Amazon Lab126

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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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
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    Challenging but positive place to work

    Product Manager (Current Employee) Cupertino, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time for more than a year


    Pros: Amazon will challenge your capabilities but provide enormous growth. The company invests heavily so there are plenty of exciting projects to be involved in.… Cons: can be hard to close on directions and get the org moving in one direction.… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great people work at Lab126!

    Staffing (Current Employee) Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time for more than a year


    Pros: The people are the best I've worked with and we've… Cons: Performance Ratings and Promotion processes could be much simpler. Advice to Senior Management: Listen. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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