Design Reactor
2.8 of 5 11 reviews
www.designreactor.com Campbell, CA 16 to 50 Employees

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2.8 11 reviews

                             

30% Approve of the CEO

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Leon Papkoff

(10 ratings)

40% of employees recommend this company to a friend
11 Employee Reviews
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Small fast paced but agile company, poorly managed, amazing design.

Junior Software Developer (Former Employee)
Campbell, CA

I worked at Design Reactor as an intern for less than a year

ProsAbility to work with high ranking people/officers within the company.
Variety of exposure.
Direct connection between personal work and client or front facing product, meaningful involvement and input.
Compensation (at least for me at the time).
Lower level and most employees very friendly with each other.
Donut fridays.

Consoccasionally very fast turnarounds, need to be flexible and able to take on new tasks / skills / projects.
Occassionally very high stress.
Cubicle, sit and work, office environment.
I never had to interact with him directly, I interacted with the Chief marketing officer and she was great, but everyone who has to deal with Leon complains.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe less frantic and nuts.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Incredibly mismanaged company, run by a man who believes his own lies

Account Manager (Former Employee)
Campbell, CA

I worked at Design Reactor full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe people that work there (non-management) have tremendous heart and passion. They are (what's left of them) a group of seiously-talented people. Also, the flexibility. No one is checking to see that you punched in at 9 a.m.

ConsWhat really sucks about Design Reactor is the complete lack of process, which, in turn, ruins every other aspect of the job. From who is responsible for what, to what is the billing rate, it's a very confusing, and thus, annoying place to work. Keep in mind, your evenings and weekends are not your own. They WILL (not can) be infiltrated by work. Another thing that seems to really be a downer - no reviews and no raises. You can be there for 3-6 years and not see much fiscal appreciation for the hard work you put in.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop talking about how much you appreciate your employees and starting doing it. Also, stop being manipulative with everyone and be as honest and transparent as you claim to be. One more thing - play the role you know you can do. If you've never done project management, stop doing project management. If you were never a developer, stop trying to lead the developers. if you've never designed a thing in your life, stop trying to guide the designers.

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

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Disregard the positive reviews - they're management’s attempt to cover up the overwhelming negative ones.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Campbell, CA

I have been working at Design Reactor full-time

ProsDesign Reactor is a good place to gain experience, especially if you’re just starting out in your career. The reason is that it’s so unorganized and you’re forced to do many things manually where there should be a method or process governing.

ConsThe majority of negatives at Design Reactor stem from poor management; its root being the top of the management chain. Unqualified managers are appointed without merit and are incompetent in their work. This creates a trickle-down effect, as employees are faulted for failures at the upper level. An environment of distrust between manager and employee is the result. At times, management blatantly participates in such discourse. It’s a regular occurrence for management to ask employees to perform tasks outside of their official responsibilities (some even illegal!). If an employee refuses, it is common for management to talk smack behind their back. Statements like, “Who does he/she think he is? I can replace him/her in a second!” are commonplace.

Design Reactor is notoriously frugal with their finances. Salaries are below average, and performance reviews are nonexistent. The salary you receive most likely is the salary you’re stuck with as long as you’re employed there. There is very little room for advancement. The frugality doesn’t only apply to salaries, as equipment is scarce. Good luck with getting a keyboard or mouse to use with your PERSONAL laptop, as it’s always a struggle to have needed purchases approved by management.

Overtime work is expected from employees at Design Reactor. Many projects are poorly planned and result in unreasonable deadlines with a lack of manpower. Again, this stems from the top. “Fun” company outings are rare and many employees turn into Jack Torrance from ‘The Shining’ - “All work and no play....” As a result, employees’ motivation to remain productive is reduced to a minimum and many employees do just that - and defer the rest of their work to other employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementN/A since management generally disregards employee concerns and doesn’t learn from mistakes. The fact that Design Reactor has been in existence for more than a decade and yet is still in start-up mode says everything.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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My experience at Design Reactor has been inspiring, exciting, challenging and educational.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Campbell, CA

I have been working at Design Reactor as a contractor for more than 3 years

ProsI've gotten to work on great jobs with talented teams and high-profile clients. Management is involved, innovative, keep jobs as fun as possible and I've always been paid in a reasonable amount of time.

