Cogo Labs Reviews

Updated July 30, 2015
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4.2
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Cogo Labs CEO David Blundin
David Blundin
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Could not ask for a better place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cogo Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Not sure where the other reviewer was working... but there's very little politics, almost no red tape, and tons of resources at your disposal at Cogo. There are tons of brilliant employees and the environment is incredibly relaxed. -Tons of events with free food/beer -You get to use whatever tools/software you want -No BS... everyone here is driven by the end result - Tons of growth in the past year and a great deal of potential moving forward - Extremely interesting work... the data you get to work with here is the stuff of dreams - Managers are pragmatic

    Cons

    - Salaries are on the low side, but on par with what you'd expect from a startup. This will likely change in the coming years - Stressful - Incubator tries to fly under the radar (for various reasons) so very little name recognition

    Advice to Management

    Try to keep the quality of the hiring up. In particular, try recruiting more analysts with a programming background.

    Cogo Labs Response

    Jul 3, 2014 – Director, Talent Development

    Thank you! And yes we agree we need more analysts who have programming backgrounds. We are looking! And don't forget about our referral bonus, if any amazing people cross your path!


  2. Best Job with an Awesome Group of People

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cogo Labs full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working with extremely smart people in a super friendly environment. Never-ending snacks and fun company outings.

    Cons

    Hearing people drink outside at CBC during the summer while working inside. Office design is a bit haphazard and could use a facelift for a little more relaxation and flow. HVAC issues in the middle of summer can be brutal.

    Advice to Management

    More department outings!

    Cogo Labs Response

    Oct 8, 2014 – Director, Talent Development

    We WISH the HVAC issues were limited to the middle of summer :( The building managers say a new system is on the way! We'll see! Thank you for the review!


  3. Helpful (2)

    Great atmosphere and a great place to learn

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cogo Labs full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Tons of smart people to work with and a friendly atmosphere make it a great place to jump start your career Lots of resources and little corporate red tape, makes running tests easy Hard work is rewarded Great work-life balance Free lunches on Fridays - actually great meals and not just a cold sandwich or half-hearted perk

    Cons

    There is still office politics, but you can't seem to ever avoid those Its a money driven company and industry, if you want to "save the world" you're better off somewhere elsewhere

    Cogo Labs Response

    May 4, 2015 – Director, Talent Development

    I'm not sure what you mean by "office politics" but it sounds ominous! If you have particular concerns you want to have addressed, please don't hesitate to talk to Kevin F about it. But honestly, in ... More


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Learned tons, great people.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart peers Collaborative work environment Agile company

    Cons

    The typical challenges that come with transitioning from small to midsize company

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and help managers become better managers.

    Cogo Labs Response

    May 4, 2015 – Director, Talent Development

    Thank you for the feedback! We are definitely in transition from small to midsize and we are doing everything we can to grow in a way that preserves the fun stuff about our culture while offering ... More


  6. Helpful (1)

    Very different but very fun

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cogo Labs full-time

    Pros

    I get to work with a lot of data. I get to have an opinion and use my own ideas in figuring out what to analyze, how to approach problems. Coworkers are fun, outgoing, relaxed. Get to see how your work impacts the businesses you're incubating

    Cons

    There's not a lot of other companies doing what we do, so there isn't really a roadmap or a set of processes in place. Which is great sometimes, frustrating occasionally. Also the air conditioning is unpredictable, freezing cold some days, too warm other days.

    Advice to Management

    More company outings! And the World Cup screen should become a permanent thing in the office so we can watch sports all the time

    Cogo Labs Response

    Jul 3, 2014 – Director, Talent Development

    More company outings is a definite possibility. The giant screen remaining up all the time is a soft maybe.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Build your skill set at Cogo

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quantitative Data Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Quantitative Data Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cogo Labs full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - A lot of independence to think or come up with your own projects - Learn to code in Python, HTML, and SQL - Room for growth to lead your own team - Very intelligent people to work with - Work life balance is great - Equity benefits

    Cons

    - With independence comes less structure, but this is a preference - Salaries are OK

    Advice to Management

    Information between management teams needs to be better shared--this could happen through consolidation, through best-practice meetings, or more weekly meetings between related teams.

    Cogo Labs Response

    Oct 21, 2014 – Director, Talent Development

    This is great feedback, thank you so much. We agree that sharing information between teams could always be improved--it's super critical in an incubator like ours to make sure important new ... More


  8. Helpful (3)

    Incredible learning internship opportunity - but you sacrifice salary for experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cogo Labs as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Tons of autonomy - Awesome people - Totally unique experience - you get make a website from scratch, play with a marketing budget, and grow users over this time with a 5 person intern team.

