and do not filter my comments through a PR Department. I feel it's something that needs to be said, especially for people who are thinking about leaving a great sales career with an established company to jump ship for the "allure" of working at LivingSocial.

I was an outside sales executive, or Marketing Consultant in the St. Petersburg, FL market. I was the first person in my market and did not have a direct supervisor for the first 6 or 7 months (not typical, but the Tampa area was an anomaly). LivingSocial's success lies directly in the hands of the Marketing Consultants to sign up the top merchants in each territory. With top merchants come more subscribers, more subscribers equal more sales. However, having more subscribers on a list directly affects the ability of a MC to earn a decent commission. A deal that sells 200 deals with 20,000 people on the list performs better or WHALES compared to the same deal that sells 400 deals with 100,000 people on the list.

The longer the same person is in the same market, they earn less commission. This is a fundamental problem that was not addressed while I was there. In addition to earning less, increasing quotas, no referrals, incompetent Yellow Page salesmen as regional managers, inside sales harpooning deals from you and other factors, the position had evolved into something I wasn't willing to settle for. So I left and have been doing phenomenal on my own.

While my antics of sending back all of the LivingSocial "SHIT" that I had accumulated was not professional, I felt it would at least send a message, one that had to be sent. Maybe LS Leadership would evaluate how they treat the people that matter most to their success. If you don't have merchants, you don't have deals to sell and you don't have subscribers.

I value the time I spent at LivingSocial, it was a great experience for the first 6 months. What I value more are the people I worked with, fellow MC's in the Southeast region who gave so much to this company. Of the 30 people in my training class, there are only a few remaining. I feel bad for those who poured so much into LivingSocial only to be left out in the dark, or those who continue to work there just for the paycheck. We all know you can do better and your outside sales efforts should be rewarded accordingly.

Like I said in the article, I'm sure working in the DC offices is an entirely different experience. I was a brand ambassador for LivingSocial and gave them my all to build this territory. I quit because I am more valuable and can provide better marketing solutions for small businesses. Best of luck to those who work for LivingSocial, hopefully your experience there is better than mine.
Whose ready for a holiday poem?
Heyyyyyy Joe go sell a tie while doing handstands!
Joe Sale is a goddamn fool. He was one of the worst sales people we've had, primarily because he didn't understand what constituted a good deal no matter how much we trained the bastard. As a result, his deals wouldn't sell, which would translate to less money in his pocket, which then translated to him moaning a bunch about how hard it was to sell things, which fell on deaf ears because plenty of other sales people were selling good stuff and making tons of money doing it. When little Joey couldn't get his way, he packed his things in a garbage bag and sent them back to DC, which surprised no one who'd ever interacted with the prick. I'm amazed he acknowledged it was unprofessional! Congrats, Joe, you're maturing. How old are you now? 20?

Good to hear you're doing well on your own, Joe. I assume that means you came out with another invention that was actually successful after Billy Mays basically laughed at you for sinking $30k of your own money into that stupid "iTie" thing you invented?

Absolutely agree on the comments about Leslie Hall. She is like the evil ice queen of Consumer Services, treating the department like her peasants and crushing their spirits. She is probably the worst managers that I have ever had the displeasure to work with. She had no problem cutting you down to your face (or many times behind your back) and 5 minutes later putting on a sickeningly fake smile and pretending to be your best friend. The department was better off under the ineptitude of Pete or the barely there approach of Sean Quill. At least then people didn't loathe coming in every day (quite as much), and they certainly didn't have you working 6 days a week or 12 hour days for months on end.

There was no happier day than when I turned in my notice to her (she pretended to care)and got the hell out of a job that I was duped into in the first place. My only regret was not quitting sooner to get that satisfaction.

Hopefully all those kool-aid drinking sheeple will wise up and get out of there before the ship sinks and they are out of a job.
I'd like to consider myself a very educated, smart individual with a lot of opportunities. Anyone at LivingSocial who fits this description has left (as have I in the recent months, and am happily employed and making MUCH more). The only ones who are still there are the ones that aren't bright enough to realize the truth of what is going on (I'd be skeptical to hire someone like this) or they are unmotivated and are being lazy on trying to find a job. Then, there are a small amount of people who are probably aggressively searching but haven't stumbled on anything yet. This is very rare. Keep trying, kiddo's. You'll find it soon.

For all of the people who are just standing around -- the entire DC economy knows that anyone who rides this to the end, is only suited for a "sheep" type job. All of the critical thinkers are gone. No one whose a real critical thinker and of real value to a company would sit there and passively watch it sink. The only ones left believe what they are told. Not the most employable. Maybe they could get a cashier job at CVS.

The recruiters talk. We know who is searching and who isn't. We know who is valuable and who isn't. We know that those who believe LivingSocial's BS, probably won't be the most valuable placement. We stay away from those.

If this sounds like you, yes, you will have trouble finding a job.
Well, I am EXTRA RELIEVED I never got that marketing job I applied for. I've never seen a company BASH each other so publicly, so frequently as the shit-talkin ego-maniacal employees at LivingSocial. The rumors are now confirmed: all the employees are weak minded, and only those with malleable minds will be hired. Such maturity. And how can anyone deny it! It's all right here in PRINT from the horse's dirty mouths. I'm so glad my family and friends have decided against buying anything from here. You are all despicable.
After 180 + comments I am sure the higher ups get the message they suck. Is the company shady? Yes, very shady and lacks transparency, diversity, experienced managers, and a profitable business model. When the company took Uncork'd business model and used it at 918 I knew I was at the wrong company. The arrogance and shadiness within the management structure will catch up eventually.

Have you noticed that the weekly culture email from Dolan was missing this week?
Do you know how many complaints Leslie Hall and Greg Mazanec, (aka the "Maza-Fire") have received?
Have you seen the comments on our Facebook page and how our customers and merchants are getting screwed?
Tim is not a hands on CEO. He is out of touch and couldn't buy a LivingSocial clue to what is going on with the company. He lacks vision, drive, and living proof that CEO's are born not made. Oh I heard some employees purchased some spy equipment and bugged the rooms so your secret meetings are no longer secret in 1445.

I would love to see a follow up piece to this story. Plus I would love for Dateline or Nightline do an investigative story? Hmmm....

When LivingSocial went to a sales model based on Xerox's model from the 1980's; they went from a forward thinking tech company to a churn and burn model. When you don't build your brand through your employees you are destined to fail. On top of that Daily Deals don't work, it's a fad. Hence LivingSocial trying to rebrand themselves, but guess what, they'll always be known as a
daily Deal company.
LS will be out of business within 5 years.
Most likely sold and chopped up.
" I'm also a big fan of shadowing. I go and sit with one of our consumer advocates once a month for 30 to 60 minutes and take calls from our members. Or I will sit with our merchant services group and take calls from merchants. I want to know what's going on, and it's a great way for me to hear directly from members and merchants. Plus, I get to interact with employees that I haven't met before." -Tim O'Shaughnessy in the February 28, 2012 edition of Inc.

Tim has never sat with Consumer Services or Merchant Services or any other department. Ask Production, DQ, Editorial, where's Tim. Instead of #IntergalacticWinning, how about #WhereisTIm. When has Tim taken calls from merchants or consumers? I asked my friends in consumer services and they laughed at the thought. Tim talks a good game but that is exactly what he does

“I do a lot of my work at stand-up tables, which anyone can come up to,” Dorsey says. “And I get to hear all these conversations around the company. I spend 90% of my time with people who don’t report to me, which also allows for serendipity, since I’m walking around the office all the time. You don’t have to schedule serendipity. It just happens.” - Jack Dorsey, Creator of Twitter and Founder / CEO of Square.

Tim O'Shaughnessy should take lessons from Jack Dorsey because he has a long way to go.
In all fairness @Truth & Social, I've seen Tim with my own eyes in Consumer Services. Granted, he didn't take calls, he just shadowed. Aaaaand that was like a year ago. And I haven't seen him since. And it was only once.

Yeah. :|

for all the times you took credit for my work and dismissed my concerns, fuck you.

for all the times you ignored my recommendations and forced my entire team to work harder, fuck you.


for all the times you stood there in your office, thinking you were cool ignoring meeting requests, fuck you.

for all the times you looked at us with power in your eyes, fuck you.

for all the times you held meetings and we all had to suck it up like we liked you, fuck you.

for all the times you acted like you were too important to listen to people in your department, fuck you.

for all the times you've bragged about how close you are to the executives to make us think you were even more important and powerful, fuck you.

for all the times you've threatened us to not go to anyone higher-up than you with anything, fuck you.

for asking my friend to refund their commission back to the company because you didn't think they deserved the extra $100 that they earned, fuck you.

for the times you yelled at us for talking to other executives about our ideas or concerns, fuck you.

for all the times you threatened to fire people when they didn't do what you wanted, fuck you.

for all the times i used to enjoy my job until you got handed power and let it all go to your head, fuck you.

for watching you make everyone miserable at a company we used to love before you got handed power, fuck you.



for never listening to a single thing i've ever said, fuck you.

for continuing to ignore this, wake up. fuck you.

maza-fire, fuck you.
Maza-Fire, do you like Greg or not?
mazafire, you are my hero! AMEN
Okay Okay Everyone. My texts are going crazy with this. To think that the LivingSocial team is taking any time to seriously read through this or address it is a serious mistake. They can't address it because they can't do anything to fix it. They know it's sinking, it's just a matter of time.

The motto here is Deny, Deny, Deny, Ignore. What does anyone expect to accomplish out of this?

My friend up there in recruiting is right. I've heard a lot of chatter. Get out now, don't wait for the complete sink. You'll never find a job then.
Bugged rooms? Is this for real? How much are these going to sell for? Unbelievable. Brilliant. Why didn't I do this? It's the only way ANYONE could ever know anything going on around here!!
LivingSocial will become a great case study in Executive Leadership and any other course in business on what "not" to do. I am chuckling at the name of Maza-Fire. This is a great article and the comments have made my day. Simon van Zuylen-Wood you are my hero and I hope a follow up article happens.

I'm sure you have to sneak in LivingSocial events now but I'm sure the employees can give you much insight. Oh snap...too late. You have 190 comments of material that should help with your next LivingSocial story.

Like Okay Okay and the recruiter from above said, get out now before it is too late. The way this company is burning cash and trying to cutback it would take a miracle for profitability.

Maza-Fire snitches!

To bug a room is quite simple. I would use the Q bug which is the smallest wireless transmitter. Place a sim card in it. Each unit will have its own code. For example 12345. Before first time use you just need to program the unit to let the unit know that you are its master. You program by simply send a text message to the sim card number in the unit for example send 12345 + Your cell phone number to the unit. Now the unit will know you are the master. Now just place it any where and call in at any time to listen to the surrounding sounds via your cell phone. No rings, no beeps, no clicks sounds to alarm the target. Plus this unit has no distance limitation and perfect for the meeting rooms in 1445 and others.
LivingBug, Will you marry me?
I've seen a few mentions of Manzac and Leslie Hall, but how do you leave out the worst of the bunch? ......Jennifer Terell. What exactly does she do besides send out emails like this?:

Hey what a great team so and so RSM has, you are the best RSM ever. And so and so RSM is close to being first and she could be a Rockstar.

The rest of you RSM's suck, your are awful, you aren't good managers, and you better be worried about your job and a PIP. Oh and did I tell you one more time, that you suck ass and that so and so is the best RSM?

Hey Jennifer, anyone ever tell you that you are a joke, you've never sold a deal, you aren't a leader, fundementaly you should be running phone book sales teams and finally....karma is gonna get you one day.


A Shitty RSM
Leslie Hall? Leslie Hall is a SAINT.

Leslie Hall is a fearless leader, who cures the blind and deaf, and wears mom jeans.

Leslie Hall fist bumps with Yahweh.
Hey 178,

First of all, I added content to the sales manual during my training session. I didn't require any training. The merchants in St. Petersburg and the popularity of LivingSocial in this area is what hindered sales. I don't need to defend my sales experience, I signed the TOP merchants in the area. LivingSocial was far less popular than Groupon in this territory. I didn't even have a direct manager for the first 6 months, so who is it that trained me.

Funny, I sold The iTie in January of 2012. And if Billy Mays thought it was funny that I invested 30k into my idea (better than investing all of my time and energy into a dead-end job), then why did he produce this for me -

You can still purchase an iTie. I will assume you will need one when you are looking for a job that actually required professional dress, when you either quit LivingSocial or the daily deal ship sinks. Good luck 178, it's obvious you know nothing about me.
178 you just got your ass handed to you
Joe Sale,

I find it hard to believe that you are somehow the expert on anything professional, except for positioning yourself to never gain real employment again. I mean, Linkedin has you as leaving LS and going to the Chamber of Commerce for a whopping 4 months. I mean really dude.. I bet you couldn't find a real job because of the name you made for yourself. Did you not think that potential employers would do some research on you and your public bashing of your previous employer? That makes you real marketable. Anybody who met you or does a minute of research knows that you went for low hanging fruit, had a terrible work ethic, and contributed nothing of value. Congratulations on continuing to teach up and comers what NOT to do and how to basically make yourself unemployable.

For a guy that is (according to you) successful as owning a marketing agency, you have a lot to learn about your brand and how to properly manage that. If you were a failure while being able to play off of a name like Livingsocial, you must really be sucking wind now.

Please post more comments, and make it easier for clients and employers to search you.

Strange that Joe Sale has been the only person to actually Post his real name to his comments. All of you that are calling him out, man up and post your name. Don't hide behind the screen and try and be an Internet tough guy.
Thats because hes the idiot quoted in 2 articles who can never be hired for a real job as a result.
And what specifically did he say that was so wrong? Furthermore, we are talking about the comments made within this section, Joe gives his thoughts on his LivingSocial experience, where many are personally attacking Joe, while hiding behind the screen.
hey....curious if people think Israel should have the right to defend itself?
hey y'all i can't figure out how to connect to the printer.
just submit a request to compass...
178 and 201 are prime examples of how LS treats their employees. Real professionalism guys.
I am sick over these comments and even though im not using my real name - I am a very happy LivingSocial employee. This is a start up company and there are going to be growing pains. If you have not been part of part of a start up before, and you don't thrive from an ever changing environment - leave! This company is by no means a well oiled machine but I know and believe that this company is making great strides in the daily deal industry. This company sends every single employee candidate to DC for their final interview round and then through one of the best training programs I have ever seen in the sales industry. LivingSocial has a solid foundation and a clear direction. Yes there will be change. there will be highs and lows but if you're looking for consistency then I suggest you find a 9-5 hourly position with a time punch required. This company has some awesome sales managers that I know personally (Jason R, Mandy Z, Susan T, Mike B, Donna L, Marcelo A, and the list goes on). If you're not happy, move on. I think that you have forgotten that you are in control of your own life.
it seems like everyone commenting here are sales staff or consumer services staff. they treat the rest of us pretty well. i'm sorry your managers are terrible. I still feel like the ship is sinking though.
Dear recent college grads with jobs. Please stop whining. Thank you.
WOW so many haters. LivingSocial is a great company to work for. Those who hate probably shouldn't have been employed in the first place - i.e. associates who suck at the job. Just bc you have a college degree doesn't mean you'll succeed in the real world. I could go on and on but most of you are totally despicable - if you dislike the company the obvious answer is pretty simple - leave.
I do agree that if you are not happy, leave. But that does not mean that improvements cannot be made internally. Obviously something isn't right if this many people are complaining and it seems as though there are several common trends. Based on what is being said, it would not be out of line with management to not reply - it seems they have done very little previously to acknowledge anything is wrong, but clearly the proof is in the pudding - whether or not someone "complaining" is 1 year out of school or 15 years out of school (or more), these complaints are still valid. Why are they valid? Because they are all employees of a company that has clearly hurt them or upset them in some way. Employees are worth retaining and it disappoints me that there has been no acknowledgment within LS of this article. But then again, lots of things I have heard about the company have disappointed me recently.
How has Mandy Cole remained unscathed after 210 comments? She is the most out touch, clueless "leader" in the entire organization. She makes Tim look like Steve Jobs. You would think the head of sales would be able to articulate herself rather than bumbling through presentations like a complete simpleton.
I'm a manager with a hell of a lot more work experience than those who wrote the previous comments. I try to keep everyone happy but the problem isn't me, and it's not necessarily the organization. The problem is any time I try to fix anything or make anything better I am up against a brick wall where there is so much miscommunication and ego's running wild that nothing is able to get done efficiently.

