Lithium Technologies

  www.lithium.com
  www.lithium.com
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Lithium Technologies Reviews

Updated September 29, 2014
Updated September 29, 2014
126 Reviews
3.4
126 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Lithium Technologies CEO Rob Tarkoff
Rob Tarkoff
99 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • nice SF location, WFH and good work life balance for a mid sized company (in 8 reviews)

  • Great people with a lot of successful tech company experience in their past (in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • Based on the above, there is extremely high turnover in Sales and other divisions stay for a long time (in 7 reviews)

  • There is a revolving door when it comes to sales due to lack of direction from the executive staff, management and even marketing (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Hm...

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A recent refocusing on the products, sales, and market. Really great things happening as a result. Some really great people have recently joined and we are already seeing results of their work impact the business. Opportunity is still the largest Pro and always has been in my opinion. Opportunity for both career development in our organization and opportunity for market share.

    Cons

    I guess we can always find something to complain about. But I don't want to feed any negative energy by providing fuel. It doesn't mean that I am not thinking critically about our company by not listing cons. It just means that I do not see a need to publicize them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The underpinning business components are well on their way to being very strong. All of us need to continue working together towards better communication, training, and culture. While it is important to stay focused on our customers, we also need to stay focused on everyone within the company. I understand how hard mgmt is. Keep it up. - J.F.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    I have worked in many organizations and trust me when I say this place is a dream. I am an individual contributor, and treated with respect, and valued.

    Cons

    I really wish I lived closer. My commute is a bear. But, because I love what I do, it makes it more palatable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish the conversion process was faster. As a contractor, it would be nice to be a regular employee since i have been here well over 6 months.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great Place to work. Great People. Great Culture.

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I am surprised by all the negative reviews I see. I have been working at Lithium for 6 months and have had a great experience. It is true that we had to let some people go and I along with everyone else hated it but from what I saw it was done very well. Everyone was given a package and they were also given cobra coverage and out placement support. I have always said that the only type of company I can work for is one that treats their employees with dignity and respect and that is exactly what I saw. Change can be very hard and frustrating but I really do believe they did the best they could. The next day our CEO had an all hands to talk about the business and the changes they were making and why. He has made himself available for questions and I believe he means it when he tells people to come to him.

    Cons

    I really can't think of any cons. The Klout integration is still going on. It wasn't handled perfectly but I have never seen an integrations that has been.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It seems like you are moving in the right direction. Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Best place in the world if you're committed to community and social

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I appreciate some of the perks, but to me the best workplace is where I get the chance to do the work I want and to learn the most, and about the people I'm working with -- both colleagues and customers. This place is the top of the list on both counts. I have never in four years had anyone question a decision when it's right for the customer -- not management, not peers. I work with some of the smartest and the most humble people I've worked with in my career. But the best thing for me is the incredible list of brands that choose to work with us. Every week there are great new companies to learn about and work with -- and we have great working relationships because our customers understand that making them successful is what makes us successful.

    Cons

    Think of all the challenges of fast-growing companies and you will find them here: hiring decisions aren't always great, communication can seriously suck, problems aren't always dealt with as quickly as they need to be. There's still too big a divide between management and staff -- decisions don't always take advantage of our best thinking, because the right people aren't involved. We sometimes suffer from the very same challenges we're helping our customers solve every day -- which is a shame. Lots of missed opportunities to be great, when political challenges make us settle for being average or merely good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break down the barriers between management and staff. Stop doing what you think an executive should do, and follow your instincts and your principles. You have the chance to create something really great, and a lot of brands are trusting you to help them. You can't get there unless you open up more decision-making to customers and employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Work with cool technologies on a product that really gets used and makes a difference.

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Consistently growing revenue stream based on well know customers that use the product at scale. This has lead to predictable growth and stability at the company that has allowed for consistent execution of plans.

    Very experienced and talented engineering management team hired a couple years ago to bring fresh blood and energy into engineering. This has meaningfully transformed the culture of engineering here into a place of experimentation and innovation. Its been really cool to inject modern big data technologies into our application and make it able to do things that at one time felt impossible.

    Nice environment. Engineering is on the 14th floor of an office building in the financial district of San Francisco. Its a really bright and uplifting environment. We get catered breakfasts and lunches and an unbelievable snack and drink selection. A lot of young people work for the company so there are always a lot of opportunities to make friends and socialize if you want to.

