Monsoon Commerce Reviews

Updated April 28, 2015
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3.3
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Tommaso Trionfi
2 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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  1. A great place to grow

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Oregon in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Oregon in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time

    Pros

    It's a positive workplace with great coworkers and a lot of autonomy. Everyone is engaged in their work and there are opportunities to advance your career, even in a smaller organization.

    Cons

    There have been struggles over a united vision and mission for the company in the last few years.

    Advice to Management

    Communication with employees on plans, successes and challenges is essential. The official communication on these important topics are too far and few between.


  2. This is the job I've been looking for!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I came to Monsoon looking for a more vibrant and dynamic workplace culture, and I found it in spades! The company offers everything I could want in a career position: a convenient and cool downtown location, hugely flexible scheduling, reasonable compensation, and a friendly, supportive, collegial culture. I appreciate how eager engineers here are to improve, and how willing they are to leave their egos at the door. Additionally, the management team is friendly, accessible, and reasonable.

    Cons

    I am fortunate to be a new enough employee to have avoided most of the recent management churn, but some of its legacy lingers. In the 7 months I've been here, it's definitely improving, but I feel like there's still a bit of foundering occurring at the executive while the company works through the process of figuring out what they want to be.

    Advice to Management

    While I appreciate how accessible management is, and how open they are to negotiation, the last few months have shown a bit of a 'moving target' problem. On the other hand, this is the most transparent management team I've ever seen, and I'm deeply appreciative of that.


  3. Excellent culture

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

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This review pertains to Alibris, the Emeryville-based marketplace owned by Monsoon Commerce. A high percentage of Alibris employees have worked at the company for 5+ years. Overall, employees are competent, hard-working and smart. There are good people here. Work-life balance is ideal. Dogs welcome.

    Cons

    Flat growth quarter after quarter has taken its toll on morale and leadership changes have introduced instability within key teams. Compensation increases are hard to come by.


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  5. Great people, great technology.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My coworkers are the best people I know, and I get to work with current technology with continuous deployment. What's not to love?

    Cons

    Some recent shake-ups in senior management have lead to a sense of unease and uncertainty among people who do the technical work, but that's getting better as we get to know our new leaders.

    Advice to Management

    You're headed in the right direction, just keep pushing!


  6. Helpful (3)

    Going downhill fast

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce full-time

    Pros

    Great co-workers. Most of the people at Alibris are what make the employees want to stay. The salary was decent

    Cons

    Lack of transparency and outright lies to employees. Poor, inexperienced leadership (mainly directors promoted into their positions without the needed experience), no plan for future growth, old technology, no clear direction, no training for managers (which is sorely needed), petty,catty behavior among many in leadership positions, "me vs them" mentality (again among many in leadership roles), departments are very isolated from each other and do not work together. The benefits are not great even if HR thinks they are

    Advice to Management

    Stop lying to employees. Don't say there will be no more layoffs when you are laying people off and telling them to say it's voluntary. Stop asking those in leadership positions to lie to their teams and telling them there are no more layoffs. Employees talk and word spreads fast. For such a small company it is amazing the drama and lies that are going on. Stop getting rid of very talented, knowledgeable employees just to save yourselves a few bucks (these people are the main reason the company hasn't crashed and burned yet). No one trusts the current HR team. You may have noticed this. You got rid of all the people that were helpful, trustworthy, and that the employees related to. Get some training for the current Managers and Directors. Most have never been in these roles and have no idea how to manage and relate to their subordinates. Several people have left due to catty, petty behavior of leadership. This isn't high school. I understand that there will always be conflicts but when people have yelling matches and curse at people in meetings, there's a problem. The culture is changing rapidly and not for the better. Most people came to Alibris for the work/life balance, location, and people. Stop trying to change the company into something it isn't. Several people have left and have explicitly stated their issues in exit interviews. Complaints are very consistent. You should look into those. Hire people with experience. Don't simply promote people into roles that they can not do.


  7. Helpful (1)

    The Portland dev staff is one of the best groups of people you'll work with.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent compensation, really tight work culture ("corporate exercises" aren't even awkward or gross, corporate parties are fun, many co-workers are actually real genuine friends with each other). Products get shipped. Tech debt gets fixed. Highest Joel Score of any shop I've worked at in Portland thus far. There are many 5+ year veterans, which speaks to a company that treats its employees well, especially in tech.

    Cons

    There is a huge burst of turnover going on. Most of the veterans are engineers on the most stable cash-cow product, or staff in sales and accounting. Senior level people are bailing out (in some cases after promotions!) and being replaced with internal promotions which are insufficiently well-thought-out.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out why there aren't so many veterans in all the non-Pro, non-sales, non-accounting teams and fix it. Select new managers based on a sane process. You are playing chess; don't be forced into reaction mode when your plans go awry and grasp at the first promise of salvation - take time, think about it, and as always - talk to the rank and file. They'll tell you the real deal, especially with an anonymous comment mechanism.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Great People, Poor Leadership

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Portland Development group is one of the best group of folks I've interacted with. There are great people throughout the company and a positive company culture in general. They allow dogs at work which is great.

    Cons

    Total lack of strategic leadership. Poor communication and lack of people skills by CEO and HR. Many experienced people are leaving as are their core customers. Declining market share and relevance in the industry. The exec staff lacks relevant experience to be successful.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a new CEO, build out the exec staff, pivot. Take care of your people.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Unhappy People, Inexperienced Leadership-Management Team

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are great specific people that make the company enjoyable to work at. The work-life balance is OK depending on your position. The salary is decent.

    Cons

    Huge turnover of employees due to unhappiness of leadership and management teams. Many of the roles are due to undeserving attrition, which produces inexperienced leaders. The career path is slim depending on what role you have as you may be the only person who knows how to do your job that no one else in the company understands. There are a few who play the politics game that you may have to watch out for. The book industry has proven difficult to compete in and is a declining industry. Unable to innovate fast enough due to high turnover and inexperience. The culture was one of the best to work in but has lowered in quality due to two lay-offs within a year and numerous management and leadership changes. The company cares to encourage people to work only to have them produce more results in comparison to actually caring about their well-being. There is too much job responsibility on one person. The benefits and 401k are bad.

    Advice to Management

    Having immediate promotions after announcements of core people leaving the company isn't fooling anyone. Hire experienced people with actual leadership and management skills. Offer better benefits.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Good company with great people.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Strategic Client Manager in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Strategic Client Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible, good benefits, great clients and co-workers, challenging environment, highly convenient location, very good work/life balance. Took great care of me during my tenure.

    Cons

    Constant change (I reported to 5 people in as many years), salaries stagnated, not much room for advancement, longer-tenure employees became apathetic, very large layoff in 2012.

    Advice to Management

    Listen more deeply to both employees and clients.


  11. The ground is coming up fast

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good culture. Friendly. Smart. Engaged.

    Cons

    Bad business. Still rests on used books.

    Advice to Management

    If you don't have an exit strategy for the company, you might want one for yourself.



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