Adap.tv Reviews

Updated April 16, 2015
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2.6
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Toby Gabriner
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Fun place to work, learned a lot.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with, fun environment, lots of perks. This was my first job as a software engineer, perfect landing spot. I learned a lot about best practices and large scale development practices.

    Cons

    The pay was a little under market. The company exhibited some pains associated with the acquisition. AOL came in and changed some things for the better but also some things for the worse. A bit of brain drain post-acquisition.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some UX designers to help the product process. Focus on engineering and recruit top talent. Try to limit brain drain as it lowers morale.

  2. Making money is more important than making customers happy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It may be fun to work in a trendy video advertisement industry

    Cons

    Everyday the system gets broken. Even a new feature is usually broken.
    Don’t learn from the past failures, and make the same failures repeatedly again and again.
    No leadership. No inspiration.
    The focus of their business seems to get technology tax as much as possible, not to make customers happy.

    Advice to Management

    Throw away the current system and rebuild it from scratch. The current architecture doesn’t match the current needs and requirements.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Fading Star

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Director in New York, NY

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -People. They're the only reason I stayed for as long as I did.
    -Culture. It's a fun place to work.
    -Money. Salary, bonus, and benefits are amazing.
    -Work/life balance. As long as you get your work done, no one bothers you.
    -AOL. Yes, the dial-up company. Provides financial stability.

    Cons

    -AOL. While AOL provides financial stability, they are slowly killing off Adap.tv's culture and tech prowess.
    -No inspiration. AOL leadership fails to inspire and motivate. We're now white-collar factory workers.
    -No career growth. Instead of promoting Adap.tv employees into leadership positions, AOL moves in its own people.
    -Departure of talent. Not surprisingly, tenured folks are leaving.

    Advice to Management

    Don't fall into the same trap as most media companies that buy technology to simply boost revenue from media. You have something amazing in Adap.tv. Take time to focus on the big picture as you're looking at the bottom line. And no, press releases don't count.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    Are you a low performer not looking for a challenge with a love of bureaucracy? Then come on by! This place is for you!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    This was an amazing company where you were challenged and pushed to your limits on a daily basis. We all worked together and accomplished great feats. Year over year we grew by multiples and were even profitable in our own right and there was an amazing leadership team that you believed in and trusted.

    Alas......those days are over and there is nothing left of this once great company.

    Don't expect any big raises or promotions. Your going on AOL plan of +2% year increases and bonuses/commissions that are paid annually! Woo Hoo! Maybe they will even try to convert your 401K match to an annual base so they can squeeze you for some more cash.

    Cons

    Leadership: Anyone you wanted to work with or look up to has left the building or is rapidly on their way out. Whats left is all fluff and utterly lack substance. How many times can someone show you a chart with up and to the right and then tell you that that company missed all of their goals.

    Fun: Just compare the Christmas parties in 2013 and 2014 to get an idea. In 2013 we rocked it out and celebrated our massive success with drinks, music, and tasty treats. All put up at fancy hotels in downtown SF. In 2014 under AOL we had an ugly sweater party in the cafeteria with cheap beer.

    Challenges: We solved complicated problems in the past and today its more about politics and bureaucracy

    Culture: We had a great culture in the past. There is nothing left anymore. Walking in here everyday is a complete energy suck.

    Vibe: This is not a tech company anymore. It was bought by a dial-up internet dinosaur who couldn't help but take their new shiny toy and destroy it.

    Advice to Management

    What management? We don't even have company meetings anymore. There is no one to advise.

    The truth is go find something better.

    The rating on the CEO is not applicable.

  6. Helpful (4)

    Impending Train Wreck

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people i've worked with are all smart and intelligent people. Flexible hours, free lunches and social events are pretty frequent.

    Cons

    - Lack of strong leadership
    - No internal communication from upper funnel down, nor from product, major issues that we should be alerting our clients, are 'silenced'
    - all engineers are leaving, so product is falling apart and a release to a new platform that has even more bugs.
    - all clients are frustrated about the platform not working on a daily base
    - The CEO even bailed, what does that say?
    - STIR CLEAR of this place, it's a sinking ship and everyone is abandoning ship!

  7. Helpful (3)

    Was fun while it lasted

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Started off as a strong start-up with lots of momentum, freedom, and fun. I still think if you have a strong enough personality, ideas, and work ethic, you can make great career moves here. Free lunches everyday are a nice touch. Company is still in a growing industry.

