Livescribe Inc Reviews

Updated July 8, 2014
Updated July 8, 2014
17 Reviews

3.5
17 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Gilles Bouchard
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A fantastic environment to get your hands dirty with everything that it takes to run a start-up

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Strong executive leadership team
    High caliber cross-functional teams
    Many opportunities to take on new projects/build additional skills
    Culture that promotes "test and iterate" processes

    Cons

    The nature of being a start-up means a tight budget, but it also forces you to be creative and scrappy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Formalize professional development/annual reviews process

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    A startup where you can make a difference

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc

    Pros

    Livescribe isn't a "me to" - it's an incredibly unique product. It was incredibly rewarding to work for a startup where I could make individual contributions, which impacted the company, but also know the work I did helped students, families and business professionals. I also have a young family, so the understanding and support of a work/life balance was very important to me. That's rare to find in a startup. Plus, I loved the people I worked with!

    Cons

    Because it isn't a remake of an existing product - it means carving out a category from scratch. For example, it's challenging to find engineers who have coded for a smartpen, so there can be a learning curve. And there isn't a "sure" path to follow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Hardworking start-up mindset with casual culture.

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great co-workers, not a bad apple in the bunch: intelligent, talented, and down to earth. Task orientated approach leaves decent flexibility to manage work/life balance. Senior Staff is consistently supportive of experimentation with emerging technologies and approaches. Amazing views from the office, including a view of the Oakland Coliseum Jumbotron, the Bay Bridge, the port of Oakland, Alameda, and San Francisco.

    Cons

    Core product requires people to write; which most people hate to do. While that means that there is a core market that will be fanatical and loyal, it also means that upside is significantly limited. Professional growth opportunities depend on which department you're in: some offer tons of choice, others, not so much. Benefits are mediocre, pay was average.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the improved focus (thanks to Gilles) and get that Android client to market.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    The adolescent startup

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Livescribe has been around for a while, but still operates like a startup. An individual can have a huge impact on the success of the business, and there are opportunities for vertical and lateral movement within the organization. Livescribe is building technology that has a positive impact on the lives of users and substantial potential for future application, and the employees believe in it. The management team is supportive of employees needs, open to ideas, and transparent in operation. I can't speak highly enough about the employee culture; although there are different teams within the company, the entire company feels like 1 team.

    Cons

    Livescribe is still somewhat resource constrained, and doesn't have the capacity to execute all of the projects that they can dream up. As a consumer product, there will almost certainly be a crunch time before the holiday shopping season, which, depending on your situation, might become a temporary inconvenience (was not a problem for me).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue running the business responsibly and transparently, and keep the employees excited about potential for the technology you're building.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    There are better companies to work for!

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting, innovative product. You get to experience different aspects of product development and lifecycle: i.e. HW/SW/audio/visual

    Cons

    The management has a very poor moral standard about how to conduct business. They would do anything for some short-term revenue, including writing fake reviews for the product on retail sites. Some of the Glassdoor reviews are also fake. Cutting corners during the development cycle in order to make the ship date is a norm here. It really makes you feel dirty after a while, and the employees have to clean up the mess afterward, of course.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Company is heading in the right direction.

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    New executive team understands the business and is creating a solution that is needed. New CEO and VP of Engineering make a good team.

    Cons

    Company is overly funded and has a lot of debt. Being in hardware, their profit margin is less than a pure software company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep innovating. Keep close to Apple and iOS. Outsource your Android efforts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great people to work with; innovative product and roadmap

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Livescribe Inc full-time

    Pros

    Great people - smart, supportive, title isn't as important as the ideas you contribute, great work/life balance

    Cons

    We have more ideas then we can deliver upon. It's great to be ambitious, but we need to deliver on the big ideas and promises quicker.

    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Poor Management, Predictable Results

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Really interesting product for the education market.

    Cons

    Very poor management. Employees divided into two classes--directors or above or not directors or above. Poor communication between the two with the former unable or unwilling to listen to the latter. Corrosive politics. Lots of turnover. Lots of bad decision-making leading to expensive product delays, stressful work environment, and low morale. Open communication perilous.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on the business and stabilize, strengthen, and streamline the management team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Typical startup atmoshpere without the perks

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, flexible duties. A little too much freedom to deliver or not deliver a successful product.

    Cons

    Disorganized even for a startup. Lacking direction and drive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Uneven senior management leads to poor employee morale.

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

    I worked at Livescribe Inc

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule and the ability to make an impact on a small startup company can keep employees motivated to stay.

    Cons

    Management oversells what the Livescribe product can do an forecasts sales projections that are too aggressive. This leads to severe cutbacks when things go wrong. On one occasion, 20% of the company was let go, one person in this group had just moved from LA. Another occasion, the CEO asked employees to buy more product to raise the sales figures. Product delays are often due to manufacturing errors or hardware/software design flaws that resulted from poor communication and management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The CEO of Livescribe is extremely creative and good at coming up with product ideas, but he is not a business leader. The board should replace him with a seasoned CEO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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