Amazon Lab126
3.0 of 5 80 reviews
www.lab126.com Sunnyvale, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Amazon Lab126 Reviews

Updated Jul 4, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 80 reviews

                             

100% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Jeff Bezos

(2 ratings)

45% of employees recommend this company to a friend
80 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "The people are the best I've worked with and we've seen great products result from our combined efforts"
    in 5 reviews
  • "Good Job stability, fast paced work environment, interesting technologies to work on"
    in 4 reviews
Cons:
  • "No work/life balance, most people are married to their jobs and neglect their families"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Poor Management of tasks given to the developers"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    Even though I was a contractor I was treated like a regular employee.

    Engineering Program Specialist (Former Employee)

    ProsWork life balance
    Support
    Team spirit
    Management support

    ConsThe work environment is such that you tend to want to stay at work

    Advice to Senior ManagementAt this point in time I don't have any

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    No culture, good pay

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Cupertino, CA

    ProsCompensation 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.

    ConsThere 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 Senior ManagementWork 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Challenging but positive place to work

    Product Manager (Current Employee)
    Cupertino, CA

    ProsAmazon 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.

    Conscan 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great people work at Lab126!

    Staffing (Current Employee)
    Sunnyvale, CA

    ProsThe people are the best I've worked with and we've seen great products result from our combined efforts.

    ConsPerformance Ratings and Promotion processes could be much simpler.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Avoid, politics, no tech depth

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee)
    Sunnyvale, CA

    ProsYou can take 'responsibilities', you can own a module here. Even you are a entry level person.

    ConsWhy a entry level person can take that much responsibilities here?
    Because the work is tedious and boring, no tech depth needed. A high school student can take 80% of my works.
    Why they can ship the product? Relied deeply on vendor. Whenever you see a problem, push it to the vendor. No major components were built by Lab126 themselves.
    Toxic culture. People here are not admiring tech. Politics, politics and politics.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a long view. Don't just try to ship the funny product

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Turning into a large company

    Software Development Engineer III (Current Employee)

    Pros- Chance of working on successful consumer products. Do not underestimate that experience.
    - A True "customer first" attitude is re-refreshing. That does not always prevails but at least many are trying.
    - They try to make it a friendly place for people who pride themselves on results. This effort is mixed results.

    Cons- You must be very loud and persistent to the point of annoyance if you want to advance your career. If you are a quiet type, forget it.
    - Senior management is mediocre. Too much flows down directly from Bezos. This is a good thing but it seems like nobody else buys into the strategy. They are expected to execute. Some of the projects are "fail-fast". Basically poorly conceived, under-staffed and later cancelled. Leaving burned out participants.
    - Recently stated reducing RSU awards
    - Politics are present.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBeef up mid-senior management. Continue creating a workplace where "builders can build".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Strange place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsLot of opportunity and definitely not the work mill that it was reputed to be. The place generally was pretty quiet until 9am and again by 6PM.

    ConsNever felt like management in my group really knew what they were doing, dealing with or understood how Amazon fulfillment services worked with the Lab 126 product set. I don't think I was alone in this impression. Probably 80% of my department turned over inside of six months.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUnderstand and appreciate the complexities that you're asking people to deal with and create realistic objectives with the resources you have. Otherwise it is management from crisis to crisis.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Worst place I've worked over the past 2 decades

    Hardware Development Engineer (Former Employee)
    Cupertino, CA

    ProsHonestly, 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.

    ConsI 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 Senior ManagementThere will always be buses to throw people under.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Tough place to navigate. Politics.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe people are great and genuine.

    ConsComp ("total compensation philosophy" is ridiculous and not competitive). Politics. Lack of upward mobility. High expectations with little support.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEither ask less of your people or pay them more.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Incredible experience

    Product Development Engineer Intern (Former Employee)
    Cupertino, CA

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

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

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Amazon Lab126 is an inventive research and development company that designs and engineers high-profile devices like the Kindle family of products. Lab126 began in 2004 as a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. Since then, we… Full Overview

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