Design Reactor Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
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3.3
16 Reviews
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Leon Papkoff
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great experience

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

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There were tons of high profile projects, with a variety of clients. Great setup for student like me just graduated to learn more in-depth of the industry

    Cons

    There were times where the work load was just overwhelming

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Very unorganized and unclear future!

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

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly to your face. I am sorry to say that there was nothing much positive besides a free lunch once in a while.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership, unclear future on where they want to go or what they want to do. Friendly to your face and tell you one thing but changes their mind quickly and does another. No organization whatsoever!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what it is you want and have a plan before jumping and promising things you can not deliver on!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. Good company to work for

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

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Design Reactor is in the middle of a lot of changes, I only left because I got an opportunity I couldn't pass up. The work and clients list is exceptional. The team members are outstanding to work with, very experienced and talented group of people. I fond management easy to work with, sure they expect a lot out of me, however they understand how to set expectations. I really believe DR functions better as a smaller company, as I know there were challenges when they were much bigger. Now its just the right size....I will miss it.

    Cons

    Overall agencies are tough...not the easiest place to work. Clients and management have big demands and set the bar high. Some days it can be challenging when you don't know the work is coming. Clients always want it done now and expectations can be very challenging to meet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that employees are first....focus on the staff and the work will excel.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Fast paced high performance environment.

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

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time

    Pros

    The culture is fun and the people are cool. I got to work with a diverse mix of projects for some really great brands. I also made a couple of life long friendships during the time I was here.

    Cons

    Everyone performs at a very high level. Can be very overwhelming if you are not the right fit. Like most agencies, projects are stressful, fast-passed, and ever-changing. You need to be self-motivated and know when to push back.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Amazing Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Modeler in Campbell, CA
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Modeler in Campbell, CA

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

    Pros

    There are no two ways about it: Design Reactor is simply an amazing place to work. While there, I had a chance to work on many exciting projects for many amazing clients/brands. The work itself is always challenging, yet fun and constantly fresh. The company has a start-up mentality but has been around for over a decade and is continually evolving in a highly competitive space to continue to grow and stay relevant. One week you might be working on a set of UI/UX designs and the next creating virtual environments for a fashion show.

    But like any successful company, it's just not just about the work they do that matters, but it is also about the incredibly talented people who work there. The people at Design Reactor are extremely passionate about the work they do and the open leadership style of Dave and Leon allows employees the ability to work collaboratively while encouraging individual creative freedom. Over the years I was there, I saw many great folks come and go, but one of the really neat things we did was to compare the portfolios that artists came in with to what they had when they left. The growth was always incredible and I know that for me, the ability to continually grow and expand my skills as an artist was one of the biggest reasons I loved working at DR.

    Cons

    Like any other design agency, Design Reactor is constantly operating under tight deadlines. As a result, it's not uncommon to find yourself working nights or weekends to hit an important deadline.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful

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

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

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

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    What 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. Small fast paced but agile company, poorly managed, amazing design.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Junior Software Developer in Campbell, CA
    Former Intern - Junior Software Developer in Campbell, CA

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

    Pros

    Ability 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.

    Cons

    occasionally 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 ManagementAdvice

    Be less frantic and nuts.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful

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

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

    I have been working at Design Reactor full-time

    Pros

    Design 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    N/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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. My experience at Design Reactor has been inspiring, exciting, challenging and educational.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Campbell, CA
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Campbell, CA

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

    Pros

    I'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.

    Cons

    There 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. A Great Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Designer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Designer in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    No structured hours, makes it difficult to plan. Some days we start at 8am, others at 9am. It really depends on the project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We should look into expanding internationally. There is a lot of demand for creative services in Asia.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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