SAY Media

www.saymedia.com
Employer Engaged

SAY Media Reviews

Updated February 11, 2015
Updated February 11, 2015
62 Reviews
3.2
62 Reviews
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Matt Sanchez
23 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Unlimited vacation, good location in SOMA (in 7 reviews)

  • SAY Media pays well and offers a great vacation policy (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Benefits are average if you are single and don't care about 401K matching (in 3 reviews)

  • Constant Change and at times overly ambitious (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Lots of challenges and problems to solve!

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

    I have been working at SAY Media full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity to make an impact and interesting problems to solve. Great work-life balance with good vacation. The management structure is fairly flat so there is a lot of opportunity to have an opinion in the direction the technology is going. There are a lot of great engineers with a very open attitude towards teaching and learning new things; it's easy to grow here.

    Cons

    The business has pivoted a few times in the past, which can lead to some disarray, but growing out of startup mode and into a sustained business is not easy to do and sometimes the fat needs to be trimmed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick with the current plan and grow the technology.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Really fun place to work

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

    I worked at SAY Media full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing people. I was consistently impressed with the quality of people Say Media is able to attract. The workforce is a good mix of young people fresh out of college to 20+ year industry veterans. Very culturally diverse as well.

    Cons

    Say Media is in the online content and advertising industry. That industry is very unpredictable with piles of competition. This makes executive management of the company extremely difficult. I saw the exec team make some really hard decisions that negatively impacted many people. Employee benefits are somewhat bare bones. No matching 401k. Middle of the line HSA health insurance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more open with your employees in terms of problems the business is facing. Your employees more loyal than you think they are. If faced with a challenge, they would rather find a solution than give up and quit.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Be prepared to be challenged to solve interesting problems!

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

    I have been working at SAY Media full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hard fun problems, good coworkers, and a fun atmosphere. Know that you will have to work hard to solve a wide variety of problems.

    Cons

    The digital media industry is undergoing rapid change. Many of the problems you will face are hard to define or poorly defined.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to be more aware that most people are not that comfortable with instability.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Always a new challenge

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

    I have been working at SAY Media

    Pros

    Say Media has changed a lot during my tenure, from an ad network to a media company and now to a product/tech company focused on reinventing online publishing in the likeness of glossy magazines rather than tabloid newspapers. The new direction means that the company is positioned as a startup but benefits from the revenue streams of the older businesses.

    For someone who enjoys being challenged to think outside the box and embrace change, engineering at Say is exciting and there's lots of potential for individual impact as well as great teamwork.

    The founders are friendly and always willing to talk frankly about the business in a one-on-one setting, including both successes and challenges.

    Flexible work hours allow for great work/life balance, with accommodation for both regular and unexpected life interruptions. Work expectations are reasonable and flexible, with individual contributors driving project planning and scheduling aside from occasional exceptional circumstances. Individual contributors are trusted and encouraged to work autonomously and set their own technical direction, and share results with the rest of the team.

    There is lots of room for career growth in Engineering, with most employees having been promoted at least once during their tenure and separate defined career tracks for technical management, architects and distinguished engineers. A driven employee can learn a lot at Say, and where growth isn't possible the culture supports and celebrates employees who grow as far as they can at Say and then use those skills to earn a promotion while moving to another company.

    Management is lightweight and those in more senior roles all spend lots of their time acting as individual contributors.

    Cons

    Benefits are average when compared to similar companies in the area.

    Broadcast communication from management (as opposed to one-on-one conversation) is inconsistent, and in a few instances I have felt that better decisions could be made if team members had been better informed about forthcoming changes.

    The business environment is constantly changing and so priorities can shift rapidly from one quarter to the next, which presents challenges for longer-term engineering efforts and can cause more cautious development increments, which can be frustrating.

    Office environment is open plan and can be noisy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be less cautious about sharing details on upcoming strategy changes and trust employees to respect confidentiality when warranted.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Business is business

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

    I worked at SAY Media

    Pros

    The people who still work at this company are amazing optimists, able to see the best in a terrible situation and still feel like it will turn out okay.

    Cons

    Part of the reason to work at a startup is the passion your fellow workmates have for the company. It's infectious and great to feel like you're making something amazing. The other reason is the perks and vesting with the potential to make it big via ipo or the like.

    Say's perks are a joke. Occasional lunch, free soda, investment opportunity in a company that will eventually be literally worthless (as just happened to fully vested employees). If they decide layoffs are the best course of action, everyone gets 1 week severance, even if you've been there for 6 years. Don't forget that Say's management is not your family. They'll drop you in a heartbeat if it'll save their butts.

    If you want to work here, decline the options they offer and ask for a higher salary instead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's too late to do the right thing. You've made your choices to sacrifice people who loved your company in exchange for money. Faith in your company is ruined. Enjoy your slowly sinking ship.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Enjoyed most colleagues and the work I was responsible for but was disappointed at how quickly things went sour

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

    I worked at SAY Media full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Smart, driven, experienced colleagues that are friendly in and out of the office. Lots of projects to get your hands dirty and take advantage of. Great benefits including reimbursement for transit and cell phone. Advanced products and processes to streamline workflow.

    Cons

    Too many pivots at the cost of great talent. Sneaky, conniving sales folk who are cut throat in getting there way and are ungrateful to those who help them sell-through and manage campaigns. Upper management does not enforce positive company culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide on a strategy and stick with it. Empower your employees to be better versions of themselves. Give bonuses outside of the Sales team. Promote diversity, culture, and mentorship earnestly. Say please and thank you to those who work so hard to make your vision come true.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Failed business models, constant change, minimal communication

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

    I have been working at SAY Media full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Nice office, great teammates, amazing offices in San Francisco and New York, unlimited vacation, use of Google apps throughout pipeline.

    Cons

    Say Media does not give raises. The only way to increase your pay is to get a "promotion" or a title change which is incredibly difficult in a company that is continuously shrinking and shrinking and shrinking. I have watched many of my teammates be laid off in the name of failed business model after failed business model. The problem is that this company can not stick to one thing OR they do not know how to be profitable. A lot people here are inexperienced but hired because they will take a lower salary.

    Truthfully, I had a poor feeling from the minute I started and was right. Everything from on-boarding to the office vibe felt off. Next time, I will listen to my intuition.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Junior Designer

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

    I have been working at SAY Media

    Pros

    Great Atmosphere, Awesome People, Great Benefits

    Cons

    Leadership doesn't seem to care about their employees, I've seen entire teams laid off with less than a week's notice

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fun while it lasted

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

    I worked at SAY Media

    Pros

    Amazing sharp talent. Very social environment, good benefits, unlimited vacation.

    Cons

    Too many changes, everyone is disposable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great culture, not so great upper management

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

    I worked at SAY Media full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    fun. good life and work balance. some of them are very very talented.

    Cons

    no 401k matching. upper management was very baring

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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