    Good experience. We get to do real things and are held accountable. I always feel like I am being asked to learn something new. I feel like I am paid well and the bonus program is real. If you work hard and produce you will be compensated well.

    I believe in the marketing vision of management. What this really means is that I think that someday when the company goes public the stock could be worth some serious money. That's exciting to me because I've worked in start-ups for which that was not the case.

    Cons

    We have a huge installed base of existing customers. This means that decisions are tempered and constrained by the expectations of existing users. This means that sometimes we have to do a lot of what feels like "extra work" to satisfy existing constraints. Sometimes things will move slower than we want them to because of work we have to do to satisfy previously incurred technical debt.

    The environment is fast paced. We work hard and constantly have to be improving our game. Sometimes I get tired.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be transparent. Nothing is ever all positive or all negative. Accurately and honestly communicate the priorities the plan and the results. Transparency builds trust and stability.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    A Great Challenge, Working With Great People

    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working at Lithium is challenging. We are in a fast-moving space and our customers demand a high level of quality, but that’s what keeps it interesting. As an engineer, you’re given a seat at the table with regards to architecture, design, and other key choices that (at other companies I’ve worked at) have been made by management or architects. I work with some of the most talented Engineers I’ve met in silicon valley. Probably a key reason I choose to work here is that I am able to learn from my peers to hone my skills and make myself a better engineer. The quality of developer here is very high. Not too many big egos (in this field it’s hard to eliminate entirely).

    Lithium is at a pivotal point in its journey. I feel like my co-workers honestly enjoy the work they do here and want to create a quality product. We’re all working together. That’s what keeps me coming back each day.

    Cons

    There was an acquisition earlier this year, which was a super exciting thing to be able to watch first-hand, but there was a (not completely unexpected) rocky period when we started working together. I don’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable, but it could have been managed better.

    Primarily, the difficulty related to uniting two companies together under a common purpose is a non-trivial task. For a company of Lithium’s size, this has the potential to hurt cultures on both sides of the aisle. The acquired company made up a reasonable percentage of the newly combined company. Each company has its own work cadence, culture, self-image, and way to do things. Maintaining individuality while starting to work together takes time. When families grow one by one, integration becomes organic. When two families come together through marriage, there are often more troubles. All said, I think we have done a pretty good job. But things could always be smoother. We have grown tremendously as a company since this took place, and I look forward to how we will grow in the future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees by asking questions. It isn’t enough to show up and expect things to work themselves out. Leaders should be at the front of the pack, not directing from behind. And keep up the good work.

  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    We need to start firing on all cylinders, sooner than later.

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    First and foremost- its blatantly apparent to me, and many people working here, that Glassdoor is stuffed with a lot of “fake" reviews for this company. I guess that shouldn't be too shocking ...since narcissism just a trait that comes along with "Social Media" world. You can pinpoint the individuals who wrote a few of them, and they just drink the kool-aid here so much they can't help themselves.

    I try to be as fair as possible when I write reviews, ... I am not a "disgruntled" employee, just trying to tell it how I see things.

    As someone who has owned a couple large communities before, I believe in the product. Sure you can stand up phpBB/vBull or whatever, but most people aren't really going to be successful at doing that.

    I would like to quickly call out an earlier review that slammed the folks down in Austin working on the LSW product, which was totally out of line. I feel like people in that office work very hard on the LSW product. I'm not sure why that comment annoyed me, but it did (I don't even work on LSW).

    Overall... I would say the benefits are pretty fair here. My biggest "gripe" would be the lack of a 401k match, and that the equity stake here is likely to have a net value of $0.00, but more on that later. The health, dental and vision are roughly on par for most other employers I've had. I appreciate the commuter benefits, and for someone who lives in the city, it 100% covers my transit costs.

    I enjoy the "flexible PTO" plan here, but lately they've been wanting to track the usage of it more. I REALLY hope people aren't abusing it, because that would upset me. Everyone I know is very appreciative of this perk and treats it with respect.

    I would advise any net-new employees to negotiate your base pay well, because you'll be at that amount for a while.

    Lunch is typically catered in 2/3 times per week and also breakfast a 1/2 times per week. Pretty typical for this area, ...snack and drink rooms around the office. Some people scoff at that stuff, but it saves me a lot of money :)

    The office itself is very nice (perhaps a little too nice given the situation), and can get loud at times.

