Second Sight Reviews

Updated June 16, 2015
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  1. Great Company

    Former Employee - California in Sylmar, CA
    Former Employee - California in Sylmar, CA

    I worked at Second Sight full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Most innovative product in medical device industry

    Cons

    small size company,,, for now but growing fast


  2. Employee beware!

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

    I worked at Second Sight full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you are a good con man/woman, you can get away with anything and you will be loved.

    Cons

    If you are a productive employee and accomplish things, but lack the ability to con management, you will fail.

    Advice to Management

    Learn How to manage


  3. Good Work Experience for Starting Engineers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Sylmar, CA
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Sylmar, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Second Sight full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Innovative product, pretty good crew of employees and management. This is Al Mann's poster child, so he will not let it die. Mann's got a pretty good track record of enduring through a difficult development period to a successful end product. The company has a tight budget, so they tend to hire low cost engineers fresh out of college. This is a great opportunity to get your feet wet in medical device engineering.

    Cons

    Most of the interesting research and development work has already been done. What's left are mainly just the tedious chores of manufacturing operations and regulatory paperwork. Compensation and opportunity for advancement is not good, so most engineers will want to move on to something else after a couple years. I'm not convinced the product itself deserves the hype it has received or the stock valuation. Actual product performance in patients has been mixed, but only the best performing patients have been highlighted in publicity. I expect many patients will be disappointed by low quality and low utility of "vision" that the device actually offers, and the long term sales will flounder. This device will not have the impact and market footprint of something like a cochlear implant or pacemaker. