Lithium Technologies

  www.lithium.com
  www.lithium.com

Lithium Technologies Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
Updated December 19, 2014
133 Reviews
3.7
133 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Lithium Technologies CEO Rob Tarkoff
Rob Tarkoff
106 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 6 reviews)

  • Getting the right people in the right positions and managing the new personnel requirements with the historical talent makes for growing pains (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Place to Be!

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    A recently joined Lithium and I have had an outstanding experience. I have been really impressed by the talent of the people that I have met across all departments and the passion that the people that I spoke with had about the company. It has also been inspiring to see the drive that employees have for making customers successful and the outstanding brands that are eager and proud to share the value that they have achieved from the company. The other thing that has really impressed me was the organized and professional HR on-boarding and IT setup process - it couldn't have been any any easier and I was able to be productive and feel like a part of the team from day one. It's really exciting to work somewhere that employees and customers are so engaged!

    Cons

    This is a fast growing company which always creates changes and this might be hard for people that don't embrace change as readily.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep staying engaged with the employees and keep offering opportunities for employees to hear the strategy and ask questions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Oct 15, 2014CEO

    I am thrilled your on boarding has been a positive experience. We will stay engaged as this market is only heating up further!! Thanks for the input.
    Rob

  2. 13 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 (more than an 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

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Oct 17, 2014CEO

    Thanks for the time to give us a review -- and thanks for recommending Lithium. I tried to follow your train of thought in this review but found some parts difficult to understand -- let me try to ... More

  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (more than an 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.

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    It’s all about the people

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    It’s all about the people. Relationships lead to friendships. Friendships lead to strong communities. Communities lead to society. Businesses and organizations have always known the importance of community and society. Today the Internet is where people congregate. It is where communities and societies live. The reason is simple: communication. Before the Internet if a business, organization or individuals wanted to communicate with other people at a community or social level they used radio, television, magazine, newspaper, postal mail, town halls, and the like. Today we use snapchat, twitter, facebook, whatsapp, and the like. Our company creates the leading Social Platform used by business and organizations to help them realize the full potential of modern day communities and societies. By using our Social Platform businesses and organizations gain tremendous return, individuals and communities gain strong ties and a large voice, and the potential to help people, the potential to help the world increases many times over. The largest pro at Lithium Technologies is that we focus on people, relationships, communities, and society in a way that helps businesses and organizations, but even more so in a way that helps people. It’s all about the people. JF

    Cons

    Of course we have our ups and downs. Sometimes there are disagreements when it comes to ideas and what should be prioritized. Communication still needs work. This is a common problem whenever there is a large group of people working together towards common goals. The cons are usually the result of passionate people who are really doing what they feel is in the best interest of the company. In no way have any cons I’ve ever experienced here caused me to waver in my confidence of our potential, which, in my opinion is staggering. In fact, I am looking to further educate myself on people, community, and society with an aim to put it to use for our customers and everyone who works hard to keep Lithium going. I am 100% committed. All chips in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication, communication, communication. We need more bonding. We all need to communicate how we feel and what’s going on. Where there is lack of communication frustrations build and false perceptions take hold. No reason we cannot spend a little time each week talking with people on our team in an open and safe forum. Faces to faces. We may not have a dinner table to all sit around and talk about our day with each other. But I do know one thing and that is when a family doesn’t communicate as a group in a safe and relaxed setting then things get rough. We need more bonding. It’s all about people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Oct 14, 2014CEO

    Love the comments and agree -- communication is everything. As our business grows this becomes even more important! Just about everyone is 100% in because this market opportunity is so big and we ... More

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good culture, disruptive technology, career opportunities, optimistic about future.

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Smart people, good benefits, lots of opportunities for training, career growth, good culture and office. Branding and word of mouth and increased sales are helping Lithium gain strong reputation in the space. Customers love the products/services.

    Cons

    Lots of changes (this is good and bad). Change is happening every day and some changes will be bigger than others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing, but make sure to keep your ear to the ground to what employees are hearing/saying/feeling.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Oct 7, 2014CEO

    Thanks for this review and your advice. I try personally to keep my ear to the ground as much as possible, but it is always a good reminder. I agree with your comments about our customers -- they ... More

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, great challenges, confused management

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    * people working here are smart, friendly, and fun to work with.
    * fun and challenging problems to work with and solve.
    * focus on scrum process
    * good benefits including travel expenses except 401K match.
    * lithium is a leader in its space. Not many companies do what lithium does.
    * lunches 2 days a week. Although, used to be 3 days a week.
    * competitive compensation.
    * good HR team.

    Cons

    * Management seems to be lost and confused on the direction that they want to take for the organization
    * recent sudden layoffs

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Oct 12, 2014CEO

    Glad to hear you see the strength in the people at Lithium -- it is our #1 asset as a Company. I am sorry you don't see the management direction clearly -- let's connect on this as our strategy is ... More

  8. 7 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 (less than an 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
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Too much disruptive change,

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Cool market, although it's still developing and not a "must have" technology

    Cons

    The senior leadership is untrustworthy and makes decisions in a vacuum
    Crazy amount of turn-over, no loyalty

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your eyes and ears. You are in trouble! Your values are a sham.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Oct 8, 2014CEO

    I am really sorry that you feel this way about our leadership, decision-making, and values. I understand that as we grow as a Company there is change that can sometimes be disruptive. I would ... More

  10. 6 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 (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
  11. 5 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 (less than an 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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