Palantir Technologies

  www.palantir.com
  www.palantir.com

Palantir Technologies Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
92 Reviews
3.8
92 Reviews
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Palantir Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alex Karp
Alex Karp
77 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • A great place to solve tough problems and have smart people as peers (in 9 reviews)

  • Really fun, lots of great perks and great people (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Burnout is real bad at this company, not good for work life balance (in 17 reviews)

  • The company has done a great job at adapting to its growing pains as they come up (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent experience

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

    I worked at Palantir Technologies

    Pros

    Suberbly intelligent and passionate people to work with. Feel like your day-to-day actually contributes to a positive cause--very rewarding.

    Cons

    A little too much self back-batting; try not to drink the Kool-aid too much.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Most important work I've ever done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Deployment Strategist in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Deployment Strategist in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    IMPACT! - I've worked in several other industries, and no matter where I was, I was never inspired by my work. My coworkers and I counted our vacation hours, worked from home, and took long lunches. Palantir is completely, utterly, totally different. I love my work here, and I'm inspired to do phenomenal work not just for some promotion or title but for a greater good in the world. A lot of the reviews I've read about Palantir talk about working hard, and that's definitely true, but I'd rather spend 50 hours a week doing something I believe in than 5 hours a week doing something I don't.

    Autonomy - I don't have a boss - none of us do. How cool is that? I get to decide what I need to do to do a great job. Nobody's making sure I'm at my desk by 9 or assigning me Powerpoints at 5pm. Since I have the most context on my deployment, I'm empowered to do what I think is right. If I see something wrong, the onus is on me to fix it. Not once have I ever felt I was doing something just because someone else told me to.

    People - Before Palantir, I had never worked somewhere where everyone was smart and dedicated. I'll probably never have this experience after Palantir either. From the CEO (on the road like 300 days a year) to the guys serving breakfast in the morning, everyone is here to crush their job. It's incredibly inspiring.

    It's actually fun to be here - Nerf fights, puppies running around, colleagues riding around on Razor scooters and playing FIFA... I actually LIKE being at work. So few people get to say that, and I feel really lucky.

    Cons

    Comp - The salary cap is obviously inconvenient, but I still ended up with a raise to come here, and I probably would have taken a pay cut to do this work anyway. Nobody here is going hungry, and we've got upside in our equity.

    Location - Tyson's Corner (where the DC office is located) is really inconvenient. Palantir is moving the office to Georgetown, which should be a huge improvement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Haha, this is kind of a silly question. We're all empowered to fix things that are broken and take the lead on things we find important or that we'd be good at, so it's weird to me to think of Palantir as having "management" without thinking of all of us.

    If this means the CEO and the handful of Directors, then I'd tell them to send more frequent updates on big developments in the business (not just limit news to Beer Syncs). We do get a ton of e-mail, but a bi-weekly or monthly update would help a lot with SA.

    Lastly, we all know we need more people. We can't lower the bar to bring people in, but we can invest even more in Recruiting to make sure we've got the resources we need.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Very niche culture

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

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

    Pros

    Best idea wins culture
    Very flat organization
    Good salaries and benefits
    Great employees

    Cons

    Too early to tell as I just started

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 23 people found this helpful  

    Needs to be honest with recruits, work/life balance non-existent for good workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This company provides a lot of opportunities to come and go as you please. You get to travel a lot with the company. Food and perks are beyond any other company. Casual environment makes it more pleasant to be there.

    Cons

    I was stunned when I found out that leadership asked people to fill out positive reviews on glassdoor, you'll see a stacked amount of reviews for the DC office in a span of two days. I am already looking for another job since this place has bait and switched on what I would be doing. A lot of the negative reviews are covered up, but there's a lot of truth: low pay, bad work life balance, and lack of good hiring or recruiting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop covering up what it's like - having your senior people write glassdoor reviews is a bad sign. I feel like my recruiter was lying about the opportunities of what I'll be doing so I think some of the posts are accurate. Low pay is a huge issue - equity is not as good for newer employees. Be honest and stop piling on glassdoor reviews to cover the truth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Less of a job than a journey

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The variety and access to interesting work is unparalleled - both in terms of the business outcomes and the technologies we use. Palantir really does try to stick to its mission statement of solving the world's toughest problems.

    Huge amounts of autonomy - management generally trusts employees to spend their time in a way that make sense. Customer engagements are generally modeled and run as "mini-Palantirs" with a lot of discretion given to the 4-7 people assigned to that project.

    Growth and ownership of outcomes - since things are generally run so independently, it means that you're directly responsible for the outcome of >7 figure contracts, along with both the learning (and pain) that comes from dealing with something of that magnitude. Top performers are recognized and rewarded with increased responsibility/autonomy. Palantir is also growing so fast there's so much work to be done that there is lots of opportunity to step up and own transformational pieces of the business.

    Working with incredibly smart and inspirational people - Palantirians comes from all walks of life (military, YCombinator, private equity, public service...) but they were pretty much all top performers in their previous vocation. You tend to become very close with people who go through fires with. They're also generally humble and awesome people. I consider some of my coworkers to be my closest friends.

    Cons

    The all-consuming nature of the work - due to the nature of our engagements and the fact that you're generally directly on the hook for its success or failure, the hours can be very long. Tackling the world's most difficult problems can sometimes translate into getting the less glamorous stuff done such as dealing with difficult clients or debugging production outages at 5am. Different people have different lifestyle needs and Palantir tries to ensure that employees don't get burnt out, but the job is definitely not for the faint of heart.

