SAY Media Reviews

Updated March 31, 2015
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3.0
67 Reviews
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Matt Sanchez
24 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great people

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    I've never worked with better folks. Creative, interesting, hardworking (and hard playing!)

    Cons

    Lack of structure meant job insecurity (also: see the massive layoffs.) Despite stated value of transparency, completely opaque communication with executive team.

    Advice to Management

    Increase transparency, even if the news is bad. Do your best to remove nepotism and improve career structures for folks outside of dev.

  2. Most talented group of passionate yet weirdly awesome people I have ever worked with.

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Company culture is a lot of fun, expectations are usually very flexible, and people care more about getting a well-tested, long-term solution than just finding hack-y, temporary fixes. Also, dog-friendly office and my coworkers are my friends.

    Cons

    Lots of business changes have been somewhat weird to work around, and there's sometimes a frustrating disconnect between the engineers and upper management.

    Advice to Management

    We can't afford to consider tech debt as low-priority forever! The longer it takes for us to do cleanup, the more potential issues we're going to run into in the future.

  3. Fun company.

    • 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 full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, flexible vacation time, competitive salary

    Cons

    Low morale, high turn over

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


  5. 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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    Stick with the current plan and grow the technology.

  6. Helpful (1)

    Great during the earlier Say days but not the same company

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

    I worked at SAY Media

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

    Pros

    Smart, creative, hard working loyal employees.

    Cons

    Vague & indirect management - managers communicate with assumptions, generalities & lack of direction.

    Does not:

    1. Give constructive feedback in private.
    2. Follow up on employee ideas.
    3. Give frequent praise.
    4. Support employee development.
    5. Allow flexibility and realistic freedoms.
    6. Communicate directly and specifically.
    7. Demonstrate that you care.
    8. Allow employees to share and shine.
    9. Respect individual differences.
    10. Admit it when you’re wrong.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Confused management, low morale, no career growth

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

    I have been working at SAY Media full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great vacation policy, good teammates, nice offices. Solid challenges to solve in an ever evolving environment.

    Cons

    Upper management is disconnected with the company and nobody seems to care that there is a sizable talent bleed and workers keep quitting. People are promoted for being buddies with the right people even though they are not right for the job. The management team is male heavy and many of them treat women in the company as if they are dumb. Upper management is mostly focused on blame games because the company has a reputation of laying off or firing their VPs and employees at the drop of a hat.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to who is actually doing good work. Stop promoting people because they are your drinking buddy. Do something about the continuous talent bleed. Appreciate the people that work hard for you even though you treat employees like they are expendable.

  8. 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)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

  9. Helpful (5)

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

  10. Helpful (1)

    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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

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

  11. Helpful (1)

    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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

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

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