I'm not complaining but I'm not upset that employees are complaining either. They have every right to be. I have to bite my tongue a lot just to keep my position. Things aren't right, and that's the truth. It doesn't make anyone's opinion less valid. All of these points ARE valid, they are real, and they should be respected and I am very disappointed that management is playing the same games they always have, and ignoring everything that could be turned around. They wait until it's too late.

Exactly why this ship is sinking. Whoever said the motto is Deny Deny Deny Ignore, is right. I just deal with it.
remember that time the general counsel dressed up like every ethnic group (including fake accent) during the livingsocial oscars? yeah that wasn't offensive at all dude. I mean I was completely baffled that type of buffoonery was tolerated.
Have you ever gone to wipe and discovered your pinky finger smeared with pooh upon its return? That just happened to me. So gross.
200 and 201, The best lesson I learned at LivingSocial, is I don't need to work for a large company. It's obvious you are in the minority, compared to the countless negative comments posted by others. By me speaking out, I have allowed them to voice their displeasure or concern when it comes to their "career" with LivingSocial.

Surprise and Delight!
Our end of the day meeting ended with a discussion about how to handle any potential recruits from LivingSocial. Two businesses asked that we not refer any candidates that are currently employed at LivingSocial - both citing that they wanted "critical thinkers" and felt that those who are milking out the last moments at LivingSocial are not motivated individuals.

Yes, this is unfair. I know some people at LS and while this is not fair, I feel it's so important to make this clear. The company isn't telling you it's coming...but it is coming...and you need to start interviewing NOW because more and more companies will start making this request. Because this is public knowledge, companies just have no tolerance for employees unable to think for themselves. Sad truth. I do hope we can find placement for all of you. Move faster. Hear me on this. Move. Faster.

Rules for Work
We do not have these.

We’ve been trying to figure out exactly what they are since we started… but we’ve come up empty.

That said, one of the things we’ve learned is that, in a vacuum, policies, dogmas and rules occasionally seem to invent themselves. In order to combat this “birth of imaginary policies” we’ve found it helpful to specifically articulate some areas at Zaarly where we explicitly protect ourselves from the spontaneous eruption of rules.

A few examples…

We do not have a vacation policy.
It does not matter what time you get to work and it does not matter what time you leave.
You may work from anywhere that you feel you can be most productive.
You may speak to, call, email or have a meeting with anyone. Even if it’s your first day. Even if you don’t know their name. Even if they have a mustache.
We will never implement any sort of expectations around what you wear, but we maintain all rights to mock your future mother-in-law’s choice of clothes if you choose to wear them to the office.

For some people this means they need to be in the thick of conversations, standing in front of a whiteboard, or huddled up around a computer screen with another person. For others, it means being plugged into their computer with their headphones on banging out to some Skrillex or, in the case of a few, to the melodic charms of Celine Dion. Sometimes it means that a busy coffee shop or a pajama-wearing work-from-home day is where the magic happens.

Whatever it is, it’s cool.

Also, it is a place where the guys frequently use the women’s bathroom.

The consequence of this non-policy policy is that your work must speak for itself. It’s not about face-time, a race to the office in the morning, or a competition to see who can be there the latest… output is what matters. Zaarly is not a place to hide. It is a place to produce.
Please do something exec team. Take steps to show that you want the company to survive. Even if it means layoffs etc. JUST DO IT! You aren't showing anyone that you care enough to take the drastic steps needed to continue. We are all adults. We can handle it.
The sad reality is that all I have left are my blog posts to this wall. My career is so super awesome, I have time to discuss yours. I am a victim, and LivingSocial is evil.

I just threw up a little in my mouth.
Ignoring this is so typical. They ignore the businesses they work with, they ignore their employees thoughts and concerns, they ignore their motto to recognize, and they ignore this article that they know has everyone shooken up. I'm interviewing like crazy. I can do so much better and I will. The only thing that pushed me over the edge is lack of response and how ironic it is that every time they have refused to respond, it's been foreshadowing this very moment.

When they do mass fire, don't expect any warning or any care at all from them.

We are not employees we are replaceable commodities. I'm more than a commodity. Peace out LS.
When you interview Ex-Employees you will get negative feedback it is only natural that is why they are no longer with the company especially when they complain about the money-If you are in Sales you need to be exceptional and work hard at what you do to make money just like any other job. Trust me at LS if you work hard you are compensated big time! So why focus so hard in trying to prove this company is going to fail. We need our US companies to succeed especially for the smart young people who have so much to offer! Lets support LS they are a cool and hip company who has provided tons of jobs to new grads and that i believe will continue to grow with new ideals and at the same time saving us all tons of Money on food, travel, you name it.. in this struggling economy!!!!
Peace to all
Dear Tim and team: Just do something. Make some move that will help LS be alive in a year. We BURN through money each and every single day. Too many offices. Too much staff. Take action before it's too late.
This is or should I say one of the best companies in 2011. It now feels like working at one of the worst. We had some great leaders and some really bad.. the challenge is that the inexperienced and folk who worked at Revolution Health are the ones in power and privilege with a gazillion stock options. Look at Alan Clifford - what does he have to offer but he makes every decision at <30 ?? Really! The dude has no personality and character but he is Tim's buddy... that's why he is where he is...
Then look at Scott Halstead - the guy is a joke and should be fired when his pal Dick-son Chu left or got his ass handed to him! There are more.. anyway this company needs some real talent.
This place is a joke and it f'in disturbs me how in the dark they keep people. It's something I've never seen before at any company I've been at. If you have bills to pay GET OUT NOW before you're so f'd over and competing with everyone else to find jobs at the same time. Santa's giving the gift of warning - GET OUT THIS IS SERIOUS. I KNOW OF 20+ PEOPLE THEY ARE ABOUT TO CUT, AND THAT'S JUST THE DEPARTMENT I'M IN.

Can we say farewell to our remote offices? PLEASE. Such a waste of money. We should all be in DC.
I'm sorry but I had to break the news to these people..... Be ready for some pink slips next Thursday 11/27 between 9am-12pm. It has already decided who are the lucky ones!!!
I find it odd that Ali Weitzman above says they are getting ready to hand out pink slips. There have been rumours of this happening to Seattle for months - specially after they opened up in Arizona. So far - still no firings. PLENTY of people have left and many more are flowing out the door as the work environment in Seattle is only comparable to HELL!

Managers are idiotic and just puppets. They don't care about the employees or the morale in the office, it is all about how many cases you close and quality. They just put you down and shout at you one minute and then act like BFF's to you the next, it is such a hostile work enviornment.

I would love to be fired - atleast then I could claim my unemployment benefit! I want to quit anyway - as do most people in the office!!
I'm sorry #228 that you find it hard to believe but this is the reality. We've made strong moves in some areas but overall we're not profitable. For us to move forward we're making some decisions in the coming weeks which includes laying off 10% off the workforce but it is better to cut our losses now than be unprofitable. If you're one of the 10$ expect the below -

Managers - 1 month package
Sr Managers - 2 months package
Directors - 3 months package
Sr Directors - 4 months package
VP and above - Negotiable

This is happening next week, please don't come with a sob story, the writing has been on the wall for a while - esp with "G's" stock at $3.

Go Hamas !!

[There was an offensive comment here, referred to by many of the comments below. I've removed it.—Jonathan L. Fischer, Managing Editor]
Let's get this all over with so I can focus my attention on important things like which sports team I'm going to buy once everyone's fired and I can relax.
LivingSocial is an incredible place to work to say the least. I have found that management values me in a way that I would never find at another company. My successes are rewarded and my shortfalls are met with constructive criticism to better my sales process. I love my job and I can't imagine that any hardworking livingsocialite would ever write the nasty comments above- if you don't support the company- get out and waste someone else's time!
Wow, you sure uncovered a huge story! Turns out a 4000+ person company isn't actually a startup! SHOCKING! To think that we've all fallen for it for so long! Silly impressionable kids, we are.

I guess we should all quit and go work at really great companies here in the DC area, like Booz Allen Hamilton or Northrop Grumman. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be elite enough to work for Washington City Paper.

I know it's very offensive to DC-area residents for someone to like the company they work for. After all, the DC lifestyle is supposed to be that of a slave. Work is supposed to be horrible. Shame on LivingSocial for trying to trick people into having a good time at work.

LivingSocial is a great place to work and maybe for others it isn't. Thank you to the Executive team for the great experience that myself and all of my surrounding colleagues have had so far.

To the folks writing the hate comments, try to look at what you're doing for 1 minute. It may be all fun and games to you but have some respect for others.
oooooooooo....quite a few of these brats should have had to work a couple weeks for Hostess. They don't know the meaning of the words "hostile work environment". And anyone who's not happy at LivingSocial is probably not doing well. Best company I have ever worked for. EVER.
The panicky e-mail thatTim sent ou this morning (ostensibly sent because of the racist post from Das Bootgras) is a perfect example of his clueless management style. "I have an idea! Let's redirect our employees back to the largely critical comments section of a piece critical of our business! That'll boost morale!"

Fact: Amazon's stake in LS was valued at ~$5.6 billion twelve months ago. It now claims its roughly one-third stake as being worth only about $100 million, making for a Monopoly money valuation at ~$300 million. This is nearly a 95 percent drop in value in one damn year.

Am I the only one who reads the Wall Street Journal?

We're burning through $25 million a quarter and only have $100 million left in the bank. I feel like Rose warning everyone about the lifeboats over here. The smart people I've talked with have either gotten new jobs and left already or are taking job interviews on their lunch breaks. Tim's maladroit e-mail this morning promising an actual strategy for the company, like, "within the next week or two," just made me all the more frustrated with the clueless, out-of-touch management style this company is riddled with.

For the record: Simon is a total douchenozzle. Speaking from personal experience. Also, what blind mental patient told you you're cute? They should be fired from LS just for bad taste.
I love how all these 'positive' comments are coming out now that Big Tim has sent out an email saying he can 'take a few arrows'. Instead of taking the arrows, how bout you actually do something about it. Stop hiding behind your desk, and TALK to some of the people in the other offices.

If you even knew the stress that goes on in some of the Non DC offices because your team has implemented systems are metrics that are simply not attainable.

Take the Consumer Advocates - why can't you atleast talk to them and be a man about it. Let them know that their jobs have been on the chopping block since Arizona was started?! It shows a complete lack of courtesy and 'respect' that you just asked us to show other LS employees in your email. Complete hypocrite!
If your not doing you job right, then you are most likely not appreciated!!

and if you do not like working for this company, so then quit! no one is forcing you to be here!

Now go back and enjoy your Kool- Aid!
Arizona is a call center for consumer advocates and inside sales. Obviously it would look bad for LS to have a mass exit which is why they are strategizing gradual layoffs over the next several months. They have been planning this for a long time. It's not like one day everyone will be fired. A lot of employees will still have jobs until spring, when the firing should be complete. The reason they are drawing it out is to calm any mass hysteria, and also to save the company money in benefits. The faster they can get employees to leave the less they have to pay out. Of course this is illegal which is why emails have to get sent out reminding everyone of this article. So maybe a tiny bit of benefits will be paid out if they fire you, but consider how bad it looks to recruiters, and most importantly how much harder finding a job will be.

The problem isn't that employees aren't happy. The problem is that employees have families or bills to pay and are constantly under pressure to figure out how to maintain their financial obligations when LivingSocial will hardly exist next year.

They are not raising any more and they will be out of money by the summer. This is real. To all of you defending the company, thats admirable but I hope you aren't counting on LivingSocial as a source of income over the coming months.
If I weren't a mom, I'd never join this forum or say this. The thought of my own daughter having the wool pulled over her eyes and calling me in a panic, laid off and asking for money until she finds another job pushes me to weigh in here. Anonymously I will say this is a difficult choice for those who know and if you would rather gamble and ride the wave to see how long they choose for you to stay (and trust me, being friends with management or even being a perfect employee will not improve your chances of staying longer) I highly recommend that you have a back up plan. Please don't put yourself in a position where your finances are neglected or you refused to see the picture as it is. Life's tough. Not being prepared is tougher.

Editorial Gal, you lost your credibility as soon as you wrote "Amazon's stake in LS was valued at ~$5.6 billion twelve months ago"

It's going to be interesting to look back at some of these absurd comments in 12 months.

and this is the class that LivingSocial hires:
Attention Recruiters: As a recruiter myself I can tell you that there is a lot of talent at Livingsocial. I have my hit list for when I move into my new role outside LS and my hit list includes.

Jason Rozenblat
Marcello Amigo
Drew Saypack
Leigh Mcmanus
Paula Cambell
Kati Ryan
Epris Blankenship
Ken Southall
Doug Freeman
Stacey Koontz
Joe Patrick

These are money in the bank if you can get them to stop drinking the Kool Aid.
The real problem here is, as many have said, the management at LS sucks and they promote individuals who lack credentials or the best qualifications. Promotions are based largely on a boys-club type mentality. Engineers (brilliant as they may be) with the biggest egos and horrible people and leadership skills are routinely promoted to management positions and lauded as people to be looked up to.
Respect is earned not given. You hate your managers, tell me the ones you do like. It can't be all negative.

Best: Jason Rozenblat. He's the man. He should be leading the entire ship.

Worst: Greg Mazanec. If he were fired, retention and moral would increase ten fold.
Can anyone share the e-mail Tim sent out?
Amigo is the most down to earth dude I've met. This guy has done it on his own and now he has backup. I'm inspired by him and Paula. Two of the best in the game. I have never worked with Jason but his reputation precedes him. I hate working for Jennifer Terrell, but it's a small price to pay to be exposed to Rozenblat and Amigo.
Would have to agree -- he is pure gold. Easy to respect, easy to follow. Great role-model for the organization.
Tim was upset about the hate speech about Ali Weitzman, above. He said he'd have more announcements on what he will be doing moving forward in the coming weeks. Nothing special. Very vague, but at least he is making an effort to address it which should be respected. If anything comes of it, who knows. He said he read all the comments and is working towards a solution.

