Linden Lab

www.lindenlab.com
Employer Engaged

Linden Lab Reviews

Updated February 18, 2015
Updated February 18, 2015
71 Reviews
3.3
71 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ebbe Altberg
4 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It has a great work/life balance and offers a lot of perks for employees (boot camp, yoga, lunches) (in 5 reviews)

  • A good blend of great old coders who made Second Life and talented new blood (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • The upper management was in turmoil the entire time I was there (in 9 reviews)

  • The company has given up on trying to get Second Life to live up to its potential (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    What's it like to work with a visionary?

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

    I worked at Linden Lab full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Philip Rosedale's vision and leadership (especially early on), flat management, collaborative and appreciative working conditions, progressive approach to getting things done (weekly A's and O's, the infamous love machine, 2x yearly review process, in-world all hands meetings), the knowledge we were all working on something that was right on the edge of cultural, legal, and social issues.

    Cons

    Engineers were treated differently than the rest of the staff (work on what you want), which led to many of our big challenges not being met. An incredibly passionate audience (pro and con), who, I felt drove a lot of our decisions, a multi-layered press universe that was followed us relentlessly and focused on the negative. A product that was difficult to use - particularly in the advent of FB's ease. It was hard getting people to relevant content.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's been a while. I think the last I heard was that they were rebuilding SL from scratch. Keep going. VR is clearly not going away.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Lack of communication and lost direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Linden Lab

    Pros

    People there are talented and hard working. Fast paced work environment.

    Cons

    Take orders and carry them out exactly as told. No questions asked. I am afraid there is a culture of fear there.

    I was kicked out after three months, not because I did not work hard. Not because I did not deliver results. But because of a total lack of communications. Developing virtual reality is hard. I have very good ideas that I can contribute. But was never given an opportunity to talk with any one. Employees are expected to just take orders and do precisely as told, and never to ask question or challenge the management decision.

    Too bad that is not how a business can succeed. Despite all the hard working of the employees it may not ultimately pay off as the management could be moving in the wrong direction and there is no mechanism to correct that. The company has too aggressive a goal but don't know how to get there except for repeating what it had done int he past.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to listen more, and issue commands less. You need to think about how to retain your best talents. The obedient people are NOT the best talents. A culture of FEAR does NOT work for any company. The environment is lacking in stimulating discussions and innovation. Too bad all the engineers could think of is purchase third party library if they need this or that feature. Merely putting pieces together is not how you build a product that no one has done before. You've got to truly do things that no one has done before.

    Oh, well. Thanks for paying me three months to spend time learning Sphinx speech recognition, 3D audio and phonemes. Those are very valuable gain of expertise, but I do not get the chance to contribute my expertise back.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    I've been here only one month, but I already know it's a great place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - 3D Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - 3D Artist in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Linden Lab full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone is friendly and welcoming. Great benefits! Fun work environment with ping pong table and lots of snacks and drinks.

    Cons

    None so far that I can think of.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Love the people, growth potential, and collaboration at Linden!

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

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

    Pros

    Linden has been a great place to grow my career and expand the depth of my role. Management allows you to explore areas outside your direct position. There's a lot of cross team collaboration. The company culture has also been a refreshing change from previous jobs. It has a great work/life balance and offers a lot of perks for employees (boot camp, yoga, lunches). Overall, I've had a great experience working here.

    Cons

    While generally I'm very happy here, there are few areas that could probably use some improvement. Over the years there have been cycles of new people, position changes, and upper management. Many transitions have been smooth, but others have been a bit challenging and new roles not clearly defined. The company could do a better job alleviating the stress and uncertainties around who is responsible for what when a new manager or position is filled.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve expectations of where responsibilities lie when positions are filled or employees leave. When hiring, consider bringing in some younger talent. Although all the expertise for a position might not be there, smart people can be quick learners and provide a dedication to the job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great company so far

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

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with, remotely. Excellent communication infrastructure. Excellent pay and benefits.

    Cons

    No direct path for growth. Little to no chance of raise. You have to look outside of your department for opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't forget about the Moonlab!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great people, poor management

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

    I worked at Linden Lab full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I'm still friends with many of my former coworkers. They were all friendly and helpful, even during crunch time.

    Cons

    The upper management, even the founder himself (Philip Rosedale), never seemed to quite understand what Second Life really was or what it meant to the users. Linden Lab often tried to monetize the service in ways that ended up annoying everyone. And the underlying technology seemed to be badly designed and prone to breaking down regularly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop adding bells and whistles and fix your underlying structural and brand identity issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    I wish they hadn't changed so much

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

    I worked at Linden Lab full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    When I started with LL, the community, the team, and the leadership were very much driven to help us grow, learn, and celebrate our success. Subsequent leadership was less aligned.

    Cons

    Team membership & leadership under drastic changes of direction, transparency, and cooperation have hurt the inter-team cooperation and enthusiasm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to customers. Re-institute the nonprofit & edu discount, the CAB, invest in important 3rd party viewer projects, and become more transparent (again). Good luck.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Great until 2010

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

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

    Pros

    Very relaxed atmosphere, great smart and creative co-workers
    The love machine was such a cool feature: it allowed you to send "love" to a co-worker when he/she had done something helpful and that would entitle the person to get a $3 bonus at the end of the quarter.

    Cons

    After the layoffs of 2010, the atmosphere changed a lot. Employees lost faith in the company and the product. Many left or were laid off.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    I can't believe they're still in business - and neither can they

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

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

    Pros

    Unique work environment, they used to be relevant, some of the smartest coworkers I've ever had.

    Cons

    LL is a small company with big company bureaucracy. Good luck talking to anyone outside of your direct chain of command. Let alone ever getting recognized or promoted in your department.

    They are completely out of touch with what their community wants & have absolutely no respect for the poor pawns who are paying their bills. Most developers haven't even spent any time "inworld" and have no concept of who uses their product. The markup they have on their land product is astronomical (triple in most cases) and they refuse to use any of that profit to actually update or improve their infrastructure. They perpetuate a monopoly by the largest land owners by cutting them deals on the side out of constant threats and fear of litigation.

    I think most upper level management is simply surprised that they are still afloat & are milking the cash cow for all it's worth.

    The internal pay is horrible for anyone that didn't start 3+ years ago and the benefits were depleting year after year. Remote employees get the worst end of the stick - they don't even pay for your internet bill.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Brilliant, inspiring people doing what they love in a company who loves them.

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

    I worked at Linden Lab

    Pros

    You learn a lot, both on the job, talking to "residents" and from colleagues. The motivation and intellectual stimulation is infectious. The office has comfortable setup for working. Your coworkers are people that you'll like hanging out with.

    Cons

    Office politics gets in the way of meritocracy sometimes. The product has long ago seen its prime. The tight-knit office community can sometimes get incestuous, and the various office romances that go on make it awkward to work together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time to disrupt from within the company. Try to shake things up policy-wise in the office to change the office dynamics. Most importantly, brainstorm with your team - especially the client-facing ones - for ideas to bring life back into Second Life and give today's users what they really want.

    No opinion of CEO

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