    Cons

    - The overarching business model is very effective, but not necessarily fulfilling from a "i'm truly improving the world" point of view - Did not pay as competitively as previous experiences

    Cogo Labs Response

    Oct 8, 2014 – Director, Talent Development

    Thank you for reviewing us! We agree that our people are awesome and are glad you had a unique experience here. Your feedback is super helpful--the summer intern program is still new and definitely a ... More


  9. Helpful (1)

    Awesome, awesome tech company with the opportunity to learn to code / become a better coder

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cogo Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    (1) Brains! Everyone's ridiculously smart. Most people are a pleasure to work with. The two HR people are a pleasure to work with, in contrast to some of my prior corporate experiences! (2) Be a better programmer / learn to code. For the analyst roles, it's easy to become a rather sophisticated programmer at Cogo. You learn the Linux/Unix command line, SQL, Git and Python just to start with opportunities to learn Go, Hadoop, and just about any other language you're interested in (every employee gets a MacBook that they can install any software they want. As someone who has been frustrated waiting for huge bureaucracies to reject small software install requests, I can't tell you how AMAZING this is). (3) Culture and perks. The company culture focuses on (1) keeping you comfortable and (2) getting work done. The perks are great... cold-brew coffee kegs, comfortable chairs, standing desks, Friday lunches, free soda, and many snacks. Managers tend to care more about their direct reports getting work done than showing up at a particular hour or other appearance-keeping measures. (4) Learn about other businesses while not being a consultant. For those business-minded folks, Cogo employees are exposed to the broader business world quite often. As a startup incubator, we have other companies that get spun out, acquired, IPO, etc. We routinely get updates from senior management about the status and performance of those outside businesses. Additionally, it's common for analysts to do "tear-downs" of existing businesses. That is, an analyst will use public data and Cogo databases to shed novel insight into existing businesses. Cogo can later use those insights into its own projects. (5) Company sponsored food + drinks. Oh, and one more mention of perks: the bi-weekly Thursday events. Between our monthly company-wide meetings and our monthly team-wide meetings, expect to have free food and drinks available every two Thursdays. I can say that potentially hostilities between me and some of my co-workers have been thawed just by hanging out and having a beer with them!

    Cons

    (1) Politics. Cogo consists of multiple teams vying for senior management attention. The politics aren't so much on an individual level, but on a team level. That means that junior management is routinely thinking about ways to rephrase and present projects for approval. (2) Technical complexity. This problem is primarily for analysts and engineers, but could impact other teams. Because Cogo is a tech company and because so many people code, it can become difficult to understand codebases and to keep up with codebase changes. The complexity issue is particularly acute for analysts, who are generally have quantitative backgrounds and computer science experience, but for whom software engineering wasn't the focus of their training. (3) Egos. When you're working with tons of smart people and you're inevitably going to have to deal with some large egos. When asking questions of coworkers, you may find a surprisingly high number of condescending replies. Similarly, during meetings, some employees may make attempts to "shoot down" ideas in a way that indicts the speaker rather than the idea. This problem is irritating, but it's manageable. The important part to remember is that it's not you, it's them.

    Advice to Management

    Talk about failure more often! We try so many new ideas that don't work out. When ideas fail, it seems that most team leads will simply bury the project. Instead, failure should a regular component about meetings so that we can learn from past mistakes. Also, it's important to minimize incentives to over-promise and underdeliver! Don't create a culture where, internally, the truth is obfuscated by marketing jargon. For our business to be successful, frank discussions are critical. We can be optimistic, but we should never be in denial about our business and technical problems.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Brilliant people and fun environment, but at a price...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cogo Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've never worked with people as fun or as brilliant as those who work at Cogo. Games during lunch, drinks after work, and a lot of innovation made coming to work a blast. It's hard to find another place like it!

    Cons

    The pay is decent, but everyone is definitely under market. Everyone there knows that they can be paid much more elsewhere, so it really comes down to whether you value company culture/work environment or payment. There have also been some management issues, both in lower-level and executive-level, but that's more frustrating than anything else.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to all of your employees, not just the stars/favorites. Also, generate two promotional tracks - one for merit/work achievements and another for management. There are a lot of managers who are brilliant employees, but they're not cut out for managing employees and very obviously don't want to.

    Cogo Labs Response

    Aug 5, 2015 – Director, Talent Development

    Thank you for this thoughtful and helpful review! Your advice about creating more promotional tracks, so that a career path here is not just 1) get hired, 2) start hiring, 3) becoming a manager, is ... More


  11. Helpful (6)

    Spam. End of story.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cogo Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There was a kitchen, and the food on Friday was pretty good. Most team leads were great.

    Cons

    The people. There are two halves of Cogo, Engineering and the Vertical side. The engineering team was a fantastic group of people, and I wish I was working with them, but like most teams at Cogo they are also extremely "cliquie". If your title isn't analyst or you're apart of that team, then forget about friendliness or getting help with something. You'll be on your own trying to navigate the enigma that is email marketing.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring from the same three colleges. Ex-employees aren't joking about it being a professional frat. Also, stop telling people that you're an incubator. Cogo is an incubator the same way a machine gun is a hunting weapon.

    Cogo Labs Response

    Aug 5, 2015 – Director, Talent Development

    Sometimes we get reviews and I think: Interesting, we should think about that more. Sometimes we get a review and it confirms things that I already suspected, and I’m thankful to receive the signal ... More



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