I have a few offers on the table and can understand the rush to find backup plans. I don't know if she is hiring but Sarah Ware is an ex employee and started a company called Markerly. From my interactions with her she is super smart and I can only imagine working for her being a rewarding and challenging experience at the same time. Just a thought...there are opportunities everywhere you just need to be creative finding them.
The Best
Jason Rozenblat
Drew Saypack

Everyone else in the middle, some better than others.

The Worst
Greg Mazanec
Jennifer Terrell

Not everyone is horrible. Just because there are a couple tyrants doesn't mean they can't be removed and sanity and moral can be restored.
I hope Terell, Zang, and Manzanc get it real real good
I heard Zang quit. Is this true?
He jumped ship. Probz sick of Mazadick.
Anyone know the story behind eddies arrest before he was forced to resign??
can employees join in on the class action lawsuit? :-P
"A LivingSocial spokesman declined to comment." LOL the LS mantra of DENY DENY or IGNORE.
Let me tell you something. Here is what's wrong with our company:

1. We are a daily deals company, whether we like it or not, that's who we will always be.
2. Daily Deals don't work and We never have / had the customers best interests at heart.
3. You've got some of our best sales reps that have been promoted to management, which is an idiotic move and in the end has hurt our company. You lose great sales reps, who can't manage. No reason to name names, you know who you are.
4. We have the worst sales model and sales compensation that I've ever seen. Who in the hell changes compensation plans every quarter? Who is to blame? If you don't know, figure it out.

The Fix:

1. It's obvious that Tim is over his head along with Mandy, time for a change. Jennifer Terrell should have been fired 2 years ago, she is a fraud. Hey Dana and HR in my reviews and assessments of Jennifer, these have been open and honest and very negative, yet nothing has changed.

2. Eliminate sales reps in small - medium markets, move those markets to inside sales.

3. Create a loyalty program, and one point a loyalty program, the punchcard, was going to be rolled out. This killed us with merchants and building credibility.

Finally last point:

One former employee, an RSM , gave me great advice. 1. If you don't like you job, do 1 of 3 things: start your own company, get another job, or quit bitching about where you work and suck it up.

Did you work more than 40 hours a week and were an inside sales associate or specialist? If you were like me, I can't imagine that you rarely worked less than 50 hours a week. You are owed money for overtime. Please sign up here
I bought a deal and don't know what to do with it. Can someone send me a refund? My paypal is

I loves gmail. So glad they brought it to spain.

Are these really Anonymous?
Are you really that fucking dumb or is that anonymous as well?
Take care of your people and they will take care of you... And if you don't... You reap what you sow!!!!!
just sayin
Soooooooo, I stay away from commenting on this article for awhile, but the move the company made today is stupid as Borat running for the POTUS!

How do you promote Douglas Freeman to a Sr Director over the specialist, when he hasn't even set an appointment as a director with the Associates! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!

Compared to Brian Zangs wisdom/skill/and everything else in God's green earth, Douglas Freeman is a JR Associate, he does know Sh%^!!!

I am sorry. but if this is how the company wants to move forward. I am out!!!

He hasn't even closed an inbound lead, but he is suppose to lead us???

That's like hiring Michael Jordan to coach the Washington Capitals!

Dougles Freeman has NEVER sold a deal. He has never even closed an inbound lead!!!!!! WHAT! This is probably one of the worst decisions LS has ever made, next to Mazanec.

I'm no Zang groupie and I didn't really like the guy but I respected him because he knew his shit. Douglas Freeman is just an actual moron. I work my ass off to close deals and he doesn't do jack shit.

He should have to meet quota for one month before being promoted and try it out for himself before he tries to manage an entire team on something he doesn't even know about.

Retarded. I thought the company would start to make GOOD decisions. There are plenty of people who DESERVE that position, and they give it to the guy that has never sold a deal?


Time to start job searching full time.
Damn you Brian Zang...Damn you....

I'm goin to Clyde's

PTC -- livingsocial to lay off 400 people tomorrow. "LivingSocial declined to comment" - GO FIGURE

It starts. Insider birdie says that 70% of employees will be laid off in the next year.

LivingSocial, will you ever comment, or will you just deny and pretend nothing is wrong, and fire people blindly while making them all feel like their jobs are steady and ok?
I've worked with Zang at two companies, tried to get him to join my current one too. He's also the only reason I stayed at LS as long as I did and the main reason that I had to think twice about leaving. Contrary to "now I know the comments are true", I actually like him as a person (even though I take great joy in talking a tremendous amount of shit to him).

Wherever he goes next is going to attract top sales guys, myself included.

You my boy, Zang-a-lang.'re okay too I GUESS.

-Big Poppa Pump
Zang a lang is certainly a new one to me.

Im gonna stick with Zang Ten.

I don't wish unemployment on anyone, having been there myself (referring to today's report of upcoming layoffs). But I have to say as the previous employee of a company that honored LivingSocial & Groupon deals, it comes as no surprise at all that these companies are going the way of the dinosaurs. I do not have a MBA, but many employees of businesses that used these services could see the limited success of these ventures simply because the deals were never going to generate repeat clients/customers. Merely dressing up their epic fail business model with all the drivel of "brand identity", "LivingSocially", & dippy mantras isn't going to change what they are: a coupon company. The bottom line is the businesses want to grow their customer base & people want cheap deals. They don't want to go back & pay full price. And they don't want BS served up to them like it's some enticing fondant when it's actual BS.
The smart ones have already left the company or put in there notice. I feel sorry for those tomorrow that didn't plan for this.
Did Terell get fired? Who else got the axe besides Zang? Any other notables? Sloane Silverman has to be fired. How in the hell did Doug Freeman get a promotion, he's awful.
LivingSocial should have never allowed Elliott to stay in Australia. She is the only one suitable to manage the entire inside sales department, and the only one, besides Rozenblat that can turn anything around...if it's not too late.

Freeman was a huge mistake. They won't need to lay off sales, they will just leave.
These comments about Sloane are wrong. You can feel however you want, but having worked with her, and during a time that she was dealing with some very serious personal issues, I have to say that these comments are extremely inappropriate. I don't know her that well, and yeah, she can be a bit rough about the edges, but most of the best business women are.

No matter how you feel, the comment above is not only disgusting and degrading to all women, but it's disgusting to say to someone about someone who definitely tries her hardest and is a good person on the inside. You don't need to like everyone - but you should have boundaries on what you do and don't say, and for whoever wrote that comment, I hope that you are never in a place to manage people.
Someone posted this above, thought I'd post again. This makes sense.

Let me tell you something. Here is what's wrong with our company:

1. We are a daily deals company, whether we like it or not, that's who we will always be.
2. Daily Deals don't work and We never have / had the customers best interests at heart.
3. You've got some of our best sales reps that have been promoted to management, which is an idiotic move and in the end has hurt our company. You lose great sales reps, who can't manage. No reason to name names, you know who you are.
4. We have the worst sales model and sales compensation that I've ever seen. Who in the hell changes compensation plans every quarter? Who is to blame? If you don't know, figure it out.

The Fix:

1. It's obvious that Tim is over his head along with Mandy, time for a change. Jennifer Terrell should have been fired 2 years ago, she is a fraud. Hey Dana and HR in my reviews and assessments of Jennifer, these have been open and honest and very negative, yet nothing has changed.

2. Eliminate sales reps in small - medium markets, move those markets to inside sales.

3. Create a loyalty program, and one point a loyalty program, the punchcard, was going to be rolled out, it never was. This killed us with merchants and building credibility with merchants.

Finally last point:

One former employee, an RSM , gave me great advice. 1. If you don't like you job, do 1 of 3 things: start your own company, get another job, or quit bitching about where you work and suck it up.
I am sick to my stomach at some of you cowards. Sloane is an intelligent, hard working, beautiful soul who has busted it and given her all to this company. She cares. She actually cares about every single one of her reps and pours her time and energies into them. Sit on a phone call to a merchant and she can sell circles around you. Walk a mile in her shoes- and tell me if you would be as successful as she is.

I stand by this company. We have some of the brightest individuals in the business world making some of the toughest business decisions of their lives. If you think this is easy for anyone- then you're the fool. I have faith in their intelligence and their decisions- and as much as it may hurt me, I still believe in the company. We are in growing pains, and it hurts- but I believe in our founders and their focus. They will get things together- and when they do, I want to be standing behind them.

I can only hope you jerks writing these atrocious anonymous comments never have to endure the meaningless pain you are attempting to inflict upon your fellow human beings. Times are tough, yes. That is a given. But in the toughest times, there is no need to hurt each other in the process.

I'm so sorry for what's going on. It pains me, too. But you are no better than anyone you are speaking about if you are writing hateful words on this feed.

Good luck to LivingSocial and everyone affected during this time.

You worked with Sloane, what don't you ask the us, who worked under her. She plays favorites, didn't teach, motivate, or know how to manage different personalities. Don't try and tell me what you know about her.
Agree with the above. Don't know her management skills but she is a positive, collaborative, and personable individual. I hope our legal team subpoenas the racist and sexist comments and you all see your day. Personal attacks should not be tolerated.

The true measure of a man is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but at times of challenge and controversy. -MLK
who cares about sloane at least she can sell the real issue is freeman and how he is managing a product he knows nothing about and has never sold.

hey livingsocial this might be crazy but why not have a manager that can manage and has sold? hmm...that sounds like a CRAZY idea huh?!!?!?!?
I know her quite well. See her every day in action. If anyone can defend her- it would be me. You're entitled to your own opinions but you're not entitled to hurt people. Sloane, everyone has your back. Stay strong.
interesting article:
sloane, apologize for the offensive comments, i shouldn't have attacked you personally. city paper please delete the post number 277. i don't agree with her management style and she did nothing for me, but your right, the personal attack was wrong.

I love this article because it exposed a company for what it was without going into details. Hats off to the author. Guys I think the personal jabs should stop though. Constructive criticism and feedback is warranted but let's keep it professional. The decisions have already been made and tomorrow 400 employees will receive bad news. The Seattle office already has boxes prepared. My strongest opinion is Tim should step down. This is not a personal jab but one that is constructive. He is an ineffective leader. I welcome a healthy debate but in the end you will see for yourself.
You've got to be a real loser to come to a public forum and hide behind a screen name to take personal shots at a former co-worker. I'm talking like scum-of-the-earth type loser. I have no affiliation with LivingSocial whatsoever, I'm in the financial industry and just stumbled upon this article after I heard about today's layoffs, but I can ony assume all these bitter comments are coming from disgruntled workers that sucked at their jobs, and that's the reason they no longer work there. The best manager in the world can't turn shit into gold.

I noticed all the spiteful comments were all written in past tense, as in they've already been fired. Maybe if you spent more time actually doing your job instead of thinking of reasons why you hate your boss or excuses as to why you're not performing well, you'd still have a job. News flash: no one ever likes their boss, not in finance, not in sales, not in marketing, not in manual labor, no where, deal with it, we're all adults. No wonder this country's economy sucks, it's people like 277 that feel entitled to a job with no work ethic.
The west coast office outsells all these chumps. My manager is a crack head and the worst is our leadership. Everyone hates coming to work. It's a huge mess. Greg is a frat boy loser.
We sell coupons? What did you expect. How about the drug problem in the LA office? Everyone taking adderal? It's a joke. The girls all getting harassed?
so states someone who came to a public forum and hid behind a screen name
@Wow (287)

"no one ever likes their boss"

Really? I like my boss, and have liked most of the bosses I've had in the past 10 years (granted, I've never worked for LivingSocial). Most of the people I know like their bosses. I don't think it's too much to ask when an employee wants a boss s/he likes, or at the very least respects. It sounds like respect, or a lack thereof, is a big issue at LivingSocial, which is a recipe for disgruntled employees. Go ahead and assume those folks are "shit" and "sucked at their jobs" though, bro dog. You're "in the financial industry," so you totally know what's up, right?
If you continue to bitch here, there will be more layoffs... /bitchslap/

What you do here is not just expressing opinions - you are hurting the company you are working for and your collages.

Thanks for all posters that come up with constructive ideas.

A real blood bath is happening today. For those that make it through round 1 of layoffs, please do yourselves and families a favor by looking for a job. The second round begins in January.

- Blood Bath
About the top talent available - Mr. Amigo is a like able person, but one of the worse managers around. Talks a very good game, but lies to everyone and does not work at all. He looks good to corporate, but his team does all the work and he takes the credit. He has never closed a "real" deal and my clients hate him. He's called a "snake salesman" - sure people like at the parties...but as a manager...bad!!

Ask his team and you'll hear the same..many people have complained about him to HR, from physical assault to harassment and yet he's still there. Amazing...
Everyone here is walking on egg shells. Also, everyone is updating their Linkedin and emailing friends about jobs. Its really sad to be here, how can I sell? Our managers are acting like this is normal. Its not about the layoff, its about this comment board. This is just horrible, everyone hates it here and now the world knows. This is just weird.
ALL ABOARD! The frat train is leaving the station. All that want to be looked in the eye and lied to everyday by twenty-something morons that think they are better than you, you're in for a ride!!! We're leaving for Greg Station with more layoffs to come! Final destination: Tim Central! Where you are dropped off in the middle of nowhere with no money and Tim's private helicopter picks you up.

If you don't want to ride it, get off. Just heard of a lot of fun things to come, that include even more money in Tim's wallet. More than the 40M he already has been paid out.
The worst part about being laid off was being crammed in a room full of people who were crying because they *truly believed* that LivingSocial would take care of them. This could not have been handled more poorly if Tim had laid out a "How to Best Fuck Up A Generally Simple Process" spreadsheet and faxed it to the entire HR department.
Why do you think a company is supposed to "take care" of employees that are fired / laid off? We were fired b/c they've run out of money, the company is failing, it's over.....why on earth would we deserve money when we've been fired? I can't wait until the 20 somethings actually have to get a real job......#welcometotherealworld
Sweet hastag #welcometotherealworld. You're probably 40.

I'll see everyone at Rocket Bar.
I honestly had no idea this was coming. My manager reassured our entire department everything was fine, time and time again. I don't even know what to do. This came completely out of the blue. I've worked so hard, never took vacation days...but worst of all...I thought I had an honest communication flow with my manager. To have been lied to for so long just so I'd keep working hard to make my manager look better...I just can't. I can't even begin to say how horrible this experience was.

There was no sympathy. There was no explanation. My friends that I have gone ou to movies and happy hours with looked me stone cold in the eye without a care. Everyone who was drinking the koolaid was bursting out in tears. Some of the companies most enthusiastic employees were in that room.

I don't know what to say. I'm in shock. My manager lied to me every step of the way. I even turned down a job offer the other week because I was told I'd be safe, that nothing would happen to me, that it wouldn't affect me. Now that job is taken.