    Cons

    Major brain drain post acquisition. All the good engineers are gone. Tough to push new products out on time with the small army they got. Meaningful salary bumps hard to come by.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck!

  8. Helpful (2)

    Growing industry, smart people, not the best technology choices

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineering in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Engineering in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Advertising industry is growing rapidly and the business is doing great.
    * Smart people and very good intentions of doing the right things
    * Free lunches, happy hours, BBQs, wine tasting..

    Cons

    * Product development has really slowed down.
    * Use legacy technologies instead of adopting newer technologies. Give lame excuse that external technologies may have bugs which would take time to fix
    * Over dependency on the RIBS framework. Its a great framework thats useful for Adserver. Dont make it a framework for all your components/products.
    * Over reliance on one/two people and these one/two people have very strong and outdated ideas(like using RIBS for everything).
    * Some of the technical managers are not the right fit for the company (culture and competency wise).

    Advice to Management

    * There are a lot of smart folks in the company, recognize them. Stop over reliance on one/two people.
    * Take a look at your managers(especially engineering). Are they really capable of scaling the teams.
    * Bad technical decisions were made. Accept the fact and move on.

  9. Helpful (7)

    Promotions based on politics - not merit, sexism and overall high turnover across the organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at Adap.tv full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - HR works hard to make the culture fun
    - Client engagement is readily available for many teams
    - Free food
    - Decent work/life balance

    Cons

    - Management mocks people who leave
    - Inability to launch products
    - Promotions based on campaigning - not merit
    - High turnover
    - Company values are not even held by senior management
    - Sexism and inappropriate comments made by management

    Advice to Management

    - Hire executive team leaders that can lead
    - Value your employees
    - Stop the weekly company meetings unless you have a meaningful update
    - Investigate high turnover and clean up management

  10. Helpful (3)

    Welcome to AOL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Adap.tv

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    stability, low level engineering experience, flexibility

    Cons

    The company grew and transformed into something that it was not before. It is part of a large corporation now, thus there is no start up spirit. A large chunk of really influential and key people has left the company from one reason or another. A new core has yet emerged among the new engineers and leaders... One of the challenges will be to rebuild the company from scratch and develop the culture into being great, once again...

    Advice to Management

    Wake up, focus on engineers, not only business and product! Engineers are your precious asset!

  11. Helpful (5)

    Used to be great, now barely "OK"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Adap.tv full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible hours: everyone has slightly different hours and I've never had a vacation request denied, so good work-life balance in general.

    Bright future: programmatic advertising is thriving and I'm confident the direction AOL is taking is the right one (I'm definitely holding on to my stock).

    Free food: catered lunch and fully stocked kitchen. There has been a lot of complaints about the food quality but most of the time it's good enough. Sure, sometimes it's great and sometimes it's terrible, but quite frankly it's not that bad in general. Fridges are full of sodas, juices, yogurts, fruits (strawberries, raspberries) and the kitchen also has a bunch of cereals, snacks, more fruits (apples, bananas, mangoes), coffee, ...

    (Some) smart people: there are a bunch of engineers left from the pre-acquisition days that are incredibly smart and have built impressive software. I've definitely learned a lot working alongside them.

    Cons

    Racial segregation: employees have a tendency to speak using their native language regardless of who is around them and how many times you try explaining to them how disrespectful it is (mostly the Chinese, but also to a much lesser extent the Israelis / Indians / Russians). Depending on where your desk is located you might be hearing more Chinese than English at the office.

    Massive exodus: before the acquisition very few employees were leaving, then about six months after the acquisition things started to change. Now engineers are leaving faster than new ones are being hired, and few engineers are left from before the acquisition (barely a year ago).

    Low salaries: people leaving usually get much better offers elsewhere (30-50% more) which clearly indicates something is wrong with the compensation. New hires are getting paid ridiculously more than long-time employees, so don't expect your salary to follow market trends once hired.

    Disparate managers: if you're unlucky enough to be in one of the few teams that have terrible managers then your life will be a living hell. And nothing will be done to remedy the situation even if more than half your team complains.

    Valueless titles: phony promotions are handed out left and right to keep people happy. There are literally people who have been promoted to "senior software engineer" less than two years after graduating college or "senior engineering manager" barely three years after graduating college.

    Advice to Management

    Increase compensation for long-time employees, encourage people to speak English when in the office, understand that when most of a team is unhappy with their manager the problem clearly doesn't lie with the team members.

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