Monsoon Commerce Reviews

Updated April 23, 2014
Updated April 23, 2014
14 Reviews

3.1
14 Reviews
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Tommaso Trionfi
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Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going downhill fast

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great People, Poor Leadership

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unhappy People, Inexperienced Leadership-Management Team

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good company with great people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Strategic Client Manager  in  Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Strategic Client Manager in Portland, OR

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    Listen more deeply to both employees and clients.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    The ground is coming up fast

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

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good culture. Friendly. Smart. Engaged.

    Cons

    Bad business. Still rests on used books.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A good place to work and be challenged

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Operations  in  Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - IT Operations in Emeryville, CA

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people are great, and caring. The work can be challenging and complicated but you are given a lot of leeway and autonomy. Work/life balance is excellent.

    Cons

    Benefits are ok. Management has gone through some turnover and sometimes it can feel chaotic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire good folks who can carry on the super cool culture.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Used to be better

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

    I worked at Monsoon Commerce

    Pros

    Nice group of people. Convenient location in Emeryville

    Cons

    It's getting worse over time - removal of benefits, cancellation of interesting projects, etc.

  10.  

    Declining returns on once profitable company erodes once vibrant culture.

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, convenient location.

    Cons

    Below industry standard wages, lack of internal advancement opportunities for upper level positions, reduced benefits, zero bonus payouts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in employees, not in shiny pennies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Used to be an amazing place, can we get that back?

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

    I have been working at Monsoon Commerce full-time

    Pros

    Excellent work/life balance, friendly and fun coworkers, great benefits and time-off, family and pet-friendly environment. Generous opportunities for advancement into different fields of interest, be it QA, CS, DBA, Marketing, IT, etc. etc. Regardless of job title and/or skills, everyone works together as a team to support each other and share responsibilities. Open-door policy, whoever you are - you can grab lunch and talk with anyone from the CEO to the office manager with openness and ease. Casual/comfortable dress, wear a button-up shirt and tie if that's your thing, or roll out of bed and throw on flip-flops and jeans.

    Cons

    Changes in upper level management and the new approach to company culture has left many feeling disgusted and looking for other job opportunities - it's now an environment of distrust and instability. Zero inter-office communication and collaboration, our 3 locations may as well still be different and independent companies. Quite a lot of short-term, "good enough" fixes that compound problematic system issues in the long run. Uncertainty of where the company plans to be in the future, and how it will evolve with the changing world.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    After the recent rounds of restructuring, your employees are feeling shock, fear, and low morale. People are overwhelmed and over-worked, and don't want to hear how they can take on more responsibility to "stretch their wings" or "expand and grow their skills". Hire some help, even if it's just a few contractors to help alleviate the immediate burdens. Empathize and support your people into believing in the company vision again, rejuvenate their enthusiasm and happiness to come work for you... you're beginning to come off as corporate, uncaring, and passive-aggressive.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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