Magnet Systems Reviews

Updated July 31, 2015
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Alfred Chuang
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18 Employee Reviews

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  1. Thrill of a start up

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Magnet Systems full-time

    Pros

    The reviews here are a mixed bag, and probably confusing to someone just reading through them. There were a few of disgruntled former employees, you can see that they felt compelled to post on Glassdoor to point fingers (and name call) to everyone but themselves. Were there silos, office politics, power struggles? Maybe, but my gut is those folks are the ones who wrote the negative comments and have moved on. The real story, is the great employees are here; these are the “good” people, the folks who want to share in the company’s success. There is a lot of energy, collaboration, and teams having fun. Magnet is a start-up in every sense. Yes, cool location, food, fun activities, great pay, great benefits, work-life balance (which is rare for a start up). Then there’s the risk---- it’s a start up-- of course there is risk, and then there is reward. It’s defiantly not for everyone, but having been in several start ups, it’s the thrill and energy that’s exciting. Of course it helps to have a high power CEO, and top investors. The teams are very talented; the people are very friendly. The mobile technology is very impressive; and that would be why only the impressive products will be released. The employees take pride in what they want the world to see. The management team are very approachable and want to hear feedback and ideas. To be honest in an all- hands meeting no one ever asks questions, so the CEO takes employees to lunch to hear their feedback.

    Cons

    Palo Alto traffic and parking.

    Advice to Management

    Don’t pay attention to the naysayers, keep building a strong team and recognizing the talented people you have. Keep listening and keep the open communication.

    Magnet Systems Response

    Aug 5, 2015 – VP Human Resoures

    Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. We appreciate the feedback and our employees who have helped build a wonderful culture.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Hard Work Pays Off

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    CEO really cares about his product, management is supportive and knowledgeable, great location in downtown Palo Alto, snacks and drinks provided in kitchen, catering for lunch every other week, social events, amazing benefits, etc. Employees are extremely talented-work working individuals that are easy to work with.

    Cons

    In need of updated office space.

    Magnet Systems Response

    Jun 16, 2015 – VP Human Resoures

    Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective on Magnet; we have built something really exciting and it is the collective focus and our culture that will drive our success.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Things are looking up

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Magnet Systems full-time

    Pros

    Exciting projects and lots of talented people to work with. CEO takes the time to listen to employees. Lots of hard work is required but there is so much opportunity to learn new things and grow with the company.

    Cons

    While things are improving, it's not quite there yet.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the improvements

    Magnet Systems Response

    Jun 16, 2015 – VP Human Resoures

    Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective on Magnet; we have built something really exciting and it is the collective focus and our culture that will drive our success.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (6)

    Matter of time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Magnet Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There is nothing positive to share at all.

    Cons

    Please read and reread the post from April 14th. The person who wrote that review has described the company accurately!

    Advice to Management

    They dont listen,otherwise my advise to them would be fire yourself


  6. Helpful (9)

    This company just keeps bleeding good people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Magnet Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Plenty of good food in Palo Alto? Free parking? Cannot think of anything else really. It was a stressful time working here, so much that I have forgotten all the pros.

    Cons

    I can't write a better review than the guy who has already posted a review titled "Death throes of a startup". He/she has essentially captured what this company is like. CEO doesn't know where to spend his millions. He really doesn't know what to build. He keeps hiring new people and keeps firing old, good employees, putting the blame of his own failure on the people he fires. He has no vision and the company keeps changing direction every so often. The CEO expects the employees to give him something that he could take to the market and build another multi-billion dollar business (as is evident from the responses to other bad reviews by Magnet HR), without giving them proper direction. Overall, smart people, but zero team work.. people look for opportunity to stab each other in the back. That culture is exercised and promoted from the top. Do yourself a justice, there are so many better places to work in the valley. I wish I could give 0 stars for senior management, culture & values, but Glassdoor won't let me.

    Advice to Management

    I really don't have much to advice for the management and giving one will not have an effect anyways. I do have an advice for whoever is left behind after series of layoffs/people quitting.. be empathetic to people being let go constantly... the question is not whether the same will happen to you, the question is when.

    Magnet Systems Response

    Apr 20, 2015 – VP Human Resoures

    The startup life may not suit everyone. Magnet is certainly not the most stressful startup out there. But startups do require employees to accept responsibility and accountability for their work ... More


  7. Excited to be part of the team!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Magnet Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great time to join as the company is growing! We have a diverse team and it's great to see the collaboration of all doing exciting things. I can't wait to show everyone our cool applications!

    Cons

    As we're quickly growing, we'll need a larger office sooner than expected.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for the great opportunity to learn and work with an awesome team!


  8. Helpful (1)

    Reality Bites

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Magnet Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You would be justified to heed caution after reading all the negative reviews below. It's possible that the people writing them believed they were wronged. However, it's also possible that the people who wrote those reviews have an axe to grind. Let me explain. All startups go through growing pains where they have to adjust their strategy, product mix, and people along the way in order to adjust with the changing market conditions and find that magical formula that strikes gold. If the company doesn't adapt, it dies. Magnet is no different. Over its history, it has gone through a few such changes. Technical and management leaders were hired to help guide the company forward. These managers had the freedom to hire staff with the necessary skills to meet the company vision. As it has been the case, some of those managers have moved on because they were unable to effectively execute towards that vision. However, left in their absence were some employees who held allegiance to those individuals rather than the company. Many such individuals were lured to the "glamor" of a startup with glitter in their eyes of making a quick buck towards retirement. High power CEO, marquis investors, lots of money, hot market... where's the risk!!! But of course, when you leave a stable job at a large company with entitlements and clarity of vision, only to find out that life in a startup is no bed of roses... it's a grind and there's lots of risk... it scares the hell out of some people. There's ambiguity all around and the company has to make bets. Of course, when some of those bets don't pay off, then some people are quick to blame the management... CEO sucks... no product... HR is a joke... so on and so on. Rather than asking questions and proposing solutions, they complain among themselves and write negative reviews on Glassdoor. In a startup, every person is responsible for making the company they want it to be. It doesn't happen magically or by decree. I personally know of the dedication and countless waking hours that many people put into the company... all across the board from the CEO, to HR, many engineers, product managers, program managers, etc. by doing a lot of things behind the scenes that the average employee doesn't even see. These people don't toot their horns and advertise all the things they do... but rather take it upon themselves and extend beyond their official job duties to do what's right for the company. Don't get jaded by the loud and cynical views of the few, only to lose sight of the quiet dedication of the many.

