Critical Mass
2.9 of 5 81 reviews
www.criticalmass.com Calgary, Canada 500 to 999 Employees

Critical Mass Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014

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2.9 81 reviews

                             

79% Approve of the CEO

Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins

Dianne Wilkins

(56 ratings)

45% of employees recommend this company to a friend
81 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Incredibly fun culture and the people are great"
    in 10 reviews
  • "Great culture of recognition and transparency"
    in 5 reviews
Cons:
  • "A willingness to bend over backwards on projects with little to no reward"
    in 4 reviews
  • "This company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great For Entry Level

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsIf you are just trying to get your foot into the door in the online space this is a great place to do it.
    The salaries are fine for the jobs.
    The culture is weird in that by 5:30 the office is -empty-. I've never seen a digital agency where everyone fled so quickly.

    ConsHonestly, the people you are working with are kind of idiots. Everyone I met was eager to jump ship during the 18 months I worked there. The programmers are overworked (and are frankly too skilled for the sweat shop conditions they are given), the designers are good but not great, and everyone else is just...a worthless parasite.
    it is an office filled with marketers that go around calling other marketers douche bags (without realizing they belong in that same category) .

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have created an interesting business. People pay you a boatload of money for moderately interesting web experiences. There will ALWAYS be a place for that...so why change a thing?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Good tactical digital agency, but you'll be limited

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat culture of recognition and transparency.
    Very "Canadian" agency--the people are nice and they like to drink.
    Good place to get your hands dirty building stuff that works.
    Pretty good work/life balance.

    ConsYou have to fight for a seat at the big kids' table with lead creative agencies.
    Strategy is not taken seriously. This is not a good place for planners unless your definition of planning is "wireframes and usability testing. (Leadership within the discipline is trying hard to build it out and professionalize it, but clients don't want to pay for planning. They just want their websites built, and agency leadership is happy to oblige.)
    Uneven project managers--some are awesome, some are unprofessional.
    The agency talks about creating "extraordinary experiences." The creative is decent, but it's not extraordinary. You're making websites.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you're doing, it seems to be working for you. There's a good living to be made building websites.

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    Great place to work, few small problems

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsVery encouraging place to work, great for junior and senior staff alike. Innovation is part of the life's blood here and management will back you if you're doing something to make the work better. Good, long-term relationships with many clients.

    ConsWeak project and account management. Get second-billing to home office in Calgary (sometimes deserved, especially in regards to creative output; often not deserved though - envy, jealousy, etc).

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe willing to turn down production work or resign business with terrible clients. This is the only way to earn the respect our output would otherwise deserve.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great place

    (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    Pros- decent pay
    - advancement opportunities (promotions within)
    - social aspect, many events and gatherings
    - multiple forms of individual recognition
    - casual atmosphere
    - execs are open with employees about what's going on
    - individual funds offered towards career growth (conventions, classes, etc)
    - career development programs
    - decently updated equipment, software
    - multiple offices worldwide
    - decent mix of big name clients

    Cons- size - office is a bit small for amount of employees, although it's expanding soon to accomodate
    - lack of process
    - chicago office seems to be growing, but not gaining the more fun/interesting clients that some of the other offices seem to get

    Advice to Senior Management- spread the more desirable clients across all offices
    - make sure people understand the career development process
    - offer more support to employees during a pitch

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Regular experience, could be better

    Developer (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    Pros- Great people
    - Office in downtown, with nice view
    - Lots of social events
    - Good clients for resume
    - Typical American company

    Cons-Office is open space, sometimes too noisy
    -Work is like a consulting for clients, no clients - no work
    -Very bad management planning for projects and recourses (people), overtimes for employees
    -Not much challenge from technical point of view, all the projects typical and rather simple sites to display/save to DB something
    -Work with offshore services in Costa Rica
    -Lots of games around projects with Canadian guys (they have offices there), sometimes it's annoying, aka family with top management as parents, and teams as siblings hating each other.

    Advice to Senior Management-Improve planning for projects
    -Try not to share work among different offices
    -Provide employees with performance review on a regular basis

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good place to work for a couple of years, then move on for career growth and opportunity

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsVery good salary, competitive health benefits and vacation time. Critical Mass has solid clients with recognizable company names that can really enhance a resume. The creative work and programs that the company produces is terrific.

    ConsThe company structure was pretty shallow, which at a certain point you feel like there is no upward movement you can make in your career. Director-level positions and higher have an excellent thing going and they are not going to vacate those positions. I felt that the office had their favorite employees who receive all of the credit for good work done, regardless of who actually did the work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI liked the company top leadership - solid, experienced, capable. Working with all of the staff in the Calgary HQ was a pleasure - really good and nice people.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Bad management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Chico, CA

    Prosgreat pay, flexible work schedule

    Consno direction/leadership, lots of cliques

    Advice to Senior Managementbetter recruiting

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Solid company, good work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsBig name accounts, challenging work, fun relaxed environment

    ConsSometimes aimless or not thought through on plans

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed better communication between offices

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Some good, some bad

    Project Manager (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsSurrounded by smart coworkers in a fun working environment.

    ConsLimited opportunity for advancement and career growth.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more opportunities for career development and advancement.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Life as a software developer at Critical Mass

    Developer (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsThe people are great and fun.

    ConsBad project planning and management and employees expected to work their butts off to make up for it. No emphasis on career growth. Favouritism and cliques.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEvaluate people on more than just hours worked. Plan for the future instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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