Amazon Lab126

www.lab126.com

Amazon Lab126 Reviews in Cupertino, CA

Updated August 23, 2014
Updated August 23, 2014
114 Reviews
3.1
114 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Jeff Bezos
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Compared to Apple, work-life balance is much better (in 4 reviews)

  • The people are the best I've worked with and we've seen great products result from our combined efforts (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance, most people are married to their jobs and neglect their families (in 13 reviews)

  • Long hours - especially if one is on someone's list (in a position of power's bad side) (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

48 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Challenging but positive place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Cupertino, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Cupertino, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Amazon will challenge your capabilities but provide enormous growth. The company invests heavily so there are plenty of exciting projects to be involved in. It is an opportunity to learn and grow at the largest e-commerce company in the world. All points of view matter and you are encouraged to speak up and take action. It s a unique culture and a great group of bright and motivated people throughout. Lots of passionate debate which leads to great decisions.

    Cons

    can be hard to close on directions and get the org moving in one direction. It can be consensus driving which make it difficult to get decisions made.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 13 people found this helpful  

    Bullying by management; scapegoating by peers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hardware Development Engineer in Cupertino, CA
    Former Employee - Hardware Development Engineer in Cupertino, CA

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    You get to have "Amazon" on your resume.

    You may get to work on highly visible shipping product which could be a bad thing... like the Fire Phone flop.

    Cons

    General exploitation of employees: low compensation, miniscule raises, bubble stock, long hours, expensive benefits, toxic culture, political minefield, insulting yearly review process. New office location is terrible, mass exodus of employees is occurring.

    Work on ho-hum products with a bunch of stupid jerks who will take credit for your achievements.

    Those that try to excel at work here will be punished, being an "average" robot worker is rewarded.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your indifference is the problem.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great products, good variety of projects, but it's a grind.

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

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - Being responsible for Amazon branded consumer electronics
    - Working with the highest caliber people around
    - Great exposure to how Amazon as a major corporation operates
    - Bezos is a great leader
    - Amazon Leadership Principles work well

    Cons

    - Decision making is done at the VP or higher level, regardless of whether a person has more experience in a given area than their management.
    - Constant questioning of judgement and over justification of decisions that could be made in a fraction of the time and effort
    - Poor work/life balance
    - Really good compensation for those who perform in the top 20% in the company, but it is almost entirely stock based after your 2 year anniversary. Solid performers (70% of the company) see little upside year over year.
    - Frugality to the point of stupidity in some cases (e.g. no one can fly business class on international trips, even if a person goes many times per year).
    - Almost all decisions require writing an essay of less than 6 pages. Writing these papers can be very tedious and overbearing for smaller decisions. But, they are required to inform upper management who make all of the decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Push decision making down lower into the organization. Not every product decision needs to occur at the VP and higher level.
    - Be more aggressive on promoting your best talent or you will risk losing them to companies who are willing to bet on those people.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    No culture, good pay

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

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Compensation is very competitive. They generously offered me more than 20% of what I said I would work for, plus a large but standard bonus and RSU's. They provide limited shuttle to SF, East and South bay and you get fruit on Tuesdays, but get there early to get it.

    Some great innovative project ideas and lots of money behind them bring them to life. Exciting to work on projects where nothing in the market exists to compare it to. Other projects are 'me too'

    Some employees are very dedicated, extremely intelligent and hard working. There are some gems here.

    Cons

    There is literally no culture or much in the way of perks. Work life balance can be pretty bad. There's all the policy and corporate structure of Amazon with lesser engineering staff than Amazon (on some teams). The bar can get lowered when teams are desperate for staff and I've seen good people quit because they're tired of low quality talent getting hired.

    The offer is back-loaded but otherwise fairly standard. My particular offer was 50% of the bonus on the day I started, owing the pro rated portion back if I leave before the year is up. Then the remaining 50% of the bonus amortized over year 1-2. RSU's sit in a holding tank and you don't receive any until years 2-3, with the majority of them being over year 3-4. When there's no culture, heavy workload and high stress: that four years is going to feel like an eternity.

    For projects that haven't launched there is a lot of auditing and hoops to jump through to adhere to Amazon standards.

    Lots of blame, occasional employee backstabbing and spending energy to be 'defensive' against other groups and protect yourself from blame. Some bad employees poison entire groups yet the bad employees remain.

    Many of the hires are people that have families or obligations that require the high pay and only do it for the paycheck, showing very little passion in their work. Or H1-B type hires that take weeks or months to finally join your team.