I'm sick from the lies. I'm sick from seeing people handled so poorly, like they were cattle they decided to ship off. I felt like I had been stripped of everything and forced into a gas chamber with everyone else. No privacy. No sympathy. It is what it is, and your e-mail is turned off, here are papers for you to review, goodbye. No thank you of all of our hard work. My manager apologized through Facebook after. I want nothing to do with this company ever again.

I'm torn between trying to warn everyone to leave, or not saying a thing and having everyone suffer the pain and embarrassment and total lack of sensitivity like me. You mean absolutely nothing to the company.
Are you serious? We were laid off. We were not stripped and put in a gas chamber. Stop being so dramatic.
Stop being an asshole. When a manager lies to you day in and day out about your status and then you are laid off the day after they give you hope that its alright its fucked up and yes some people will be dramatic because THIS IS REAL LIFE AND SCREWING WITH PEOPLE'S REAL LIVES

I was laid off along with #302 and she had an amazing offer on the table that she turned down because our manager said that she'd have a position no matter what and not to leave because any layoffs wouldnt affect her.

That's fucked up.
Today's living social deal is actually moving special: . Might be handy for some of the layoff people. Good luck.
Moral of the story, in business there is no loyalty.

If this so called person had an offer on the table, they were nuts not to take it. Didn't he / she see the writing on the wall a few months ago? This is just the first round of layoffs, more to come in January. Is anyone saying boom or yowza anymore?
So here is my prediction. Living Social and Groupon is going to combine or one is going to buy another. The only way to make money is to become the only game in town. So you are not going to spend a lot of money to compete. The question is who is going to buy who or who is going to be left standing.
There will be layoffs in January and layoffs around March. The goal is for inside sales to be steady around 15 employees and handle all account management. 918F is undecided for and is costing the company a lot of money. Outside sales will have 1 rep in the top 10 cities that handles strategic accounts.

Most jobs will be sent to Arizona. Engineering will only be reduced by about half.

Exposing this does the company a good favor and you a good favor. The company saves money by you quitting before you are laid off. You are able to get everything prepared for the impending doom.
@ Also Newly Unemployed

Dude, I was the absolute last person drinking the Kool-Aid. I was under no illusions that LS gave a shit about me, or about my professional future. What I was saying is that watching the "true believers" realize, in the span of about ten minutes, that their belief was horribly misplaced is an incredibly depressing thing to witness. Also, re: the twentysomething jabs and your #hashtags: Bite me.

@ True Story

I know it sucked, but the gas chamber imagery is a little over the top.
^ Source? that's pretty much the complete opposite of a 2 year hiring spree. Agree it sounds right to an extent but a little too dramatic in a 3 month time period.

The March/April layoffs are TBD and I do not know any specifics about what will happen at that time and it is almost impossible to predict. Nothing is extreme when you are trying to save a company from going bankrupt.
As someone who was laid off today, I just want to bring attention to how much worse it is for my team who is still there. I honestly feel like the lucky one. Like Tim personally did me a favor because now my team, who I care about very deeply, has to continue working and trying to put their heart in soul into a company based on the words of non-existant management. In Seattle we now have no leadership, half the people were told they have to continue serving customers but will be losing their jobs, and the rest are being kept in the dark. With many of us losing their jobs today, everyone is going to double their work load over the holidays, with a quarter of the resources, and most likely get laid off in January. I'm truly blessed that I was on the first wave of layoffs, and I don't have to try to clean up such an HR nightmare.

In short, LivingSocial has allowed me to meet and work with some of the most amazing people in the area-ranging from all backgrounds and many who left successful companies (Microsoft, Amazon, AT&T, Nordstrom etc) to become "LivingSocialites". I think the true tragedy is that Tim couldn't focus a vision to utilize our abilities in a profitable fashion.
I am thinking of the merchants. Can I, in good faith, still sell them on partnering with us? Will they still get paid? maybe the 80% will be there, but what about the 20% in 4 or 6 months time? I sensed the company was having issues for awhile (months) but the true act of an amateur was when they promised cars for Marketing Execs, the top outside sales people, then look that promise away. Claiming that the Marketing Execs voted to take a cash equivalent instead of the luxury car, but what these outside reps didn't know was that the cash was going to replace their Expenses that they were already getting anyway through CONCUR. So, if anything, it was a wash. Management never apologized or explained why...this was a classic sales faux pas which is OVERPROMISING and UNDERDELIVERING, something that every peon sales person is trained to avoid. Other than that, I like the people I have worked with, had some fun, and great insurance. thanks for the ride
i forgot about the car thing i was promised a car and my manager kept saying that wed get it and then no one ever said we wouldnt and then months later it was just...done.
Why do people keep referring to leaders and founders as fraternity? The four founders are total dorks and probably got shoved in lockers all through high school and college
There are a lot of good, young, true tech companies in town. Living Social was a great training ground for many and, if employees are smart, they'd take a hard look at companies like Venga ( who have developed products for restaurants that focus on retention of guests, not acquisition - a much more profitable proposition. I hear they're hiring like crazy.
I feel awful about all those who lost their jobs and agree that those who remain are not as lucky as those cut now.

Here's a thought not considered yet. LivingSocial is apparently getting no more VC funding (being reported), it's losing money and has no positive cash flow.

Yet they are still bringing in new deals with the promise to pay the merchant at the end. I would guess they would likely have to use revenue from new deals (the held 20% final payment the merchant has to agree to) to pay the remaining 20% for the old merchant deals right? I doubt they have a trust account to hold these funds.

If my thought is even remotely true, this is a true definition of a Ponzi Scheme. Not intentional but it is what it is. I wonder how long before state Attorney Generals start to sniff that blood in the water or want assurances that their state's merchants are protected by requiring that LS keeps a bond in each state with money kept in reserves. Money LS doesn't appear to have. I hope I'm wrong.
It is sad to see people resorting to individual attacks. Having lost my job yesterday I can tell you that I have enough integrity to never resort to continued public bashing of any one individual. This is no one persons fault, this is business. Grow up people. It is disheartening to know that some fool can just create a lie online, post it then only to run away and damage good peoples names in the process. I have nothing bad to say about my former coworkers. We can all certainly tell those who are posting out of emotion rather than fact.

Think about what you say, as it just reflects on you.
Wow, it's like 2001 all over again. Seriously.

As a late-thirtysomething who worked for a tech startup from 1999-2001, and saw a company go from 12 employees in NoVa to 300+ employees in four countries and an international IPO in the space of eight months, I can tell you this is not new ground (and neither is the concept of working 60+ hour weeks while getting paid for 40... that's called WORK). Yeah, we even had PlayStation and foosball in the break room, free snacks, company happy hours, parties at the boss's house, multi-thousand-dollar lavish dinners, a bar and an espresso machine in our trade show booth, blah blah blah.

Didn't seem so fun once it became apparent that nepotism ruled hiring decisions, and all those "perks" seemed like a useless waste of money when the company went belly-up and laid off 60% of its employees in one fell swoop (including the poor guy who came in late after a dentist appointment and wandered the halls asking why his login wasn't working until the HR vultures got him). I was let go in the second round of layoffs, so at least I knew it was coming.

Brilliant ideas are, sadly, not always coupled with great business acumen. A fun corporate culture doesn't ensure business success (and can be a detractor as it generally sucks up money better used elsewhere), and startups that undergo rapid growth without financial or structural support go the way of Icarus.

Good luck to the newly unemployed Living Socialites, and I'm sorry it turned out that way for y'all.
Here's a thought. How about instead of spending all of that money on a party/ asc how about investing that money into your working capital to pay your employees and keep them employed until after the holidays! Also, what kind of Mickey Mouse company sends out severance package information with no numbers! What a mess!
Next round of layoffs are in January. 1000 expected.
Livingsocial has turned in to the walking dead
Good to see the old boys and girls club incl Tim himself were spotted out drinking and celebrating last night at their usual spot and rest assured, those within the golden circle remain untouched and will be sure to cash in their bonuses come January. Merry Christmas one and all.
Drink kool aid, we will never have any more layoffs, company in great shape, we aren't a daily deal company, we are thriving, executives didn't lose their jobs because we aren't the problem, it's everyone else.

Your leaders
Looks like the layoffs missed one... please resign and take your negativity elsewhere.
I'm on board. I believe in Tim. We CAN do this! WHO IS WITH ME?
How do u spin it?
I'm on board! We've got this!
Enough with the naysayers. There are more patriots in this company than haters. It's time to speak up. I'm ALL IN!
I heard they were moving the headquarters to Boulder, CO...
Those who are on board may as well be overboard.

If you think the company will think twice about laying you off just because you made it through round 1 of the cuts you should go for a mental evaluation.

Enjoy the next few months at the fractured company that is LivingSocial... there probably wont be many more.
All I can think about things like the "I'm ALL IN!" comment is that you're doubling down on a failing company. May as well give them your all now, I suppose, but don't be surprised when you're dropped just as unceremoniously later on.
Dilusional: if you think its so bad, why haven't you quit already? Or if you were one of the ones let go yesterday, I can see why. Now that he's laid out the roadmap, anyone with even the slightest sense of how a business operates can see we are actually on the right path now. But then again, we did hire a bunch of 20-something millenials who don't know their right foot from their left and think they have the wisdom to rule the world.

By the way, its DELUSIONAL!
Keep on drinking that kool-aid.

I left months ago of my own free will and am exponentially happier at my new job.

Enjoy your false sense of security while it lasts.

Clearly you don't enjoy your new job enough to actually be working it, if you're here trolling the WCP during business hours on a work day. And clearly, the company left a big enough impression on you for you to still be seething "months" after leaving on your own free will. Or maybe you have a character flaw where you can't let things go. Either way, its quite clear LivingSocial is better without someone who doesn't focus on their job even when they claim to be "happy" at it, who is bitter about a typical employment experience, who can't let the past go, and who can't spell basic words in the English language. Haters. Gonna. Hate.
I too saw the old boys club celebrating after all of the layoffs and I didn't want to believe my eyes. I understand drinking after a hard day of laying off 400 employees but not celebrating. That was the moment that sealed how evil this company is to me.

As a remote sales employee who's been enjoying this comments page for the past week, I feel like I should weigh in. Few people have given much consideration to the notion that both sides are a little correct. The "Kool-Aid drinkers", on one hand, are completely free to think that the company is still a good one to work for, that success is just over the horizon, etc. Listening to Tim this morning, I believe that he believes in what he said today - especially in his closing remarks - and I can understand believing in him too. Without the believers, Tim fails, the company fails, and it's understandable that the "Kool-Aid Drinkers" out there want to work to avoid that.

At the same time, a belief in the company's general mission and leadership doesn't mean that you can't acknowledge that the problems it's facing aren't real. 400 people lost their job largely not due to their performance, it seems, but because things are and were wrong with the company's mission and its leadership. It's not unreasonable to think that the company will continue to only flirt with profitability in the short term but fail to get over the hump and sustain it, possibly resulting in more people losing their job. Look up Tim's email from 11/30/11. Strategically, things haven't panned out on one or two initiatives, and it seems to be catching up to them.

If I were a "Kool-Aid Drinker" right now, I'd keep working hard, sure, but I'd also open my eyes a little wider than they might have been before.
Speaking as an ex top performing specialist (left months ago- my terms).

Guys the writing was on the wall then and now it's painted in neon.

I enjoyed my time at LS and care deeply for my friends still there. My message is simple- if you are a talented sales person, don't be naive.

Make some strong moves and use your resume while LS is still seen in a positive/neutral light.

It's clear a lot of you former employees are bitter about how this has gone down, and that's ok. However, you should really reconsider your toxic and harmful comments on this board because you are possibly making things worse for people you say you consider to be friends and still believe in the company. For those of you who left early, congrats for having such amazing foresight. I hope you took jobs at a hedge fund because with your ability to see into the future, you're going to make a ton of money.

For those of you bitter about being laid off, this sucks but builds character. Move on and find something better. Don't be angry and waste any energy on this. It's counterproductive and you're working yourselves up. Hypertension is one of the top killers in the US. What Livingsocial has done is nothing short of amazing. These layoffs are a result of the management team making huge bets on the future that clearly didn't pan out as expected.

Lets be clear about one thing: all of you were here and drinking the kool-aid when these bets were being placed. It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback and pass judgment on everyone for these decisions, but you should hope that you have an opportunity in yor hopefully successful careers to take the type of strategic (and risky) bets this team did.
All the original founders are from Revolution Health. If you look at how Revolution Health ended, you should see quite a similarity. Revolution Health also was once hot startup in DC. They spent ton of money and grew very fast. Then the business model didn't work. Then came the first round layoff, then the second round layoff, then the third round layoff. Finally it got sold to another company for penny to the dollar. I thought the founders would have learned from the mistakes. Why spending the money growing so fast when the business model has not proved to generate positive cash flow? I hope LL will be different because I do hope it will be successful. We want startup to be successful in DC. I just hope people learn from past mistake. Start small and grow slow. Grow fast only if you start making profit and positive cash flow.
@Boulder Dude... Boulder would be so sweet. We could hit the slopes for company events and everyone would be so much more mellow everyday. Lets relo
@ Brah Great call dawg. I love hitting the slopes. Lets pack our bags and get this party started.
You heard it here first. Only 20% will be around when it happens.
Hey 336, what are you doing on this site during work hours? Got nothing better to do at LS than fear for your job? This is the downside of hubris. LS founders and team should have been more humble. If they were humble on the way up, they wouldn't be hated on the way down.
To all of you assholes doubting our company, fuck you, we don't need you. All of us at LivingSocial will make this work. We have had to undergo some belt tightening but we really were cutting dead weight. We laid off people we didn't need. For those of you still at the company who are miserable. Leave! Just fucking leave already and stop being a bunch of ungrateful bitches for all of the great things we provide you. You don't like free beer? Don't fucking drink it. You don't like working late? Don't work with us! It takes hard work to be great and obviously none of you want to put in that work. Just quit and spare us the expense of laying you off down the road.
Everyone laid off was dead weight and shouldn't have been hired in the first place. We were just slashing what we didn't need. Get over it: no one wanted you here in the first place. Livingsocial is going to go on stronger without the lazy employees we let go. I overheard my manager say that they have been planning on how to get rid of the lowest of the low for a long time. How can you get mad at a company for getting rid of shitty employees? Keep talking shit, livingsocial is going nowhere and is going to bigger and better next year!!!
Dear 346 and 347


Don't try to kick the ass of those you may have to kiss later when you find your next job. I KNOW that a lot of top people were let go too (some in the top 5 of net billing in the company) simply because the regions weren't in major markets. Sadly, the reason the people laid off in the first place were in these markets is because insides sales couldn't make it happen and they needed to better compete with Groupon who was eating their lunch in these markets. So what are they going to do now?

There were many as well who changed careers to be caught in this whitewash and weren't given any signs of this happening. Some as little as 2 months employed and let go. Most of them super exceeding targets set for them during that time. Are these people dead weight?

The comments you express clearly show the "Culture" you belong to (or at least want to create there). I'm sure that history will show that this was a great idea that grew too fast and gave too many people like you too much of a feeling of importance to act the way you are acting right now.

