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July 31, 2007


Former Employee

As a former employee, I definitely agree. If I had known what happened to all of the employees before me, I would not have joined Wellsphere. I know that neither Uncov nor the TechCrunch comments are definitive, but they might have swayed me in the right direction. Reputation is the summation of all information available.


It's interesting that this person, Ron Gutman, claims to have accomplished so much but not only does the proof not seem to exist, but no one has stepped forward to vouch for him. When you search his name, the results show that he's joined as many Meetup.com groups as possible (spam is the word). If I were a successful entrepreneur in the food/wine industry, I would talk about those successes (company names, accomplishments) on the Wellsphere about us section. Since he does not, it supports the view that he greatly exaggerates his past accomplishments. Where are the specifics? The proof? Others who knew him, worked with him, would call him a fair boss?


Agreed. I immediately noticed a lot of problems when I started at Wellsphere. I figured that the management was making typical rookie software development mistakes, but because they were bright people, they would learn from those mistakes and correct them for the next iteration. Little did I know that the company had already been around for quite a while and had a rich history of disgruntled employees and botched development.

The Wellsphere team

We felt compelled to add our comment here because we were personally and professionally hurt by what was written, and we thought this would be a good opportunity to describe openly and honestly who we really are and what our company is really all about, and invite you to (please!) contact us if you have any questions.

All of us at Wellsphere share a deep commitment to our mission of helping people live healthier, happier lives. We are a group of positive, hardworking, caring people who very much enjoy each other’s company, and are dedicated to helping one another and to achieving our goals. Our ‘WellSpace’ in San Mateo is a bright, energetic, fun environment (we even have a small exercise room and beautiful views of the green hills and the Bay!). We recently launched our Beta site based on substantial research and feedback from our alpha community. We implemented a scalable technology that is designed to support our growing community. We are delighted to watch our members help and support each other everyday in their quests for well-being. We are very proud of the progress we’ve made and the growth of our community, though we know there is much more to do. We think our site speaks for itself, and invite you to visit us at http://www.wellsphere.com.

We are committed to continuing to improve Wellsphere everyday and we enjoy responding to the feedback from our community. We greatly appreciate all constructive advice about how we can improve the site and our users’ experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts (or hate mail if you must :-) ) with us at [email protected]. If you would like to learn more about our company, our mission, and our values firsthand, please reach out to any of us directly. You can reach us by phone at (650) 345-2100, or by email at the addresses below.

Our core team (alphabetical by last name):

Kathleen Donahue
[email protected]

Ron Gutman
[email protected]

Dave Kashen
[email protected]

Ivan Marchenko
[email protected]

Sastry Nanduri
[email protected]

Larisa Rozentals
[email protected]

Geoff Rutledge, MD, PhD
[email protected]

Former Employee

Instead of posting a boilerplate response, why not actually address some of the issues? How many employees left and why? Did you learn from the mistakes you made? What about your past? Maintaining a Reputation 2.0 means having an honest, open, friendly dialog with your detractors. Admitting mistakes is much better than pretending than writing marketing copy in hopes that people will ignore the bad and focus on your skewed version of the world.

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It was a catastrophic situation working with Ron. He did not even allow others to have any opinions. An absolutely totalitarian situation we have faced several times. People believe in Silicon Valley people create something positive and would smile all the time, that was definitely not the case. Also, one should wonder how the database in the new venture Healthtap was gathered actually so fast....

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