    Below-market cash compensation - Palantir is proactive about identifying top performers and ensuring that their compensation structures are aligned with their contributions, but a large part of that is rewarded in the form of equity. Means that if Palantir keeps on growing then they will be handsomely rewarded, but worth noting that a lot of these people could be making 300-500k+ working working at Bain or even at other tech companies.

    Breakneck growth means that things can be chaotic... Palantir has doubled in size since I joined two and a half years ago and some of our internal machines have definitely not scaled. A lot of work is currently being done to improve things like recruiting and lead expectations, but still plenty of work to be done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As we grow, be sure that our top talent still feels appreciated and motivated while also making sure that new hires understand and buy into the mission. Important for us to mature from a startup to the world's most important company but equally important that we don't become a faceless corporation. Stay true to the values and mission statement that got us here.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Impactful work, interesting problems, great people, and more

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The first thing that I tell friends interested in Palantir is that I can't imagine working anywhere else and that while I have done some really interesting work in previous jobs, there is no way I would ever consider going back to them over staying at Palantir.

    The work is demanding and impactful, the organization is empowering, the people are impressive and great to work with, and up and down the company is always seeking ways to improve. I always did interesting work prior to joining Palantir, but I was also always looking for side projects, new opportunities, the next thing. Since joining Palantir I have done more than just interesting work, I've become part of an organization that I believe in. I've not just been given countless opportunities to own things at company, it has been demanded that I own things. Whereas previous jobs I might have been told, "that's not your concern" at Palantir I am told, "If it seems broken, help fix it. Make it better." and have then been given the support to make that happen.

    In addition to the work itself, the company culture is fantastic. I enjoy the company of just about everyone I work with and have had the opportunity to turn a fair share of my colleagues into great friends. And while the growth of the company can make it feel a bit less 'homey', I continue to meet great people constantly. Other than the people, the offices are awesome. The support from our operations people is amazing, from the quality of food I get to eat to the events that are planned on my behalf. It is easy to take those things for granted but they are pretty great.

    Cons

    Since Palantir is based out of Palo Alto, a lot of internal meetings tend to later in the day East Coast time. This can complicate things for those of us with families to go home to. That said, I usually just take these meetings from home.

    We are much better at learning by doing than by formalized (classroom style) education, which can sometimes mean that it is hard to learn something completely new if it is unrelated to the specific work you are doing. The company is working to expand other types of learning, and I've found that I've learned so much by doing that I hardly have time to think about additional educational opportunities, but there is room for improvement here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just look at the title of this section: "Advice to Management". It is almost implied that I can't engage management directly with my advice. The section's title should be a reminder that most people who come to Palantir are not used to being expected to help make an organization better, to identify when things are going wrong, and to take ownership of making them better. Most people are used to not being listened to. So, never assume that because you tell them they will understand. You need to show them and push them to be owners. Otherwise, they will internalize and we will all be worse off for it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Always learning while working on interesting and impactful problems.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Employees at Palantir work on difficult problems that make a real difference in the world. The problems we work on will make you want to work harder and smarter than you ever have before. There are few things more satisfying than seeing directly the impact your work is having on the world.

    You also get to work with some of the most talented co-workers that also share this same sense of mission and support you along the way. I've learned a ton from them over the time I've been here and continue to learn more every day.

    Cons

    Depending on the projects I'm working on at any given time, I definitely have a tendency to work longer hours. Although I do this by choice, it can definitely start to wear you out over time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great opportunities, but you have to earn it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Really unlike any engineering job available. Cool and nuanced projects, incredible international travel opportunities that are always available, and complete independence in how you complete your work. No one will ever judge you solely on your timesheet, they don't exist; but instead you are rated on completely on your outcomes.

    Cons

    With no timesheets, overtime bills, and everyone being incredibly busy; its very easy to dig yourself into working very long hours without help on the way.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amazing Learning Experience, Took Return Offer Immediately"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Forward Deployed Engineer in New York, NY

    I worked at Palantir Technologies as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The engineers that I worked with were top notched, best in the game. Everyone had their stuff together and I felt that I was constantly something from them, whether it was design, libraries/tools, time/resources management and client interaction.

    Work/life balance is very good, no one really expects you to be there at a certain timeframe, just get your work done. Some days I would be in the office from 9 - 5, others from noon - 9 or 10 simply because I wanted to be there, enjoyed the work and had a productive streak going. The culture was very conducive to being as productive as possible, completing as much work in as short of timeframe as possible.

    Really enjoyed my experience as an intern, so it wasn't too hard when it came time to make my decision between Palantir and other big players in the tech space. Compensation was very good, at least as comparable to other firms if not more if the equity plays out (which is extremely realistic even at current financials of the company, given current trading multiples in the tech industry).

    Cons

    Food can be a little lackluster sometimes, especially after the first few 'honeymoon' weeks.

    Although the company promotes a 'flat' organization, eventually (such as now with the current size) the company can no longer remain flat and productive. Sometimes the flat culture stressed here seemed likely to get in the way of getting work done effectively. Moving towards a more clear-cut and defined structure for the organization may be the better idea as the company continues to expand rapidly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    smartest people, rapid growth and opps for development

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

    I have been working at Palantir Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - smartest group of coworkers i could imagine; i believe most are smarter than me, which is a great environment
    - hyper growth means people are asked to perform several levels above what any more traditional company would allow them
    - low overhead - very little approval required to do anything (e.g., travel, meet clients, expenses)
    - lots of access to hard, meaningful problems
    - very easy access to all levels of leadership

    Cons

    - non-competitive cash comp
    - intense work hours

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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