Dec 13, 2007

The ePrize Fund

Per a comment yesterday, it almost sounds like Dwoskin was in charge of this year's Holiday cards... This year recipients received notice that a donation has been made in their name to the ePrize Fund.

Afraid that this was akin to George Costanza's "Human Fund," I did some googling and found these links:

  • ePrize: a true SE Michigan success story
    "The company also recently launched its ePrize Fund, a nonprofit charity intended to promote and help grow creativity and entrepreneurship in the area and around their other offices, located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and London."
  • E2newsletter · Issue No. 11
    "This year, we started the ePrize Fund, a 501(c)3 charity that provides fund and volunteer time from our team members to local organizations that support the ePrize philosophy by fostering creativity and entrepreneurship."

That's quite a bit different from the usual ePrize year-end gift of piñatas and bats or other garish tchotchkes of years past. I'm curious if ePrize employees got any kind of holiday bonus for 2007. Also, I'm wondering if there are any holiday pink slips being put into the stockings hung with care... that's been a long standing ePrize tradition. "Get off the bus!"


StingTheBee said...

I'm curious: What's the churn rate at ePrize these days? After the shake up of 2000/2001, they maintained a churn of something incredibly low like 5% for a few years. And this was back when the loss of even one employee would rock that percentage quite a bit.

Go Purple said...

Things are good here these days. Low turnover. Everyone's pretty happy. Lots of change going on (as always), but work load is okay. Clients are happy, and there's some cool R&D going on. I think the "churn" is a thing of the past.

YourHRDept said...

Knowing how many resumes I've gotten just in the last few weeks from ePrizers looking to move on, I'd prepare myself to say goodbye to some people, purple.

Anonymous said...

'Things are good here these days. Low turnover. Everyone's pretty happy. Lots of change going on (as always)'

Looks like A. Dawg Opelt got a new username.

Keep working people through weekends with no compensation over the holidays dumb-asses.

Art Vandelay said...

For every comment to this posting, a donation will be made in your name to the eXprize fund.

Happy_at_ePrize said...

Say what you want, (as if you needed permission) ;-) But ePrize in January 2008 is the greatest place to work in Michigan and possibly the US. This is not anyone in Marketing, Publicity, executive level... nothin'. I'm just a web developer who's blessed enough to work there and just wanted to say that whatever it was like when you folks worked there and felt you were being abused is history. If you are looking for a new job, you should give ePrize another try. Do I put in a late night now and then? Yes. But I've done that everywhere I've worked... it's the nature of the Internet industry to work right up to a deadline occasionally.

Hopefully, I don't get blasted just for presenting an opposing view but if I do, so be it. ePrize rocks!

Anonymous said...

happy_at_eprize, you must be a new developer. I agree that in the internet industry, you work pretty much right up to the deadline. However, if you're not appreciated (such as given a bonus or a raise), then there's really nothing to look forward to. Honestly, money is what drive most people to work hard, including myself. I rather a boss hire 5 great developers work their asses off but feed them by giving raises, bonuses, stock options (if applicable), etc.. than to hire 20 code monkeys and see them come and go. Reality is, great software infrastructures can be developed with just 3-4 skilled people.

Happy_at_ePrize said...

Um... not exactly, anonymous. I've been employed as a web developer since 1998 working for what used to be one of the big 3 automakers maintaining their web applications. I've been around a while. As for raises, bonuses, etc (and yes, I'm talking about money, not free pop or lunchbox) ePrize is giving us those. Like I said, you can't assume they are still exactly the way they were you worked for them. Not to mention, our benefits (which are huge for someone like me who has kids) are the best I've seen, bar none. Don't kid yourself by thinking everyone at ePrize is naiive or underskilled. True, there's been some pruning that has taken place over the last year or so while I've worked there but those still remaining are highly skilled, super-productive and we go home at a reasonable time every day with fewer bugs than ever. Our efforts ARE appreciated and rewarded by leadership.

go purple said...