    While there are some duds working at Lithium (or for *ANY* company), there are some real diamonds mixed in too. I wish I could name them all, but I think they know. I would like to thank those people for all of the great times I've had, and all that I've learned and been able to teach in return.

    Cons

    Churn is HIGH here, straight up. My back of the napkin math says we're going through 20-25% of the work force PER YEAR. I've asked my manager about this before, and pretty much got a shoulder shrug. I know turnover can be high in Silicon Valley/SF, but it feels like we're off the chain. Lately it's been a lot of the old timers/some founding members ... which is demoralizing in many ways. As of late, they have not been backfilling many positions either.

    The CEO has admitted he's "all in" on ... whatever ... the current strategy to marry the community product+Klout+LSW is. Almost four months later, there is STILL no clear plan on how that's going to happen though. I've seen a lot of presentations with animated GIF's (spinning gears == profit!!), but that's about it.

    Sometimes I think we're using the Southpark business plan FOR REAL as our business plan. If you don't know what that is, look on YouTube for a chuckle.

    I don't *think* the CEO is inherently evil as some people do, but I think he's in a situation where he's damned if he does/doesn't. I DO think he has some friends in various positions around the company they are ill suited for. Rob made a statement last year he took a lot of heat for, but I actually liked hearing: If you don't believe in what Lithium does... GO.

    I mentioned equity above in the positives- BUT Let's "Be Real" here, nobody actually believes we're going to IPO anymore. Get various members of senior management drunk enough (which isn't hard around here!), and they'll admit the BEST CASE SCENARIO is an acquisition. Beyond that, we're going to have to keep raising money and diluting out our equity stakes for the foreseeable future. If you think about it rationally, the time horizon laid out could mean the country ends up in recession again by the time we would/could IPO.

    Suffice it to say- I don't think we'll be driving Bugatti's to work anytime soon. BART and MUNI it is.

    Another possibility would be a drastic OpEx reduction (read: more layoffs?) sooner than later to cut the burn rate. Every now and then management lets it slip what our cash position is, and those who choose to be observant can determine we're burning through cash at a decent clip. The 20-30 people just let go will help, and also subletting underutilized office space will too. That said, those leases never should’ve been signed in the first place.

    The bonus/review cycle here is, in a word, onerous. WHY are we literally doing what most companies do 4x a year now? What a colossal waste of time. I honestly feel bad for my manager having to do that. I say reduce the formal reviews down to once per year, and at managers discretion pay out the bonus in quarterly chunks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As others have said, be more transparent and WHY are there so many managers here? I can name like 3-4 people who have 1-2 maybe 3 direct reports. I know throwing a title at people can be a perk in lieu of pay, but maybe dial that back a bit.

    Even if its going to be painful, let's keep cutting if we have to. People who hate their jobs, put in your notice and save us your whining.

    I think you'd be surprised how well we can take the truth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Many great people; company spoiled by some bad apples.

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

    I worked at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The majority of the employees are great people and extremely talented. Offers many of the usual startup/young tech company bennies (food, games, happy hours, flexible work hours, work from home, etc).

    Cons

    Power plays. Turf building. Poor communication. Promises made and not kept.

    As others have mentioned, the company appears to be lacking a clear direction. I was gone long before the Klout acquisition, but I can't see how it'll help them either Lithium or Klout in the long run.

    The good managers that I worked with are gone. The bad ones are still there.

    Little investment in building the skills of their existing employees, instead hiring hot shots, so not much chance of upward mobility. (Brown bag talks excluded - though those are primarily used to bring co-workers up to speed on arcane details of the existing system.)

    Rob Tarkoff appears to be more interested in building a company he can sell off than in building a quality product.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in your people's skills, less in your fancy digs (though probably too late for that now, as the money has been spent).

    Figure out what your core products are, and polish those.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Start-up feel in a proven business

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    *Awesome work & life balance including flexible PTO
    *Great offices
    *Solid company benefits
    *Strong team of employees
    *Startup feel & culture in a proven business leading an emerging market

    Cons

    *Internal communication between departments and from management down can definitely improve

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    *Communication is key. Some departments do it really well and some don't, and everything starts at the top.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 13 people found this helpful  

    Finance and Management are a bunch of clowns

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fun culture. Fun peeps on the floor.

    Cons

    "We're hiring like crazy" one day and round of layoffs the next. Irresponsible oversights on management and finance's part. Can't keep many people for more than a year. Wasteful spending. Very HQ oriented.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a long look at your team, and finance department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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