Intellectual Ventures

  www.intellectualventures.com
  www.intellectualventures.com

Intellectual Ventures Reviews

Updated December 22, 2014
Updated December 22, 2014
72 Reviews
3.0
72 Reviews
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Nathan Myhrvold
49 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is 100% better than previous companies I have worked for in the same role (in 6 reviews)

  • Interesting work with an intriguing business model (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • The main part of the company had a somewhat questionable business model (in 8 reviews)

  • Challenging executive decision making process (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Invention Capital, an Interesting Concept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inventor in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Inventor in Bellevue, WA

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

    Pros

    "Investing in Invention" is a great business concept.

    Cons

    Business process professionals can sometimes get out of hand with delusions that invention processes can be tightly managed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on invention.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Corporate Communication Specialist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corporate Communication Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Corporate Communication Specialist in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Intellectual Ventures full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pretty good compensation and benefits. Surrounded by absolute genius'

    Cons

    Extremely poor management for new graduates, very negative internal environment and collaboration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This was just my experience, but I was hired right out of college and did not receive much leadership, management, or prioritization management. All of those things are needed for a new grad, and I didn't have much which led to me not understanding these needed skills. It creates lazy work ethic as well. I had too much free time with little direction.

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Leadership seems to be uncertain of direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Staff in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - IT Staff in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation, nice balance for some teams.

    Cons

    Heavy on 'Managers' or 'Directors' with no direct reports.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please make it work, if anything just to prove the detractors wrong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tough environment, questionable business model

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

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people and good compensation historically.

    Cons

    Too many uncertainties and lack of direction. WAY too many directors, and not enough value placed on people who do work. Direction is uncertain day to day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Founders should be more involved in the day to day, rather than giving vague direction which tend to take many people in different directions believing they have approval. take a close look at the management across the company and decide what you really need - get rid of the rest. Way too many layers between top level decision makers and everyone else.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible Leadership, disjointed organization

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

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Smart people and good compensation. While there is no product, or production, this company does encourage innovation and creative thinking.

    Cons

    Where do I start? Leadership is completely out of touch with the staff. Executive hubris seems to be the controlling aspect of this organization, with constant and significant change being dictated from the executive bubble. Little input is asked from staff.

    In addition, the structure of this company is silo'd and disjointed. This breeds inter-departmental conflict and stifles productivity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Establish a vision, communicate that vision, and empower staff to realize that vision. Also consider a less confrontational client engage model then montetization through litigation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could have been so much more....

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

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time

    Pros

    All apply to the "old days": above-market compensation and bonus programs, good benefits, great group of employees (past tense - see Cons), opportunity to improve professional network of contacts.

    Cons

    After heavy voluntary attrition in 2013 and the two rounds of mass layoffs in 2014, I can't imagine any applicants seriously considering IV these days, but here goes anyway. IV seems to have trouble grasping what it really is and that has led to short-sighted decision-making, an inability to articulate a clear corporate strategy, and a failure to stick to a consistent monetization strategy for more than a few months. The fault for this lies squarely with the founders and executive management. At one time, IV had a very impressive stable of licensing executives, patent engineers, financial analysts, and attorneys on staff, but most of them have fled at this point. Any job applicant with decent credentials and prospects should be very careful if joining now. The "reverse relocation" package mentioned by another poster is definitely an interesting point to consider now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Man the lifeboats.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Interesting business model but unproven and not well executed.

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

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time

    Pros

    Above average pay and benefits package; employees are generally smart and really good to work with; office culture is relaxed and collegial most of the time.

    Cons

    Company's business model is unproven and has shifted in recent years from working with customers on licensing deals to a heavy focus on litigation. Company's long-term viability is questionable, in my opinion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate a clearer picture of the company's long-term goals, both internally and externally.

    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    a company at a crossroads

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

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

    Pros

    An environment with many very smart people with a diverse range of backgrounds.

    Willingness to listen to the points of view of all employees.

    Very competitive compensation package with good benefits.

    Well positioned to land on my feet even if the company's outlook is uncertain.

    Interesting work with an intriguing business model.

    Senior management appears to know about the significant problems facing the company and are taking the right steps to rectify them.

    Cons

    Many layoffs this year with a big round in August following earlier job cuts on February.

    A cost-cutting mentality that has set in damaging our ability to convince partners of our viability.

    A sometimes deserved bad reputation as a patent troll.

    An inability to find a way to monetize assets that doesn't involve suing or threatening to sue people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a big gap between how it seems Intellectual Ventures wants to be perceived--as a global leader in innovation capable of solving the world's most difficult problems by putting together teams of the smartest people on the planet--and how Intellectual Ventures is actually perceived--as a bullying patent troll. This image problem needs to be rectified soon if the company is to survive because unless potential partners believe in the positive image of Intellectual Ventures, the company won't be able to do the deals needed to build a better image. A Catch-22 that senior management needs to find a way around soon. IV is sitting on a vast trove of intellectual property--one of the largest portfolios of patents in the country. That is IV's strength but my advice to senior management would be to sit down and look for ways to monetize those assets in a positive way that will build a good reputation--as opposed to a negative way (lawsuits) that will result in us being the kid on the playground no one wants to play with. I believe that the top management team does understand the problems but my biggest concern is that it may be too little too late--an overreliance on lawsuits since late 2010 has really hurt the firm's reputation. The open question--the crossroads--that the company is facing is whether this can be reversed in time to save the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Questionable, unproven business model

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Bellevue, WA

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

    Pros

    Compensation and benefits were excellent. I really liked the people in my department. A very interesting mixture of backgrounds. You can learn a lot from all sorts of different people.

    Cons

    The main part of the company had a somewhat questionable business model. It sort of made sense when it was about licensing patents but later on it became all about suing companies. There were other shady things going on as well. There was always talk about cool things going on in the lab but it seemed like the vast majority never went anywhere. Large lack of communication about strategy or what the company was doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate better as to the company's direction and strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    We will see if their business model succeeds...

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

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

    Pros

    Nice work environment with modern facilities, free soft drinks/snacks. Pleasant and intelligent co-workers. It's nice to brag that you work for a company that is in the business of invention and list some of the products/spin-off companies that have come from the Intellectual Ventures think tanks.

    Cons

    Very management heavy. The company has an abundance of employees with the title of manager or director, yet have no employees who are direct reports to those positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring smart people with the assumption that if you give them the title Director, they will somehow make the company money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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