400 people, many who have families, many who just started with what they thought was a great company, who wouldn't have bothered you two with our presence if we'd known this was going to happen, lost their jobs and were told specifically that is was "no fault of our own" through the leaders of the regions we belonged to and the VP of HR. They learned of this coming prior NOT from LivingSocial, but their own social networks. All just before Christmas.

Don't think that this "Social Network" you are telling to "Fuck Off" won't be telling everyone their opinions about your attitude when we are asked whether they should do business with a company culture you are proudly displaying.

By the way 346, the beer and snacks and all those other things are not "Free". They cost 400 employees, soon to be more unless they can fix your company.

I don't care how old you are, but whatever age you are, you need to emotionally and spiritually mature. The venom you spewed here I hope doesn't turn around on your when you in the future when you end up on the wrong end of a layoff. It is no fun for anyone and it won't be for you when it happens eventually.
To the 400 impacted this week: I am so sorry for 346 and 347. I can't speak for everyone cut, but the people cut in my department were damn fine people and employees. My heart literally aches for them, and I am so sorry. The only dead weight is such despicable attitudes and a complete lack of recognition for the amazing people we just lost from the LS family.
There were 2 MCs that were let go in my market - one had been here only 4 months and the other one was a top performer and a great team member. They both have families and one is a single mother. My resume is ready for the next layoffs, but in the meantime I will do my work like I always have...this is sad..
In case anyone was wondering, #346 is Liam Darmody. He used to blog under the name District Hoser. It seems like he assumed, as always, that we were too stupid to figure it out. His statement really sums up how upper management feels and the culture they want in place. All of them are going to be responsible for tanking the company. Good work Revolution Health team, you dropped the ball on yet another one!
^That was pretty sweet, Helping Out. Good find. What a frickin douche.
You people will believe anything. I could have said my name is Tim and then gone on to write horrible things, and you would believe it. Take all the crap on here with a grain of salt and formulate your own opinions. Pretty sure Liam would not write that crap. He's a standup guy,even though he's Canadian. Nobody's perfect.
#353: Also Liam.
Knows for a fact, neither were guess, OG in Sales that's departed. Either way, I think we're all ready to move on from this regrettable episode. a lesson learned for all involved.

Yesterday, LivingSocial laid off 400 people and I was one of them. Now Thursday was hard but I am not here to bash them. I am here to tell everyone how when you work for a start up company you take a risk on them as much as they take a risk on you. When I started on June 15th 2010 I was a recent college grad with only music industry experience. Now I have a year and a half of experience in Corporate Event Planning. LivingSocial looked at my skills and said lets give her a shot. The next year and a half would be like nothing I could have ever predicted.

Throughout my event planning experience with the company I traveled to around 10 cities. I created events and experiences for my colleagues that I knew they would never forget. From small groups of 20 to large groups of 400 I worked diligently to prove LivingSocial made the strong move in hiring me. The skills I honed while working is nothing you can gain in school. I negotiated with hotels, restaurants and venues. I brainstormed with managers on how to best organize their conferences. I managed travel for each event insuring everyone arrived safely and smoothly. Each event I planned allowed me to have a new surprise and delight associated with it.

LivingSocial was the perfect stepping stone for me to get my hands dirty in the event planning world. I stand here a year and a half later with amazing experience. To all the employees, you are what makes the company great. I do wish them all the best as I start the next adventure. Stay tuned its sure to be a good one…
I will admit I am a former employee. Not here to bash LivingSocial, I was lucky to have a job. For the life of me, I never understood what Liam did. When I first arrived, he was trying to play enforcer for traffic, I know they finally had enough him and shipped him overseas to get rid of him. What is he doing for the company now except stealing money by collecting a paycheck?

Yours Truly,

What is Liam Darmody's Job
1. No job is secure
2. Money talks bullshit walks
3. To many power point presentations... They suck, they are pointless and it puts people to sleep
4. When you layoff people, expect more work if you did not get laid off!!! Then you will be laid off:)
5. Shit happens
6. The company will go under by June... And Mr Dude man will still be a rich in his 2.1 million dollar house...
7. And well, thank you and good night!!
does Aaron even live in DC anymore i heard he lives in San Fran now. checked out?

think so. whatevs. deep wallets mean boy does what he wants.
Thought you guys might want to hear it there first, Groupon will be acquiring LivingSocial.

Andrew, if that is really who you are. You are late. comment 306 already beat you to it.
Angela Marino - Your statement specifically explains why LivingSocial is where it is today... They spend too much money on the wrong stuff! NO ROI. You traveled to 10+ Cites etc etc. Negotiating with hotels blah blah blah. Can you honestly say the amount of money they spent on you returned a profit? You should feel guilty for throwing away money!

Prior to LS, I worked 5 years at a privately owned multi-billion dollar company which started 40 years ago. The founder and president is on the Forbes Billionaire list ranking under 300...I talked to him a few times And even though they have more wealth than LivingSocial, NEVER... NEVER in a million years would they throw a sales conference like we did in November spending TONNES of money on BS to have a layoff 3 weeks later. That CEO once said something very meaningful "I am successful because I do this for the people-sincerely" - "I never want to see layoffs and I'll do anything in my power to prevent that" - "sorry but we will not be having a company wide Holiday party because we cannot afford it this year (2011- talking to 5000+ employees)" ... With over 5000 employees, they NEVER had a mass layoff like this even when times were VERY tough. SO my point is, even though I love LivingSocial, their values are totally upside down... something is wrong... and something needs to change or this is only going to get worse VERY FAST.
"Prior to LS, I worked 5 years at a privately owned multi-billion dollar company which started 40 years ago. "

What, did you get laid off from that company and then come to LS? Why don't you leave if you don't like it?
Hey Jon Doe 363, Are you suggesting that holding an ASC and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.. if not over a million on training just to lay off approx 20% of those sales people is a good idea?
@john doe sr.

Totally disagree. Maybe you weren't at the ASC because we got plenty of beerz and it was like SO totally cool. Screw all those families who got laid off a couple if weeks before te holidays without any warning, we had an open bar and were LiViNgSoCiAL!!
For the record I did not post previously. Someone copied and placed my blog on this comment page. The real post can be found here:

"The sooner you lose any trace of misdirected guilt, the sooner you as an individual can start to heal and move forward constructively. Update the resume. Look for a new job. Or take a deep breath. Take a break. Hike the Appalachian Trail. Read War and Peace. Spend more time with the kids. Go to a museum or a ballgame. Do whatever you really like to but never had time for. Or work harder than ever at starting your own enterprise. That great American solution can work too.

But whatever you do, don’t take it the wrong way: Say goodbye to the guilt.

It’s not your fault. It never was."
No matter how you slice and dice it, we are all slaves.
At the end of the day, it is just a job guys. This is probably your first layoff but it won't be the last. The only way to control your destiny is to have your own business. So work for another company but don't put your heart and soul into it unless it is your own. Spend your own time on creating your own business.
Been here since may 2010, and I survived the layoffs. Whew!! Its hard to believe I did, considering that I drink almost every night and come to work blasted. I've banged a nice amount of my co-workers (some bosses too)and I hate almost every manager I've ever had but I'm here. Am I a hard worker? yes, but I know owe my longevity to the fact that I LIVE SOCIAL in LIVINGSOCIAL. I've seen people bust their ass day in and day out and be fired because they weren't "liked"," friendly" or "social". Its pretty funny since this company is run by one of the most socially awkward people I've ever met. Its crazy working somewhere where your level of professionalism and likability pretty much determines how long you'll be in your role or how far you'll go but it pays the bills and for the most part the people here are really cool. Are most of the negative responses from this article true? Yes. Will LivingSocial continue to run shitty deals? Yes. Is LivingSocial A racist company? Only if your black. Will Liam keep wearing his pants two sizes too small with a belt, while pulling a horribly colored shirt around his massive belly with his slicked down hair? Absolutely. Will Leslie Hall continue to Run Customer care into the ground? Probably, but it'd be nice if someone could get that ice queen some cock along the way. Will I keep screwing my coworkers ? No Doubt about it. But LivingSocial is awesome, just depends on who you are.
#370 is right about everything. draw the line at leslie hall.... cmon. she sucks but why do guys always have to think about their cocks?

good work isnt rewarded its all a popularity contest. ppl that do nothing stick around. ppl that work overtime 30 hours a week get let go.

i work here dont like it hate it actually but imma just ride it out till they fire me. its not horrible. finally my manager has stopped grabbing my ass and my coworker that harasses me is gone. so things aint as bad as they used to be.

then imma vacay bitches. imma gets me a groupon getaways hollller
LivingSocial is a bad business. Besides all of these comments about the internal horrors lets all take a look at 918F.

If you care about DC stop going to this place and stop buying coupons for events there. 918F is putting local business out of business because they can't compete with LivingSocial.

The same businesses that gave LivingSocial a chance and propelled them to success in the area are the same ones getting put out of business from LivingSocial stealing their business model and clients.

Shame. A scam.

Do not go to or support 918F if you care about supporting the local economy. If we don't stop now LivingSocial will go out of business and leave us without our unique businesses growing and thriving in our city.
Couldn't agree more, Bad Business. I've boycotted (haven't purchased a "coupon" since last year), and I'm so much better for it. There is nothing ethical or upstanding about LivingSocial. I was very sad to see those employed by LS who "drank the kool aid" and subsequently became zombies to real life. LS is a negative force and dangerous cult in and TO the DC area, and being a native Washingtonian, I want them out of my city. I always thought there was something indescribably deceptive about the company. And this article/review, along with the juvenile and negative comments from CURRENT employees, has unveiled the real Living Social.GOOD RIDDANCE.

It's RGIII, even I don't think I could save LivingSocial. All LivingSocial is, is a glorified coupon. Coupons attract cheap people, strip everything away and your customers are the ones living on the government tit. RGIII doesn't do government tit, I do super model tit.

I'm Out,

This company is going down the tubes all because of upper management. Pittman you couldn't beat me at Webvisible and now you're going downtown!
Do not let any small business you know run a deal after February 2013 or else they risk not getting paid back.

This is a real urgent warning. Do not let this happen.

It will be a litigation nightmare getting these funds back for small businesses.

More attention needs to be given to this.
376 are you serious or just stirring the pot? I work for LivingSocial and I can't even focus on my job. Everyone is so scared about losing our jobs and the communication is awful. Please tell me more.
I don't know if 376 is right but there are tons of reports that they only have 50 million in the bank, which is an even more dismal situation.

50 million or 100 million whatever it is closer to they will run out of money very soon with all the lawsuits they are settling, rent, salaries and a ton of international lawsuits because lay offs in other countries are penalized more harshly than here.

-not affiliated with livingsocial
Everyone needs to grow uo, get off this mesaage board. Shapiro, say it to my face next time. I wil ride this puppy into the ground. Whos coming with me?
Dude, you are all so full of BS. Do not believe the one anonymous blogger! Only 50mm in the bank? I wish I had that problem.

We are fine, we have always paid merchants on time.

Grow up and move on.

You above, how do you know how much we have in the bank? Layoffs mean we have big problems and we are sinking, fast. Why don't you get real and go jump in the ball pit
cock shit balls

I know it's been a tough couple of weeks and this article exposes a lot of things that we should not be doing in the public. I expect all of you to be like adults and pass unnecessary personal comments at fellow co-workers.

As the leadership team, we can take some heat for the mess but not your co-workers. The lay offs were tremendously difficult for us. Tim cried at the all hands which should tell you, how he was impacted.

We will overcome in 2013 but I need you to be patient and drive the local commerce to the fullest i.e get more merchants and more customers - engage !!!
In Q1 2013 we will be doing another view of our operations and there may be possible cuts ( upto 600 ) to make the company #leanmachine.

Till them, for everybody in the US - Merry Christmas.

PS: If you have not see it, please check out our partnership with Visa.
"We are fine, we have always paid merchants on time."


You can't be serious.

That explains why most of the time Merchant Services is fielding calls from angry merchants about late payments. Merchant Advocates are constantly complaining about how we don't pay merchants on time, and they're the ones who get yelled at.
Our ship is sinking and we will try to see if we can survive it. So we need you to not abandon ship. Next year we might throw more of you into the water if the ship is still sinking. So we need you to continue to lie to merchants and our customers.

The fake executive team
That's right, papa...2 million free pizzas.
And I'm out
As long as my boys in DC and Kenny keep ending me inbound leads I know I will be fine. You have to game the system, cry babies.
We just landed on the moon and the Jap bastards bombed pearl harbor
@ josh pittman that's why billy veasley cornholed your gf lauren punk.
I ran a livingsocial deal and a customer tried to abuse the coupon. It was expired, and I said I would honor the amount she paid for it, but not the promotional price. She would have to pay the difference but her money would not be lost.

She has since filed a lawsuit against my company (the deal was almost a year expired and from previous management).

livingsocial will not return my phone calls and customer care is a dead end. you can bet i am going after livingsocial when my lawsuit gets settled from this person. they refused to refund her and i certainly would not refund her! i lost so much on my deal that i will never see again.

be careful running a deal. my company is my baby and i trusted in this company way too much and it really turned on me for the worse.

i cant speak more about it at the moment but lets just say she isnt going to win but i am still responsible to pay to defend myself.
There is some real nice trim in DC, but I'm talking about the entire company. Do you start with the twins?
hmmmm poooppy
So you want me fired. Guess what? I want to fire you too.
I am a BOSS.
I understand belts need to be tightened, but the way this whole thing went down was disgraceful. I am in shock at some of the great people they let go and the complete and useless idiots they kept. I won't name names, but the head of the regions that has NEVER come close to hitting their numbers and has insane turnover gets promoted... AGAIN! Are you kidding me?! Is there one person that has a positive word to say about her? Other than the people that work for her that are scared shitless she will fire them if they open their mouth as her mantra is loud and clear, "you can easily be replaced". Yeah, keep her! Ya know the one who lied about being out with reps but was really on vacation and got caught, but somehow that's totally fine. Yeah, we ALL know about that and SHE keeps getting promoted!! I know for a fact that there have been NUMEROUS reports to HR about this person, yet nothing happens except she gets promoted. Normally there is a "good ole boys club" but in this company there is also a "good ole girls club". Someone explain to me the 19 year old cheerleader with ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE and is nothing but degrading and condescending to everyone she deems below her,which appears to be everyone even though she has done nothing since college but work at LS, somehow ends up in charge of projects that GO NOWHERE, yet she keeps her job!!! This is the kind of "talent" they keep, but lay off people with actual experience and knowledge? That office is like a high school and only the cool kids that act like bully assholes that hang with "certain people" are part of the "cool crowd". It is NOT about how hard you work, how much your bring to the table or how much knowledge you have. WAKE UP TIM!! You have (or should I say had) a great team and are letting incompetent, immature idiots ruin it. This isn't high school, it's a business. It is incredibly sad that it has come to this.
Are you talking about 2 different people in the post above? Jennifer terrell and 19 year old cheerleader? I'm so confused, post was just 1 big runon sentence. Bless you.
Are you talking about 2 different people in the post above? Jennifer terrell and 19 year old cheerleader? I'm so confused, post was just 1 big runon sentence. Bless you.
This is my new favorite web page of all time! This is a sad situation though. A lot of awesome people there, but many are severely over-employed.
Are more layoffs coming soon??
Are the posts done? This stuff is classic. Mostly true.
Just got wind that there will be some major shakeups at the top and another 500 let go, BOOM!
Merry Christmas!
Man, this rivals 4chan.
My manager just gave me a heads up to start sending my resume out. A courtesy warning... Dont see any more action here so perhaps other markets have calmed...
My shoe still smells like shit. Haha.
Just saw and read this article today. I was a Freelancer for some time and was laid off with the rest of the freelancers in October. Not that we didnt see the writing on the wall.