    Cons

    A startup is not for the faint-hearted and for someone looking for the easy road to retirement. The target market that Magnet is attacking is huge.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to everyone... not just management: Be open, honest, and constructive. Don't be cynical. Start a dialog and don't be afraid to listen to what the other person has to say.

    Magnet Systems Response

    Dec 7, 2014 – Head of Human Resoures

    As with most startups there is a period of learning curve as the corporate strategy and direction are defined. Understanding the market and focus takes time and research to develop. Magnet has ... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    Lacks vision and direction, don't waste your time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Magnet Systems full-time

    Pros

    Location : downtown palo alto is great. Money : seems to have enough, at least thats what they tell everyone

    Cons

    Everyone is an individual contributor, no team work Lack of direction, no clear idea on what and how to build and sell

    Advice to Management

    None. No one cares to listen anyways.

    Magnet Systems Response

    Dec 7, 2014 – Head of Human Resoures

    Yes we care to listen, preferably in person and not on Glassdoor. There is a definitely a vision and a direction, it's communicated all the time.


  10. Layoffs and hiring at the same time?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Magnet Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Location if you like Palo Alto. The chance to work with few select, talented individuals who are committed to success and get no credit for their hard work. Potentially lucrative market.

    Cons

    All the negative reviews are spot on. The previous review "Reality Bites" is completely off the mark. That windbag lives in an alternate reality. Pun intended. And it is very clear that that review was set to post on the day several people were laid off - so someone who had knowledge that the layoff would happen that day. "HR is a joke" seems to have hit a nerve so that seems to point in a certain direction. So what then, the layoffs were revenge for those people posting bad reviews here? That alone should make you wonder if you'd ever want to work with that individual -- someone who enjoys other people's misfortunes. There were people let go who are on visas and have to leave the country. Another is recovering from a car accident. It's heartless, especially given that Magnet continues to hire and has new people starting. My purpose in posting is just to caution those contemplating job openings/offers not to take a job here or at least be aware what you are stepping into. It all sounds great when you interview, but reality is very different. I, for one, have regretted the decision to join. I think most of us expect a startup to have a fun, modern atmosphere, where you can make a difference, and where your voice can be heard. To work on a cool product or vision. Sadly that is just not the kind of environment Magnet offers. Employees do try to change things from the ground up but are only marginally successful, constantly finding the same resistance to change up at the top. I do not feel Magnet offers an environment where you will feel fulfilled, respected, and appreciated for your hard work, or where you will have an opportunity to grow in your career. In short, if you have other options, I'd think long and hard about joining Magnet. As other reviews have mentioned, money is running out probably early 2015, and I get the feeling there is a considerable amount of pressure at this point from the board to "do or die".

    Advice to Management

    Hire smart people and get out of their way; stop playing favorites and protecting ineffective employees who don't contribute. Treat all employees equally. Managers/CEO are too isolated at the top; in the last 6 months, employees have become afraid to speak up for fear of retribution, not necessarily from the CEO but from those who are favored and have the CEO's ear, such as the windbag who wrote the Reality Bites review.


  11. Helpful (7)

    Death throes of a startup

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Location is great, office is decent for startup. Bagels once week, company meeting biweekly with lunch served. Lots of good folks below top level mgt

    Cons

    Sadly this startup is in the death throes of failure, circling the drain. There may be some money left to keep it going a bit longer, but there is now a smell of desperation. No one knows what direction it's heading and half the staff is sitting idle. Don't buy into the positive reviews on here. They are merely posted to mitigate the negative reviews, probably by upper mgt and those who are biased b/c of the large amounts of stock they hold. There is much dissatisfaction in the ranks. CEO does not appear to understand the market place or how to build an engineering team - doesn't understand scrum or agile practices. He knows he has dysfunctional managers but won't replace them. Instead hires a better candidate and lets them work side by side, duking it out. Very uncomfortable situation. Typically new hires are excited at first until they are janked back and forth a few times with product vision changes, many of which make no sense. Then they get the deer in the headlight look. Soon after they are gone. Those left are banking that the CEO's reputation will magically carry him to success, or are simply happy getting a paycheck. However, even some of those supporters are now wavering as well... CEO's behavior is erratic at times; one day he'll say a weekly meeting is useless and will be canceled unless the format changes, and that's the last you'll hear of it. He seems to change his mind constantly depending on what others whisper in his ear. No open door policy at all, bit of a prima donna. Only those favored get to speak with him. The cofounder is useless and concerns herself mostly with office rearranging .. which then also never happens. HR .. don't even start, just keep walking. There are many talented people there who all seem quite sad to have been sucked into this hopeless vortex. Stock is highly overvalued.

    Advice to Management

    I wish I could offer encouragement, but I'm not sure there's hope...

    Magnet Systems Response

    Dec 7, 2014 – Head of Human Resoures

    I’ll start, talk to us, come and talk to me. No one should just ride on a CEO’s reputation, although we do have a wonderful CEO. He and we do have an open door policy, in fact we don’t have very ... More



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