ConsThere are some quick turn-arounds, but that's just how it is in this industry. Overall, I think Design Reactor does a good job of keeping both workers inspired and clients happy.

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

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A Great Place to Work

Designer (Current Employee)
San Jose, CA

I have been working at Design Reactor full-time for more than a year

ProsI started working at Design Reactor back in 2011. It's an amazing place to work with lots of creative talent. New ideas are encouraged and the management team actually listens. The portfolio of clients and projects are beyond my expectation. The hours can be long, but I don’t mind as I’m learning so much.

ConsNo structured hours, makes it difficult to plan. Some days we start at 8am, others at 9am. It really depends on the project.

Advice to Senior ManagementWe should look into expanding internationally. There is a lot of demand for creative services in Asia.

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

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Unprofessional and disrespectful

Tiger Mom's Slave Cub (Current Employee)
Campbell, CA

I have been working at Design Reactor

ProsUnfortunately, there's not a single nice thing I can say about this place, except it's really close to where I live.

ConsWorking under a Tiger Mom Account Manager is no bueno. I could not begin to fathom the lack of respect I got from this person.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your subordinates well. Maybe you'll be harmonious and work efficiently. Lack of communication and mentorship. Pretend to care all you want. Bad experience to the max!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Bad Management. Out of Money. No respect. Partial.

Web Developer (Former Employee)
Campbell, CA

I worked at Design Reactor

ProsTake this opportunity if you are out of work and need to make some money.

ConsOverall I was thoroughly dissatisfied with the level of communication. Pay was too less. Work was good because no one understood the technical challenges. I had the free will to implement whatever framework, technologies I wish too.

They have money to throw lavish properties but do not give essential IT equipment to its web developers.

This happened to me and my colleague.

We were lucky enough to find right opportunity in silicon valley after the rise of economy.

Strict no if ur looking for career growth. Even in terms of money nothing fancy. Bare enough to pay your bills.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease start treating your employees as human beings and not as liability. Company owes to its people.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great place for experience but very chaotic and unorganized.

Engineer (Former Employee)
San Jose, CA

I worked at Design Reactor

ProsPeople, people people. The people there are usually easy to work with, friendly and will share their knowledge with you. Upper management is approachable. Have start-up like mentality. Breadth of work means your experience and skills grows with each project.

ConsVery poor client management and project management skills. Deadlines missed, over promised projects, last minute projects, gets bullied by clients. This means crazy work hours with hardly any compensation.

Accepts projects when company clearly has no resources to handle them; hence an influx of outside contractors usually toward the end of a big project.

Upper management are sales people and lacking COO-type skills which results in high turnover. Company is bleeding talent. Upper management doesn't seem concerned by this which they truly should given that "people" is what defines a service company.

Advice to Senior ManagementIts not just about the clients, pay attention to your people. A service company's assets are its people, so be fair to them and be sure to do everything possible to keep talent in your company.

Secondly, the brand Design Reactor needs to stand for something. Right now, regardless of the company's mission statement, I don't think the brand really represent anything in client's minds. Stand for something, make sure everybody in the company understands it and stands for it, and make sure your work represents what you stand for. This will ensure that clients understand what DR is about. This will also help DR hold its price point and not get bullied by clients.

Do something innovative to manage client's expectation and project deadlines. Clients don't follow deadlines because there is no incentive for them to stick to them. Do something to incentivize them to adhere to pre-set deadlines. This allows you to maintain budgets, make profits and prevent overworking your employees (which == higher morale, less turnover).

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An Innovative Place To Work

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Design Reactor

ProsThe people - the Design Reactor team is really creative and good at collaboration. It's also a good place to learn about the latest and greatest things happening on the web.

ConsThe work load can be hard to keep up with and sometimes I had to do the same thing over to get the result they asked for.

Advice to Senior ManagementOverall, good job, but it would be good to increase the communication about changes happening in the company and with projects.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A sweat shop.

Interactive Project Manager (Former Employee)

I worked at Design Reactor

ProsWork with high profile companies and create award winning designs.

ConsThe hours were so bad that folks didn't last very long. The company lost a lot of great talent over the years and is now in a state of decline.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your employess better.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Design Reactor reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Design Reactor CEO Leon Papkoff. All 11 reviews posted anonymously by Design Reactor employees.