To those that said LS was paying vendors on time, you need to talk to actually vendors. As a freelancer, I was routinely not paid on time or paid short. Every time there was a new excuse - the one most of us freelancers heard the most was that our invoices were not sent in the correct format.

The sad thing is that we all uploaded our invoices using the same template that LS provided us.

Sadly and quiet comically, I am still getting invoice requests from the automated system, even three months after being laid off. It's fun getting invoice requests for $0.

If you want to know what real businesses think of LS, ask an advertising agency. Why they never tried to set up inroads with agencies I will never know.
LivingSocial has the worst customer service. I was an employee and I was shocked at how much they disregard ANY suggestions on how to make more effective systems. I saw problems like the one mentioned above on a daily basis. Trying to create change for the better in this company is like throwing a rubber ball against the wall. Any idea you give, if you're not in the "old boys club" is quickly rejected. Brilliant minds here that were never used or given the chance to help keep the company what it had the potential to be.
I took measures to ensure this couldn't be linked back to me. If you are reading, there is no more money. The accounts are dry.
Abandon ship!
This is officially the greatest article & comments section ever.
Hey guys, my colleagues and I from LivingSocial are doing the Harlem Shake tomorrow in front of the White House. Yay! Forget profitability...screw that. Let's all do the Harlem Shake! You rock Tim, you rock.
Hey we let go about 400 people, scaled back on office space, not even close to profitability but we have time to do this?
Greetings LivingSocialites! In consultation with the Board of Directors, we've decided to pay you a bonus of ZERO dollars this year! After all, we want you to 'Live Hungry' - its a core value!

We realize that the company's poor performance this past year was primarily attributable to Instant, 918 F Street and other wildly-unprofitable initiatives birthed out of management's ass but, rather than take salary cuts for ourselves we decided it would be more convenient to pay you, well, nothing.

Please note that this does not apply to Tim's inner circle. All social friends / former interns will be awarded a merit increase and promoted to head-up next years most unprofitable initiative.


"LivingSocial is the local marketplace to buy and share whatever cheap shit we can sell you because we lack a viable go-to-market strategy and/or clearly-articulated product plan"
Hi everyone,

Please don't share your negative comments here. Negativity won't get us any closer to profitability - positive thinking will!
We've created a new set of badges on for people to recognize each other and award good behavior. Remember, employee retention isn't about compensating people for their effort - it's about logos with bubbles and gold stars!

Thanks for keeping it professional! Yay!

PS - Tim fingered my butt last night!!
I have to say, only a company like LivingSocial would fire me, give me six months severance, and then pay nothing to the 'good' employees they retained. If you need a job at CapOne, I'm hiring.
LivingSocialites --
We've got some great news to announce today, as many of our current investors have reinforced their support for the company through a new round of financing that will give us an additional $110 million to build our reserves, solidify our long-term plans, and execute against our vision for the future.
This investment is a tremendous vote of confidence in our business from the people who know us best, our current board members and investors. They have reviewed our plans for 2013, and they are enthusiastic enough to want to commit additional financial resources through this round. This round also follows a competitive process in which we were fortunate enough to have multiple options for funding.
As you know from our all-hands last month, we have an aggressive roadmap for profitability and expansion this year, and those plans include increased investment in areas like marketing, technologies, and mobile. This new investment round will allow us to dedicate the resources we need, while also building a significant cash reserve against unanticipated events or bumps in the road.
This new investment does not change our plans to reach profitability, and we believe that a cash-flow positive and growing company will give us even deeper resources to take advantage of new opportunities, extend our promising lines of business, and expand a robust funnel of new customers. We will be sharing regular updates on our results and progress against goals as we move forward.
We've had a solid start to the year, and I am excited about the opportunity to solidify our path to success over the next couple months. Thank you again for your hard work and dedication.
Whoever created the fake account for Caitlin and said that, you just need to know that you are a miserable and disgusting POS. Please man up and agree to meet me face to face to see if your brave enough to say that again. Anytime anywhere you scumbag.
I'd love to meet you! Thanks for asking nicely.

1823 M Street NW, 10PM. I'll be there with bells on!

Why am I so smelly??
Does anyone not notice how horrible the deals are now? What a flash in the pan and everyone that I know has now put emails they receive from livingsocial, groupon, deal chicken, deal cock, buy with me, perks alert and all the rest of el cheapo deals spam. Come on you sum a bitches and grow a pair and close the company, dooooowwwwwnnnnnnn. Quit taking small businesses money.
"The new funding will help keep things going while LivingSocial attempts to become cash-flow positive" Well let's see shall we...these guys are 6 years and $800M into this experiment and this is the good news? Why do you invest in a company with a decreasing value?
This provides a better look at the so called new funding than that cookie cutter press release that LS sent out.
4,000 employees' stock is rendered worthless
Employees' stock options are worthless
Founder stock is worthless
Emergency funding terms means LivingSocial handed over the company to today's funders
Nearly a billion dollars of investor money has been lost, as all early rounds (Series A, B etc.) are worthless
Sources said LivingSocial's Board made clear this was the final lifeline, that the company must break even by the end of the year including closing dozens of unprofitable offices and laying off thousands of employees
PrivCo expects Chapter 11 by year end, with secured convertible debt holders ahead of merchants in liquidation preferences
Despite company's attempt to say this funding was a vote of confidence by investors, virtually no risk to investors because primary spot in line in a bankruptcy liquidation
LivingSocial's merchants owed money stand behind today's funders in the event of a bankruptcy, as unlike today's funders they are unsecured creditors
PrivCo's sources indicate that investors are forcing the company to break even in an attempt to sell the company by year's end
Needless to say, there will not be a LivingSocial IPO
" ... just days away from a Chapter 11 filing" Yikes! To my chums who are still with the company...get out. The Ship has tanked. I encourage you to read this:
What do you mean employee stock is rendered worthless?
I'm clearly the front runner for the real Oscar for Best Actor, how come I wasn't invited to the LivingSocial Oscars??
If you purchased options, they aren't worth shit, if you have options and plan on purchasing them, they will not be worth shit. Get out now Jason.
"According to a source close to LivingSocial employees, several members of their sales team did not receive paychecks for three weeks prior to the investment and were just able to recently get paid once the $110 million went through. This seems to corroborate PrivCo’s statement that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy (within days of it) before the recent injection of cash."

Harlem Shake is over guys. Abandon Ship!
Have no fear, Jennifer Terrell is here to save the day! definitely my favorite comment
makes me wonder if Pipeline's recent delay in getting sales commissions approved was no technical glitch but rather waiting for investment..the commissions were "ready for Approval' right about the same time we got word of investment...if these 2 are connected, would sales commissions have been paid-out? maybe the 2 have nothing to do with each other, just curious timing however...Peace to all
Sadly this is not the case. Just incompetence.
I've been following this story and keeping up with this amazing comment board.

How is anyone still working for that company?!?

To answer 'food for thought's' question, NO...sales commissions would NOT have been paid out. How is that even a question? LS just took it's final lifeline, in a deal that rendered employee stock worthless. Ok, not that bad, b/c employees are not the top priority. But when the Founder's stock is worthless, now that shit's real.

If you are not desperately trying to find a new job, you're insane. LS has no future.

(I'm not wishing for that to happen. It sucks, it's a bad situation for a lot of good hardworking people. I've been in shitty situations before. But it seems like a lot of people are delusional about the future of LS.)
The PrivCo report was a bit sensationalist, but here are a few facts that Tim can't refute. Please forward this to your friends at the company who are still in the dark:

-The company had less than 30 days of cash left when it took the financing. This is, by definition, distressed financing.
-Although the financing is technically 'preferred equity' it works like debt in every other respect. It accrues a 3% dividend year annually, and investors are entitled to their money back, in full, four years after the financing date. See page 31 of the document that Fortune posted. When you take a loan you pay back the principal plus interest. That's what this financing is.

Other falsehoods worth mentioning:

-Tim says this round affects employee stock "some, but not much." The fact is that if LivingSocial cannot payback Series G investors, they own the Company and your stock is worth nothing.
-Remember at the post-layoff all hands when Tim said that 'these changes will make us profitable going forward'? Remember when Bax said that he expected that there would be bonuses? Was that true?

So, was this financing 'great news'? Did it signify 'a tremendous vote of confidence'?

You be the judge.

Acs out.
PrivCo updated their article to confirm they spoke with Andrew Weinstein and also detail their research. See the update at the bottom of the original article.

Employees should be asking there board what's up
Reuters confirmed many of Privco details in an article last night...headline says "investors took pound of flesh"
As a dedicated loyal employee who still loves the company and their job, all of this just makes me so sad!
It appears that Tim can't read a spreadsheet and provide the basic leadership skills/principles to guide LS to profitability. It is ok to be a loyal employee and have the desire to ride it out. But folks, when the handwriting's on the is on the wall. Did you get a bonus? In fact when was the last time you received a bonus? Do you know the stock price now? We are talking cents people. Dedicated employees will always get screwed in the end.
Sad that the company is on the brink, that the executives have misled employees about it, or that employees are bashing the company on this forum?
@439 Unfortunately BOTH!!!

Two Tim. Tim does is incapable of running the company towards profitability. If Groupon fired Mason, LivingSocial should fire Tim and secure someone with the necessary experience to guide LS towards profitability.
DAMN! I JUST cleaned the shit off my shoes and now I need a new interview suit! Dude!
Come join me ... selling boxes! They call me Michael Scott! Sell paper with me!
Those that are left at LS are so fucked,
In one of my less fine moments, I bought my shares before leaving the company. Not only did they cash my check before I even completed the paperwork, but they are also unreachable and have failed to provide any excuse as to why this would be the case. They money was taken from my bank account before I'd even officially signed anything other than the check (which was required to be sent before the paperwork was completed). Sketchy as shit. Thanks a lot LivingSocial for leaving such a sour taste in my mouth.
The company has lost it's direction. Every other day people are giving there notice. Why... Because the company is Sinking.

They are trying to look their best on the outside, but as someone who works in the inside , the morale is low and more people will leave. Way to live hungry Team. Way to make strong moves. For those on top, you may not care, but know this, we to will tell others about your bad mgt, your lies, your dumb excuses and how you ran your own company in to the big pile of shit. The truth will set you FREE. Your time is coming to an end.

Bye bye!!!!!!!!!
When I left the company I purchased my shares (.33) and like Share buyer said they are unreachable. When I started with LS the stock price was valued at least $20, now the stock is worth about 33 cents. LivingSocial is the new Titanic.
Chad Fowler -> gone
Jennifer Trzepacz -> gone
Susan Tynan -> gone

How many senior execs have to leave before you realize they're abandoning ship?
What is the diversity makeup of LivingSocial? What's the racial or gender breakdown of its workers? If I was a merchant, customer, or candidate for employment I would ask these questions.
I noticed several former employees have yet to receive their stock certificates or any updates from The best thing to do is file a complaint with the SEC ( and they will investigate the issue.
why would a former employee want to buy stock options?
Chad Fowler -> gone
Jennifer Trzepacz -> gone
Susan Tynan -> gone
Aaron Batalion -> gone
Eric Eichmann -> gone

The real talent of LS have left the building. Welcome to the Titanic.
LivingSocial to file for bankruptcy. You are fucked.
The company is suffering. They will FAIL....
You know things are fucked when someone like Jennifer Terrell has been promoted, before long her little henchmen Waine Bresky will be promoted to cock gobler.
all the hate...thought this article piling on was one of the funniest i've seen so far.
Haha gotcha. All over the news. CC's were accessed too ... Shhhhhhhhhh.
LS eyes are bigger than its stomach. They are desperately trying to change gears and dont even have the resources to do so.

My department is retarded. I am LITERALLY rolling my eyes right now at what they think is going to save us.

We are LITERALLY fucked because this company has FUCKED UP leadership and allows TARDS to run the show because they are popular with management DESPITE ZERO prior achievements or actual KNOWLEDGE of the space.


Are you FUCKING serious. I've invested my time in this company for this CRAP and now my time here is worth NOTHING because LS will NEVER EXIT or fucking IPO.



"Why will merchants love this?"

"Because merchants love us!"



Tomorrow I have to fucking go in there and pretend like everything is OKAY and just GRIN AND BEAR IT and watch the fucking shit sink.

Who knows how much longer I will be here? I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE.

I feel bad for people with KIDS AND SHIT. I'm planning on celebrating with a long vacation when I get let go.

I worked at LS when it was great and we all worked together and had fun! I no longer work their. Put in two years and saw good people get let go... And I saw good people leave because mgt team over looked them and promoted folks who should of never been mgr's. Honestly Tim, Sean and other exc team are so out of touch, they have no sense of direction or no clue to what their US team really says about them. They could care less. What I do know is that I'm so happy to be out of there. Life outside of LS is Amazing. I feel bad for those who have to meet their stupid KPI 's and listen the their new mgt team change the rules again to be changed again and agin. The website looks like crap, they now favor national merchants over local merchants. Lets not even talk about the ops team. I feel sorry for them. Yep I do. They get treated like shit, and and are so micro- managed. And for what??? No bonus, small raises and promises to be promoted to nothing.

And then they get hacked. Hahahahahahah. So you wonder where in the hell they invested their last round of money from their investors?? Clearly not in their technology. :)

At my desk. Pretending to care. Pretending to like my job. Pretending to like the asshole I sit next to.

Pretending to ignore the crude, sexual humor from the guys in this company that think they walk on water.

Pretending to ignore the harsh reality that this company has no direction, and the inner circle controls all.

Pretending to ignore that Tim, a man who I thought had leadership capabilities, really is the worst of them all.

Pretending to ignore that up until a couple of months ago, I was in denial, just like everyone else.

Pretending to ignore that I know I won't have a job this time next year, and being okay with that.

Pretending to ignore that the management team is a complete piece of shit and I am not exercising my brain at all working for these incompetent jerks.

Pretending to feel appreciated, to get me through these days.


Pretending because my mom has cancer, and I have to pretend as long as I have to so that I can help pay for her bills.

Pretending, and wishing that investing my time in this company would pay out for something. A promotion. A bigger paycheck. Valuable options, Respect.

Pretending that it all wasn't a waste.

