IDEO

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IDEO Reviews in Palo Alto, CA

Updated February 9, 2015
Updated February 9, 2015
18 Reviews
4.1
18 Reviews
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IDEO President and CEO Tim Brown
Tim Brown
18 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Some great people are what make it worthwhile (in 5 reviews)

  • Incredibly talented people, working for a company that values its employees experience and culture above just about everything else (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • none other than the usual consultancy cons (in 4 reviews)

  • Non-Designers do not benefit from having IDEO on their resume (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

18 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    IDEO

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

    I worked at IDEO

    Pros

    Awesome environment, probably the best place I have ever interned in my life. You will get to work with really talented people.

    Cons

    I didn't see any problem with the work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Opened my eyes to how fun it can be to go to work.

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

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

    Pros

    I was lucky enough to spend a few year working at IDEO. As support staff, my role wasn't particularly fulfilling, but the people there and the projects that IDEO does made me excited to go to work every day.

    Cons

    I found that it was hard to be in an admin role at IDEO, where designers are king. Without a background in design there seemed to be little to no room for growth and a general lack of respect for the work that support staff does.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about designing a structure that supports, encourages, and celebrates all essential staff equally regardless of whether they are designers or not. Without the people "behind the scenes" the business would not be what it is today.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Great place to launch your career, but not to grow it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at IDEO full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Amazing projects with fantastic clients
    - Access to the IDEO network -- it's amazing the connections you'll have after working at IDEO
    - Unparalleled ability to craft your own career path and take real initiative
    - Great colleagues you'll want to hang out with on the weekends
    - If you're looking to launch/shift your career and don't have a family to support, IDEO is fantastic!!!

    Cons

    - Low pay (for everyone except the partners -- it's an environment of 'haves' and 'have nots')
    - Low pay (clients pay top dollar, but that doesn't trickle down to the people who sell the projects or do the work)
    - Low pay (IDEO hires top talent out of grad school, but can't retain the best people once they start a family and expenses grow)
    - The only way to become a partner is to be friends with the partners (quite literally), not create value for the company or have great client relationships

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the equity structure to give everyone a piece of the economic pie -- you will retain best talent and make the culture better. End the partnership and create an employee-owned organization.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fun place to work and get experience

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

    I worked at IDEO full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Awesome culture
    - Amazing projects and clients
    - Great food
    - Great people

    Cons

    -Low pay
    -Long hour's
    -Becoming a "partner" is the only way to make it work financially, although you need to be apart of the existing "old boys network" in general to become one

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the financial structure to give everyone a fair share of the revenue stream. Change the partnership to a employee owned company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing Place to Work. Learnt a lot

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - ToyLab IOS Software Engineering in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Intern - ToyLab IOS Software Engineering in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Culture. There are these every diverse and amazingly genius people around you. All you got to do is just talk and work with them. Fantastic place to intern at. Best part about working at IDEO was sense of ownership. You get to own the product/project you are working on.

    Cons

    Compensation was okay. Need to focus a bit more on developers and not just designers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Amazing people, management challenged

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

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

    Pros

    Especially if at the start of your career, a chance to work with amazing people and on fantastic projects with big brands. It's a family like culture (that you will either love or hate). Lots of room for autonomy as project teams run themselves with little interference.

    Cons

    The "partnership" and senior management are seriously off course. Think of a fraternity running a company and you would not be far off. While the big brands are cool at first, the projects aren't always. Pay is below standard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach. Less about who you know and how you get along, more about the results and the quality of the work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    a very special place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Director in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Design Director in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at IDEO full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Incredibly talented people, working for a company that values its employees experience and culture above just about everything else. Project work is highly selective and almost always interesting. Physical environment is second to none.

    Cons

    Internal systems are a total mess. Lots of unnecessary effort is required to keep up.

    Also, while the culture is the source of all the magic it can be quite intolerant: anything or anyone threatening the culture will not survive long.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 12 people found this helpful  

    Cool company... but con's are starting to outweigh the pro's

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

    I have been working at IDEO full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Cool people to work with, cool technology and pretty free and open culture.

    Cons

    VERY click'ish, almost cult'ish. If you are not in the "in" crowd you will not advance. Senior leadership is very detached from what really happens with the employees, partners that gossip rather than lead. If you are not a designer (e.g. support), you are second class.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your support team, they deserve it. Lead more, talk less.

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Magical

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

    I have been working at IDEO full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    IDEO is like the family I never had. People here genuinely care about each other and help you succeed. I've never worked with such a diverse group of people who think about things in different ways and yet, come together to get the best out of themselves and their teams. Everything is "we" focused instead of "I" focused and that allows for a freedom to express your thoughts and ideas without this fear that you will be seen as wrong or stupid. The idea is that everyone works together so your ideas are valuable because we build off of each other. There isn't a "lone" genius mentality - everyone is important and everyone contributes.

    Cons

    There are places that pay more, but having worked at some of those places, I can say that their culture wasn't nearly as rich. I'd much rather have a culture I enjoy and great people than more money. They definitely pay a livable wage, it's just not outrageous like some of the other place in Palo Alto/the Bay Area.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    The most amazing place I've ever had the privilege of working

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Interaction Designer II in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Interaction Designer II in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Amazing projects, people and environment to really push yourself out of your comfort zone and grow.

    Cons

    For the amount of time, effort and commitment involved, you get paid peanuts. Also, while most people there are friendly and dedicated, with big talent often come some of the awfully big egos, too.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please make employees feel like they belong, are acknowledged and appreciated more often.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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