    High levels of attrition across the board. I worked on multiple teams and saw that most people don't stay more than 2 years.

    Jeff doesn't want to provide perks like free food because they believe in a culture where there are people who are builders and are dedicated to working just to work, and not essentially 'moochers' that show up for perks. What they don't understand is that there is a balance between those two and not everyone who enjoys free food is a moocher.

    During launches they might cater free food but often it's dinner with the expectation that you'll work 10+ hour days. Sometimes this just means pizza. Rarely is lunch provided, but it really depends on the team.

    Expect less than 1% raises for an average employee annual performance review. All your compensation better be negotiated up front because it's pretty static once you're on the team.

    Often people who get promotions won't get recognized for it because there is a culture where they don't want to make other employees jealous. Lots of management get shuffled around and shoved back down the totem pole when under performing.

    It can just feel like a sad place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on your culture and don't lower the bar. You need to create better culture before people will stop leaving so quickly. The high pay isn't enough to keep people happy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 24 people found this helpful  

    Worst place I've worked over the past 2 decades

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hardware Development Engineer in Cupertino, CA
    Former Employee - Hardware Development Engineer in Cupertino, CA

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Honestly, I can not think of one single pro about working here; any pro comes with a con. For example, any bonus is tied to a 1 year commitment of employment, any 401K match is tied to a 3 year commitment of employment, RSU vesting structure is such that only 20% of your shares vest after 2 years of employment and after 2 years you will likely be miserable working here. It could be an okay place to work for an internship or new grad, but you will be doing yourself a huge disservice working at Lab126 if you want to advance your career or grow intellectually.

    Cons

    I could write a book. My advice is to not ignore the negative reviews on Glassdoor because they are all valid. Lab126 is a politically charged, lack of vision, lack of leadership, follow the competition and copy the reference design house. The amount of money wasted churning on "me too" products and flying out large teams of people every time somebody overseas farts is ridiculous. Ideas touted as innovate inside the company are typically absurd and are only value as a marketing gimmick. Any truly revolutionary ideas will be slapped down because they have no confidence on executing new concepts or creating new market segments. But the best part of it all is that if you bring these great ideas of yours to the table you will be chastised for not cowering in the corner like the rest of the good little mice. There are some good people here and some truly worthless people here, but who stays and who goes is based off pure brown nosing and strategic politic alignment. There are some high profile people working here I would not hire to mow my lawn. The benefits are poor for a company this size, but then again, there is no benefit in working here. I would give zero stars if I could. If I have saved one person from accepting a job at Lab126 then typing this was time well spent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There will always be buses to throw people under.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 11 people found this helpful  

    What a mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Program Manager in Cupertino, CA
    Current Employee - Operations Program Manager in Cupertino, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good base pay, good hiring bonus

    Cons

    Lousy health benefits, big company trying to operate in start up mode with no sense of direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your house in order. You shouldn't have to send 30 people to China for every product build.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 13 people found this helpful  

    Backloaded stock units, try to lock you into 4 years of misery

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

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There are lots of good places to eat in Cupertino but now they are moving to a wasteland near Moffet and Highway 101. Good play for n00b college kids that don't know any better.

    Cons

    Most people quit within one year of employment.. The RSUs are back-loaded to 80% of the vesting in years 3 and 4. Nobody can actually last that long in this turd company so they just find a better job and quit. Agree with other comments here about politics, toxic culture and poor benefits. I will take the next job out of here as will many others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd give you some advice but you would not listen to any of it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 10 people found this helpful  

    Worst company I have ever worked for

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

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    You get to have Amazon on your resume

    Cons

    Terrible benefits
    Excessive and pointless travel
    Company thrives on POLITICS
    POLITICS more important than product development
    Dysfunctional product development cycle, many resets
    Waste huge amounts of money on me too products which get sold at a loss
    There is nothing innovative about this place, who are they trying to fool?
    Toxic culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sit around collect your RSUs, what do you care?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Incredible experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Development Engineer Intern in Cupertino, CA
    Former Employee - Product Development Engineer Intern in Cupertino, CA

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    The company atmosphere is unparalleled. The pay is amazing and the company really helps the individual to grow and progress.

    Cons

    The company is not looking for entry level positions at this point in time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire some entry level positions and really instill the company idea in them so that they can one day help lead it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great Company

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

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. Exciting Projects
    2. Great potential to grow
    3. Good work-life balance

    Cons

    Being a smaller organization, sometimes the processes are not in place making it difficult at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Can streamline processes within specific groups - that tailor to the group's requirements

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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