Pretending, until I don't have to pretend anymore.
why don't you come on over and pretend up on these here nuts nukka
Really? Seriously? It must be a joke? Today at our great and wonderful company, Jennifer Terrell was promoted, taking over for Mandy Cole. Why you ask, could this ever be a joke? Let me break it down for you just a bit:

1. Jennifer hasn't done 1 single thing for the good of the company, except taking vacations....a lot of 'em.

2. Ask managers who fell under her, how many times that she ignored or missed 1 on 1 calls, these managers couldn't give 2 shits about her and now she's been made vp. How is she going to gain their respect back, she can't she's done.

3. Ask the teams that she's run how awful she was: missed team calls, missed 1 on 1 calls, no interaction with management, no accountability, no transparency. No coaching of reps she handled, no work with or ridealongs in teh markets.

4. Ask HR the reviews that she's received, they are fucking awful, I know, I've seen 'em.

5. All this information is known, she knows that this isn't her job by results, it's by bullying folks.

5. Finally, she couldn't sell a deal in her hometown if it life depended on it and that's why she has zero credibility.

Did Tim really cash out a bunch of shares? IF this is true, that guy has no integrity whatsoever.
terrell getting promoted goes to show that you can't run a company when promotion is not on merit and those under you have zero respect for you.

disaster. im quitting soon anyway..
Lets get to 500
Anyone notice how much better Groupon's deals are than LivingSocial's?
That's all folks...Living Social brand will disappear in 2014:

If you haven't updated your resume yet you are crazy!
Has anyone taking part in the LivingSocial inside sales lawsuit heard anything back yet since the May 20 due date?
....and Andrew Weinstein is out.
great startups that come from livingsocial

a sock business
#471 i emailed them and checks are being sent out soon

$6,000 with my name on it

i think ill use it on a groupon getaway
SEA office closing
Knew this was coming... Good people in the Seattle office. To bad DC never gave a dam. But then again, they never cared anyways. Just lay them off and they will be much happier....

DC is next...
LivingSocial ripped me off for $157:
I bought one of their offers as a Xmas gift for the wife, which she didn’t much like. I called the number in the product brochure, and they advised me to return it to the address it came from on the mailing label. I did just that with an explanatory letter and then…nothing. I contacted LivingSocial some weeks later, and they pretty much told me to just suck it up, and were pretty snotty about it, too. Now I have no product and no money. If I wasn’t so busy at work, I’d make a religion out of pissing in their soup on every online forum I could find to warn folks off.

Fuck Living Social! They are a pack of assholes truly to be shunned and avoided!
i'm getting about 8k and i'm wondering if it was just the dc offices or did the seattle offices la offices and ny offices get the payout too?


livingsocial doesnt hire talent only sheep that's why the only startup to come out of it is a sock business

then again all livingsocial is .... is AOL

didnt nobody tell timmy that history repeats itself
How bad does it have to get at this company before senior management realizes they are just truly awful at what they do.

Tim - do you realize that you're a hypocrite for cashing out before your own employees? Do you understand that your international acquisitions, product ideas (918, instant deals, T&D) are all failures? Do you get that the tier of leadership below you, save those who have too much professional stature wrapped-up in livingsocial, are abandoning you?

Alan - do you understand that the whole company sees that you are Tim's pet? Do you think we are blind to the fact that you hired your college buddies and promoted them and their girlfriends every chance you got? The way to get promoted at LivingSocial is.... to be Alan's friend. Right Werner? Is this any way to run a business?

Ian - What meaningful, innovative products have you shipped in the last year? Who can answer that question in the affirmative? What about your professional or educational experience (save being Tim's roommate and groomsman) makes you qualified to be the VP of Product?

As you and the employees of LivingSocial are starting to learn, the price of running a business on the basis of favoritism and executive whim, is failure. I'm smart enough to know that you have less than 9 month's worth of cash if deal performance continues on it's current trajectory. I wonder what you are going to tell your colleagues and investors when that happens?

Employees are dropping like flies. Link:
"As you and the employees of LivingSocial are starting to learn, the price of running a business on the basis of favoritism and executive whim, is failure."

There's so much that can be said about why LivingSocial has failed as a company and the biggest takeaway is ^ quote.

I do believe that if quality sales people were retained instead of screwed over on their commissions, if merchants had the opportunity to witness stability and internal organization and get paid on time, and if employees were promoted based on merit and not favoritism, the company could have had success.

At one point I thought we'd be the biggest, baddest, and the best. The more I saw Tim withdraw from the day to day, the more I saw Alan's buddies getting promoted and Greg in way over his head and unable to be a manager, the more it was clear.

The old boys club is invincible. If a sales person doesn't meet quota for one month they are outcasted. Those managing products and teams are held to nothing whatsoever and are here for a fun ride. This isn't a real company.

If the investors were to spend a week undercover witnessing the day to do, they would have decided that giving out emergency funding would be the worst decision and money down the drain.

Goodbye Seattle. LA is next within a few months. Then slow layoffs in DC as to not trigger the press too early.
Anyone ever talk to current employees at LivingSocial and they try to tell you that everything is doing great? It's funny to hear.
i ran a deal and its been 6 months since i got my check. almost made me go out of business but some friends loaned me money until the livingsocial check comes through. im ignored every time i email. its always 'in the mail".

then i come here and wow.i had heard about this message thread but its too good to be true. i know ill get my money or ill sue eventually - 1 year is way too long to wait to get paid but this place is all sorts of fucked up. none of the people who did my deal even still work there. always just passed along to the next person.
News is not good coming out of DC. We have just been informed that some of the DC offices are closing and more layoffs are coming down. God speed.
485 comments?? LivingSocial should invoice you for the ad sales revenue from all that traffic.
Anyone want to become a member of my daily deal site? It's We cater to singles.
Which DC office is closing??
"either suck it up or quit. it doesn't matter to me. you're not as important to this company as you think you are. adjust your priorities and be a team player or just quit. whatever you decide let me know by tomorrow so i can get a replacement ready. oh and you better not let this affect your performance over the next week if you decide to're not going to job search on my watch you're going to close things out like a good employee if you want any reference at all."

this is what my manager told me earlier today after being at the company for over 2 years.
Sounds like it came out of the mouth of Paula Campbell or Jennifer Terrell.
Tell your mgr to eat a fatty and that they will be laid off soon too! The company is going to FAIL... Dear mgt team.... Your time is coming to a end soon. Sooner then you think!!!

Shit is going to go down.
i know the person that was said to it was terrell (comment 489)
Wow, almost 500 comments! Awesome. Who is still left at the company? Is it still the good ol boy network? Turn a profit yet? I heard Seattle was closed. Sorry to hear that. Onward to 500 and I hope City Paper write a follow up story to the "Living LivingSocial..." article.
Welp, The Mazafire is out. When the old boys run for the exits, the end is near. Layoffs coming very very soon for some and already started with some sales verticals.

Just make sure not to exercise your shares on the way out as they are worthless after the last round. Literally worthless.

Did you know they are hiring 50 new sales people? Doesn't sound like layoffs are around the corner....
they ain't hiring 50 new sales reps. Sr. Director said that Terrell is running the place further in to the ground and that layoffs are coming in August.
heard rosenblat left too.who is next?
rozenblat, beth carlson, ross hunter. heard liam darmody is gonna go back to rejecting deals.
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And this thread has oficially jumped the shark. It's gotten so many hits that there are now ads within the comment section (see 499)
Looking at the North American Sales Summary right now.

Not looking good, folks!
Can someone who still works there please explain to me how Lian Darmody is still actually employed there? When I worked there I literally thought he was just kept around ask Michael Scott "The Office"-type comedic relief. It blew my mind that he continued to get promoted when everyone would just roll their eyes behind his back at the things he would say. I know he is greased in the with Revolution guys but it just makes no sense. Who knows, maybe you need a scapegoat for when it fully crashes down.
This is the funniest reading EVER. Oh gosh i miss high school... Wow, I remember my first beer too. It would appear that the only difference between The Titanic and livingsocial is, When the Titanic went down, the lights were still on.
Darmody is still employed becausehe continues to kiss sean Quill's ass
Does Sean Quill still wear that funny vest that he wears all the time?
Anyone remember that tool Joe Sale? Had some upside down tie that he was always pushing and then would always wonder why we was passed up for management.
this is your conscience speaking: "maybe it's time to wrap it up?"...
New report. Everything is great at LivingSocial, we're making more money than we ever have before and the best businesses in every city continue to run deals with us at 50 / 50 split and our business model really works for local merchants. All local merchants love us. #localbusinessesloveus
Is Leslie Hall still spreading her "managerial skills" throughout the office? How many more employees has she stabbed in the back?
Oh I'm here and I'm coming after you and the whole lot of 'em.
This is the most entertaining thread ever. So many good people. With a healthy sprinkling of over employed know nothing cocky people.
As a merchant, when I was first approached by Living Social I looked forward to working with them every 90 days. It was worth it and was profitable in the sense that my company's name got "out there". However, the tides did change around my 6th deal. There was serious pressure to provide a much more deeply discounted deal. Then, I did not get all of the money I was supposed to in the 50/50 split. Here's how it went down. I provided a $200 product for $69 after being beat down by a sale rep (My 8th one in two years) Of that $69.00, half went to LS, leaving me with $34.50. Minus the new 2% transaction fee and I'm down to 33.81. THEN, they have now added a 20% HOLD for AN ENTIRE YEAR!!!! YES! AN ENTIRE YEAR!!!!! Now.... I'm down do 27.05 for each deal that I would normally charge $200.00 for. Now... let's also add these little tidbits..... 1st..My ad is HARDLY viewed anymore because instead of being the ONLY "deal of the day", it's buried among deals in different tabs, different categories and probably 12 different ads in each of those tabs. 2nd... I doubt I will even make it the year before LS shuts down and my funds on HOLD are just GONE. 3rd... I swear if another sales rep calls me 22 times a day for 5 weeks, I'm going to upchuck vouchers. I've had to send a nasty email to tell them to leave me the hell alone.

I am better off standing on the street with a sign.
Hey you 512, you have no one to blame but yourself. Why would you ever run 6 deals, your business must be awful and you got duped by the old daily deal model.
from post 512, might be the most epic post ever, " I provided a $200 product for $69 after being beat down by a sale rep (My 8th one in two years) "

Guys, I don't care about your shit. I have two houses worth millions each. In married to the daughter of a billionaire. I cashed in my safety net while i put your your equity at risk.

Ill keep wearing gorilla suits and putting together zany company holidays until you forget what worthless shits you are.

-Tim, I'm a coward, O'Shaughnessy
ofdpvmakz Living LivingSocial: How D.C.'s homegrown coupon giant is trying to change its culture—and ours - Washington City Paper ofdpvmakz ofdpvmakz ofdpvmakz
Hiring new Sales Reps! Livingsocial is back!!!! Sorry for all those who doubted us!
Yes all of the naysayers were wrong, we have the greatest product ever and all merchants love us. The top merchants are begging to run with us and get in the que.
More bad news


“Any sense that LivingSocial or Groupon or other daily-deal companies would have the Midas touch and easily extend their success in daily deals to other segments probably has dissipated by now,” said Peter Krasilovsky, an analyst at BIA/Kelsey.

Duh, ya think?

D.C.-based LivingSocial said Thursday that a massive cyber­attack in April that compromised the passwords of more than 50 million customers caused a significant revenue drop in the second quarter and derailed its efforts to reach profitability.

Hackers accessed the names, e-mail addresses, birth dates — and even encrypted passwords — of LivingSocial’s customers in the attacks. Afterward, many customers did not reset their passwords and have not returned to the site, said LivingSocial Chief Financial Officer John Bax. The company had been profitable by some measurements for several months this year, but that stopped around the time of the attack, he said.

“We took a hit in April and we took a hit in May, no question about that,” Bax said. “We forced any recurring customers to reset their passwords. We are seeing customers return. It takes time. There were some customers who didn’t reset their passwords and haven’t returned. ”

That contributed to Living­Social’s falling short of a critical goal set by chief executive Tim O’Shaughnessy to be profitable by this spring, Bax acknowledged. The company continued to lose money during the quarter — though at a slower rate than before, he said.

LivingSocial cut its losses from $44 million in the first quarter to $34 million in the second, Bax said. Despite the losses, Bax said he liked how the company is doing.

If there is good news in the losses, it is that the company is burning cash at a slower rate than it had in the past — about $20 million so far this year. That may provide breathing room as the daily-deals giant seeks profitability.

This latest news has left the once high-flying LivingSocial at a critical juncture. The company has lost several top employees, including co-founder and chief technology officer Aaron Batalion, who left in April — one year after another LivingSocial co-founder, President Eddie Frederick, resigned from the board.

Its deals business, which makes up the majority of the company’s revenue, has come under increased pressure as the daily-deals craze has lost popularity with consumers and merchants.

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The company’s attempts to move into new business areas have largely fizzled. It began offering marketing services to retailers, hiring Dickson Chu, a managing director from Citi, to run the new division. But Chu was fired after less than a year.

LivingSocial also shuttered Room Service, a white-glove food-delivery service for higher-end establishments. The latest to fizzle out is the company’s local adventures business, which took customers on rafting trips or camping excursions organized by Living­Social’s staff members. The division was closed last week, resulting in the layoffs of 30 full-time employees.

“Any sense that LivingSocial or Groupon or other daily-deal companies would have the Midas touch and easily extend their success in daily deals to other segments probably has dissipated by now,” said Peter Krasilovsky, an analyst at BIA/Kelsey.

Some of the company’s investors have deep pockets, including Steve Case, JPMorgan Chase, T. Rowe Price and Amazon. It has raised more than $900 million since it was founded in 2007, including $110 million this year.

The company, which employs 4,000 worldwide, including 2,000 in the United States, is still trying to lower costs.

LivingSocial recently closed sales offices in New York, where the real estate is expensive and where employees personally visit merchants to solicit deals. Instead, employees there and in Seattle work from home.

LivingSocial has already pulled out of some international markets where its daily-deals outposts were flatlining. The company laid off 400 employees, including 160 in Washington, late last year because of a decline in the daily-deals business.

LivingSocial will probably emerge as a small firm, industry analysts and sources close to the company say. Although there still are opportunities for a sustainable business, the potential for a large-scale, multibillion-dollar business has receded, they said.

“It looks like they’re retrenching in a lot of areas, and they can’t be as big as they once anticipated being, which is a major player in local and national commerce,” said Krasilovsky of BIA/Kelsey.

(O’Shaughnessy is the son-in-law of Donald E. Graham, the chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co.)

Frank Frisbee is probably licking his chops right now or Brian Zang.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has sent a letter to the CEO of LivingSocial asking the company to adopt a policy that would discontinue deals that pairs the use of firearms with the consumption of alcohol.

In his letter to LivingSocial CEO and Co-Founder Tim O'Shaughnessy, Mendelson wrote, "Offering consumers a product that seemingly glorifies the opportunity to shoot a firearm and consume alcohol is, in my view, too flippant with the responsibility that is associated with gun use."

The Council Chairman also adds, "the promotion of alcohol and firearm use sends the wrong message and does a disservice to efforts to promote responsible gun ownership."

LivingSocial, which offers discounted daily deals to its customers at various businesses, is headquartered in the District. Last year, the D.C. Council approved legislation that will give major tax incentives to the company, which will go into effect in 2015.