The company is doing great. We hit our sales goals, quality is high, people are happy, clients are happy. It looks like the place is a lot better off now that you complainers are working somewhere else. Frankly, I don't see what you are talking about at all and I am at ePrize every day. When was the last time you were there? Ever think that maybe you were part of the problem?

Anonymous said...

@go purple
I'll agree it is entirely possible things are better (though that isn't what I hear from other people)

I don't agree that us 'complainers' being gone really has much to do with it at all. Do you think maybe restructuring and new departments responsibility has anything to do with it?

From what I know a lot has changed over there in terms of departments, who's doing what, etc. So it is entirely possible that ePrize just managed to find a model that worked for them.

Personally, you should probably give it some more thought before you spout off and try to blame the people who left. Chances are you are probably ignorant as to who most of the people are on here, and what they might have gone through. Beyond that, most of the people from my generation there that actually were on the front lines, have since left, so I know you're one of the out-siders. I left on my own terms, at a time when my responsibility was increasing(in theory because I had done a good job and they trusted me) and I was at least seemingly respected where I was. So don't go generalizing and acting like just because we didn't like the place, that we were part of the problem. That is pretty ignorant.

I'm not sure anyone meant to imply you were new to the industry, just new to the company. Though you said yourself that you have been there a year so you aren't that new, maybe the atmosphere just suits you.

For perspective, we watched a young guy come in and defend ePrize with all he had. Preached their virtues to us in here, tried to make us see that we were wrong. He shut up when he got fired.

Anonymous said...


Having known you during your time at ePrize I have to say this blog confuses me a bit. My read on you was always a guy who liked to play around with tech, figure out better ways to do common tasks, or simply do something that hadn't been done before. In plain terms, you were much like me: a geek.

What I see on this blog is an attempt to divide, vilify and slander leaving me to wonder: why?

So you got fired, and you weren't too happy about that. I was there the day you got fired and I remember how it all went down. I thought you left with your dignity and I had a lot of respect for you even though we were not friends per se. What I see in this blog is the personality of a pissed off 16 year old and I can't say I really see you as the same person I once did, maybe I just didn't know you that well.

I'm sure you don't really care; I've purposely withheld my identity which automatically makes my opinion worth little more than a pile of crap to you. But I just thought you should know that there are people out there, people who you once worked with and (I hope) respected, people who respected you long after you left (because nobody gives a flying F where you work, "ex-Prizer" or not you're still the same guy whether you were fired or just quit) who were disappointed to find out it was you who started this blog.

ePrize is an employment opportunity - opportunity being the key word. They offer you X in return for Y. If you don't like X, then it's not the opportunity for you. If you can't give Y, then it's not the opportunity for you. If you give a lot of Z with your Y, (read: pessimistic BS - which even though I thought you were a cool guy, I knew you were full of that after my second week there) then ePrize has the full right to decide that it is not the opportunity for you without having their name smeared all over the Internet.

I know you frame your blog as a place where improvements are offered to ePrize, but being somebody who seeks to improve ePrize on a daily basis, I haven't seen a single idea on here that would be helpful to us. Frankly speaking, your information about ePrize is usually outdated to the point of uselessness, so I guess I can't fault you too much for the conclusions you've drawn since they are based on incorrect data.

I've been at ePrize for about 2.5 years now. There have been days I love it, there have been days when I am _extremely_ frustrated with it. In the end, I feel it is still a good opportunity for me. This is not because somebody from "Upper Management" swoops in with flashy goodies and "Kool-Aid" to get me back on the brainwash train when I am at a low point but because I get enough X to justify the Y I give them. And you know what? There have been weeks where I've put in less than 40 hours at that place, simply because I'm burned out. I've never been reprimanded, I've never been told that I don't "fit the culture", my leader has understood my position and respected my wishes. (probably because I can present them with some mature reasoning, unlike most of the material on this blog) You are responsible for defending your own time. ePrize is not some devious institution that pounds the life and personality out of people, that's nobody's fault but your own.

I've rambled on enough. I now return you to your regularly scheduled childish blog post.

PS - I notice you haven't posted in about a month. Is Organic working you so hard you can't find the time to rant about your former employer?

ricky_cries_in_shame said...