FOX 5 has reached out to LivingSocial, but have not received a response at this time.

Read more:
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Greatest thread ever! Nice to see the fallout from Tim, Jake, Doug, Allan and all the other self proclaimed wizards torching a billion dollars with their toxic culture, arrogant leadership and nepotism. Strong moves boys, strong moves!
Hey guys, I sell ties for $99 that don't move when you do handstands, but act now and get one for $19.95. Take a look at my video, I'm the best.

- Sale
Tim and his pet Alan. Alan and his buddies Werner, Hengl, Levy. An arrogant CEO and his feifdom run the company into the ground. When I walk past you in 1445, know that I and everyone around you know what you stand for.
Hey Jake & Doug, thanks for the big Adventure!


100+ unemployed people
Surprised no one is talking about the incest pool and sexual harassment that no one is controlling at LS? Disgusting.
If you're going to post something about harassment then back it up, boom!
did anyone else that is no longer with ls sales get an email being asked to come back? i just did.

what the? hell no!
I loved LS when I was working there and was crushed when Paula Campbell took over my market. I must say LS did me the biggest favor. I really never realized what a sinking ship LS was until I was on the outside looking in. I am in such a better place not working for the hood rat crew. I actually get to laugh from time to time reading updates on this company. Congrats to the hood rat crew. You've helped run this company into the ground. All I can say is I'm glad I work for a company that would never be fooled and hire you, Terrell or any of your other peeps in the hood rat crew.
I have a great idea...for our Q3 reward lets create a contest that rewards people who did horrible in the first quarter.. We can call it "Bring Back the Boom!"

Then... lets take leads away from sales reps and give them to interns...lets take extensions away from production and give them to "new to sales" employees... and when they extend a deal we can call it a "close" They will feel so good when they feel like they actually sold something.

Then we can slowly build back up our inside sales team so they can crank out reruns and renewals that an outside rep originally sold leaving outside reps worthless.

= Secret to Success

That is a great idea #530. We've already basically done that but I think I need to tweek it just a little. Since Paula Campbell has such great ideas maybe I should get her input too. Most everything we come up with together completely screws the outside sales department. I'm looking forward to running LS as far into the ground as I can :)

JT ... Tat tat tat it up
Being a former inside sales rep, I can tell you management is more focused on developing reports to help us grab the "easy fruit" than they are in actually training us how to sell. I was fresh out of college when I accepted the position, hoped the Job would prepare me for the real sales world. Found out soon it was all focused on finding easy ways to take sales away from outside reps and use ROE to my advantage. I wonder if Groupons sales team operates the same way.
Anyone ever had a scheduled call with Campbell or Terell and then they don't even call you on the scheduled time? Those 2 are jokes and it's nice to have them finally exposed.
Everyone knows I love Inside Sales! So it's time to say goodbye to the outside sales department. Major cuts happening soon. Until then lets offer a $6000 bonus to those who refer more inside sales reps. Once we have enough people hired we will make the final announcement! Now go out and bring us 30% more!
Mophie sues livingsocial
Major layoffs in outside sales coming soon. Now that we've successfully replicated Groupon's 'deal bank' we don't need to generate the same amount of inventory. Seller's who failed to meet our arbitrary sales goals last quarter will be fired.

Tim is right. We will be making cuts starting beginning of 4th Quarter. We have way to many outside reps and out inside sales team is great at sending emails to resign merchants. If you haven't started looking elsewhere better do it now. By November we will have 50% less outside sales reps. Once that is done we will announce profitability!
We're going public, we are all going to get so rich, said no one.
We are now turning in to, what a cluster fu*k
No one is surprised and no one is delighted.
Greed, greed and well more greed! LS had good people a long time ago. What happen? Just maybe you should of stuck to the basics? Saw it coming when I was given the boot. Best thing that ever happen. Sadly there are people there that are miserable. Let them lay you off. Get unemployment for few months and relax. You realize all the hard work you put in, was a waste of time!

Read the fine print: the doors will be closing soon!

By next year LS will dissolve... Trust me!,,,

The Predictor...
Ladies and gentlemen....the vp of sales is on a reality show. What a joke
Ladies and gentlemen....the vp of sales is on a reality show. What a joke
Is it any wonder why Livingsocial is a sinking ship? The leadership at the helm is moonlighting on a trashy reality show! Let's make "Jenny" the face of LS and she can make-out with all of your husbands at 50% off, because Jenny is definitely not a fun sponge! Please present your voucher NOT your coupon upon redemption.

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In response to “It's a Voucher, NOT a Coupon!” comment…

Giving your “JENNY” comment one ounce of attention, goes against everything I believe in. However, we all make exceptions from time to time when a suspected hater needs to be called out…

I hope you put as much work, creativity and drama into your job/life as you did in your “JENNY trash talk commentary”, If you do, I bet you’d have a real shot at starring in your own “trashy” reality show…

To pass judgment so quickly on a mere “snippet” of the show Jen is cast in, paints a pretty colorful picture of your own character, which to me reeks of opinionated BS. Perhaps that’s just how you roll, and that’s okay… really… “I” won’t judge "you"… Why?... because judging YOU, someone I don’t even “really” know, would make me a hypocrite… wouldn't it?

A CHALLENGE FOR YOU: Look at yourself in the mirror and take accountability for your own true character and what your intentions really are before you go judging someone else. Believe me it’s hard to do sometimes, but quite liberating when you quit hiding from your own personal truth:0)

Moving on…

Let me be ABSOLUTELY clear… I have nothing to gain or lose by writing my own following commentary about Jen. We don’t talk on the phone every day, we don’t do lunch, I don’t sit in the office by her side every day, we’re not BFFs, my job is not on the line and there are no promotions anywhere in the near future to be secured within the company by me…

The week before San Diego, Jen was announced as the new VP, so needless to say, in San Diego the following week, she was extremely busy and running around like a chicken with its head cut off (I don’t condone chickens head’s being cut off, because I like chickens…) anyway… Jen heard through the grape vine that I had just been diagnosed with a disorder called Trigeminal Neuralgia, and in passing at the conference, she pulled me aside and asked me if she could take a half hour of my time to talk to me later that day. As an employee, I was like S&!t, what did I do? I mean, she wanted half an hour on one of the craziest days of her life… it must have been pretty damn serious… right?

She met me in the lobby and asked if I would mind going for a walk with her outside of the hotel so we could talk more privately… of course I agreed. We walked down the street and sat on a bench. The first words that came out of her mouth were, “I heard about the TN, and you don’t have to talk to me about it if you don’t want to, but I just needed to be sure you’re okay or see if you needed anything?”

Jen had always praised me when I did a good job, AND also told me like it was when I started to slack, which I respected, because at least I always knew where I stood with her … good or bad. When I was slacking, she’d tell me about myself, and with my tail between my legs, I’d put on my big girl panties, take accountability, own my sh!T, and head back towards the path of success. As an employee, she motivated me & inspired me, because she didn't blow smoke up my… well… you know…

However, when she talked to me on the bench that day, she spoke to me and encouraged me as a genuine, concerned and kind “human being”. She was a mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc… and allowed herself to be vulnerable in front of me. Why, because she was keeping it “real”…

I have carried and thought about her words every day I've been forced to struggle with this disorder, have an attack, while on multiple weekly doctor’s appointments, and especially on those days I almost quit believing I’ll ever get my life back.

My point to ALL of this… Don’t judge a book by its cover. Be courageous enough to read the book in its “entirety”. If you do, you might find that it’s a Best Seller and maybe you’ll even allow yourself the opportunity to learn a thing or two.

It wouldn't be fair for me to ask anyone to jump on my “give this chic/human being a break wagon” because we’re all entitled to have our own unique opinion about someone’s character (right or WRONG)... I just wanted to be sure I had an equal opportunity to share my own.

Socially Yours,

Sarah Elmore (yeah, I don’t have anything to hide… I’ll own the consequences of my post… good or bad)
Hey, sorry your company sucks now. Maybe you shouldn't have chased out the talent with your powertripping "management" and nonsensical processes. If whoring your VP out to a TV show is gonna save the company, more power to you! :)
Great post, to bad that she, Jenny from the block, missed the opportunity to inspire, teach, and lead us the way she did with you Sarah. She could have been one of the best, but she failed to follow her own rules of management, "rip the bandaid right off", but she, like her running buddy Paula Campbell started playing favorites and that my friend is why so many talented people left the company. Remember what they say, the reason why most people leave a job is because of their manager or management. Look at how many talented people have abandoned ship since Schreider took charge.

On another note, hope you are feeling okay Sarah.
Good work Team
The beginning of the end. Bye.
Site is still down. This isn't good
In what world does the CEO still have his job? Where is the board in all of this?
Resign Tim. Resign.
We have lost Sean Donovan here on the West coast, and I hear Amigo is leaving as well?!?!? What in the hell is going inside the company. I think Marchelo is a huge loss FUCKING HUGE. Last report my director showed me he was on top. Donovan got screwed when he was demoted.

But yet we can all sit around for hours and hear Jenny talk about her Show!
Amigo does not do any work and has lied about his past working experience. There have been many complaints about him to HR but somehow he stays on - he has made many of his weekly sales team conference calls from his girlfriend's Dominican Republic home and other vacations placers he takes with her. The reason he's on top is because he has a great sales team...Miami would be on top without me...Amigo is overrated and it would be a HUGE loss if he left
Wow, this thread is nuts! Damn good thing no ones exposed me! :-) shhh.
I see what you did there...
I'm just eating bananas enjoying this thread! Mmmmm.
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I was the best and now I'm gone.


I am the best and I'm still here.


Sorry to break the news Curtis, but you weren't that good. Not even close to the best. You just got a favorable goal buddy. If you were really the best you would still be here. Good luck at your next gig.
It's Waine Bresky baby and I'm sellin deals
Soon Jennifer will go reality tv full time, because she's the next to be forced out.
Tim's out? This is such huge news said nobody.
Gosh that was fun guys. But I'm kind of bored, you know? Time to move on. I wanted to wait for the right time to pass on my mistakes so that another CEO could come in and do all the things I just didn't really feel like doing. Like, you know, firing everybody.

Now that the time has come
For me to go
I hope you all know
That daily deals are broke

Memo To New CEO,

As you enter into this position, I think it is imperative to know the history of this mess from an actual employee. Where we are today is a distant memory of where we were. We use to have a team full of great leaders, managers, and employees. Today, most of the great ones are just a memory. You are left with the die-hard believers, who won’t admit defeat so easily. We use to have energy about the direction of this company, probably enough energy to power an entire town. Today, most of us are just hanging on by a string to the energy we once had. We use to be aggressive, ambitious, and forward thinking. Now we have realized it has been used against us and resulted in disappointment. We use to Live Hungry and our appetite suggested we did. Today, most of us feel like we have been taking appetite suppressants.
Why are we at this point, you might ask? Here are a few things I believe got us here. First, we worked hard to acquire the right team of people, yet once we got them we provided no environment for constructive criticism. Aggressive high caliber employees, need to know their opinions and thoughts are being implemented not just heard. Instead, what they received was seeing their voice fall on deaf ears. We as a company thought we were better than the rest. This was more of cockiness than confidence. This caused us to lose sight. We enabled a department to determine who to sell and what to sell, rather than empower a sales team to do just that. To make things worse, this department made these decisions based data driven by inconsequential benchmarks. This led the team, to stay narrowly focused while our competition took risks. We played catch up instead up leading the way. We changed strategy, comp plans, and processes so many times, employees started to lose confidence the right people were making the right decisions. This as well, diminished focus and created a “learn to re-swim” mentality. We used great people to launch new verticals, new products, new tools, and then took ownership of these away from them. Which made them feel used, devalued, and increased their level of job/company uncertainty. We allowed managers to be hired and/or promoted based on their ability to become the “company” spokesperson. This created a culture of fear. This fear created a lack of true feedback, which was needed for improvement. Nobody would speak up on how the top down changes where affecting the company at their level. When the top of the organization stops listening to the bottom, communication is broken.

So where do you go from here?

First, take a step back. Eliminate DQP and evaluate market success at the rep level. Allow sales people to create and keep a book of business. Assess them based on that. Scale back by eliminating underperforming sales reps. Communicate “with” reps not just “to” reps. Discontinue the “yes man” management philosophy. If management is not giving you constructive criticism they should go. Create tools for merchants. Speak to merchants. Work with merchants. Provide valuable information internally and externally. Don’t allow the press to bash what we do. Be more vocal about the success. Why? Because our employees are vocal, our merchants are vocal, our subscribers are vocal, and so we should be vocal too!

Good Luck!
Is the titanic music playing in the background?
You know it's bad when the top sales representative in the company, Curtis, leaves for Groupon.
Johnny - Eliminating DQP is a dumb idea. You need someone to push for quality on behalf of the consumer. RE changing everything, a hallmark of a bad manager is someone who blames systemic issues on a 'workflow' or 'strategy.' Sometimes the tide is more important than the swimmers, and the company would recognize that if they had the balls to admit it.

Tim did walk out with millions. For the record, he didn't inform the board that he'd be stepping down. The board informed him. That he would try to spin it that way, even as he pocketed millions while simultaneously burying employing equity in a liquidation preference, is a testament to who Tim is. At least Andrew Mason had the balls to call it like it is. Kudos to him.

For those of you who are left at LivingSocial, you deserve what you have. The company made awful, awful strategic decisions 24+ months ago, and you supported those decisions because your connection to Alan or Tim allowed you to draw an outsized salary and advance before other, more qualified people, etc. Now you're hanging around LS, planning to tell your next employer that your fierce loyalty made you stick around until the end. The reality is that you stuck around until the end because you wanted to enjoy the favoritism and perks of favoritism as long as you could. Shame on you. How much money is 918F street making?

The minions of douches/douchettes who have been at LS forever and still think they're better than you.
Now you're hanging around LS, planning to tell your next employer that your fierce loyalty made you stick around until the end. The reality is that you stuck around until the end because you wanted to enjoy the favoritism and perks of favoritism as long as you could.

Bingo, spot on. Those of you still hanging around LivingSocial are going to have an awfully tough time when looking for a new job opportunity. When those potential employers bring you in for an interview and you start claiming loyalty blah blah blah, you won't get the job.
Ok. It needs to be said. Signing deals isn't SELLING. Fact.
Hey 572, you're probably the idiot that couldn't sell anything and couldn't sell a deal and you were put on a PIP after your first month.
Sold deals with reps all the time you mongaloid. It's not really selling. Selling is asking for a check. Not saying (and great job jumping to conclusions), that LS didn't (or doesn't) have some real top notch salespeople that COULD excel in a traditional real selling role. They definately did ... and still do. Relax! :-)
It's true. You're not asking for any real type if monetary or time commitment. It's not selling. It's an activity type of role.

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Hey I sell Rodan fields on the side and work full time for livingsocial, suck it
Doug Miller is thinking about Doug Miller and smiling.
I sell rodan fields and advocare all day and I have a full time job with LS as a RSM, suck it .
I'm sending my laptop back in a trash bag.

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