@anonymous -- Yeah, I think that addressing "Mike" but not signing your name is pretty much bullshit.

I won't sign my name because I think that the anonymity of the web can really help spur some good conversations as long it's done with respect.

You seem pretty sure that Mike "Full of BS" White is the purveyor of the dreck on this site. I'm not so certain that you're right and, moreover, I'm not certain that it really matters if it's him or someone else (my vote) does it?

And, regardless, wouldn't it be nice if whoever writes this blog were actually taking some time off around the holidays? ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeah...the more I think about it the more I regret leaving that post. I hadn't checked this blog in a good 12-14 months and reading some of the stuff that's been written here got me going, so the post was more of a knee jerk reaction than a well thought out response, which is not something I commonly do.

My anonymity might be bullshit, or it might just be a sign that since the site already lacks any sense of culpability, what's the point of putting my name on anything related to it? (I'm sure that will be interpreted as some kind of paranoia about the "ePrize Purple Police" finding out who I am and what I's not)

I agree with your point about anonymous conversations on the Internet, however I think that some sound reasoning and logic needs to accompany that respect. (one can even argue it's a prerequisite for respect in an anonymous conversation - what other common ground is there to reach in a media devoid of personal history, facial expressions and other "real world" cues?) I don't really get a sense of reason & logic from this site; the author has plainly stated that this is a place for him/her to vent about his/her old job. As such, there isn't much thought put into it, and there is certainly no respect for ePrize, a place that employed this author for quite some time. He/she may have felt betrayed and disrespected, but who's to say that ePrize didn't feel that way when they fired him? Do we really have an unbiased account of the events that led up to his termination? Nope.

Open and honest discourse between both parties would have to be present for a productive and respectful conversation to take place and it's pretty clear that isn't going to happen on this site. As such, I've decided that my time here is done and I won't be checking this blog again, even after another 12-14 months. I wish you all the best.

PS - I didn't pull Mike White out of thin air as the author of this site. On his Facebook profile he lists the site as the description for his job at ePrize under the employment section. Since other posters on the site are already under the impression that he is the author, perhaps he shouldn't further that notion with such information. Or perhaps he should stop sitting on the fence and just acknowledge that he is or is not the author. I have no interest either way, just my two cents as an observer. As you say it doesn't matter if it is Mike or not, I just used that as my reference point because for the brief period of time that I knew him, I thought he had more integrity than the author of this site has displayed. Thus, I was disappointed to see "evidence" that it was Mike on Facebook. *shrug* oh well.

ricky_cries_in_shame said...

Uh oh. I can see this turning into an intellectual masturbation contest all about the value of an anonymous opinion versus one where someone's claiming a name.

Anyway... whoever's writing this blog... do you think they'd be smart if they put their name on it so they could get a cease and desist note from Gabe Karp? I think we could posit as much "evidence" as high as the moon but only a fool would set themselves up for a legal tangle like that.

BTW, my profile on MySpace used to point to the other anti-ePrize blog... does that mean *I* wrote that blog?

get_a_grip_asswipe said...

OMG, Mike White has the Organic Blog listed under his profile for a link to Organic. Does that mean he writes that one too? He's a busy bugger if so!

potential_eprizer said...

So what I keep wonder is, what are things like now?

All of these issues seem rather dated.

Any ideas?

Breakthrough said...

Hey Potential ePrizer. This blog is all about the past. I've been at ePrize for 3.5 years now, and this is a totally different place. We went through some growing pains about two years ago (when the author of this blog was fired), but now things are great.

Hours are fine, we're doing some really cool stuff, company hit it's goals, pay is good. Big difference with new senior management. If you are a cool guy, you should come join the team.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to be an advocate for anything if you're invested in it.

It's hard to see things for what they really are and being honest with yourself.

If you're happy there, so be it.

Some were not. I couldn't make myself see what ePrize was doing as worth anything other than money.

Which, if you're being honest with yourself, is not everything.

That's my choice. ePrize can be yours if you like.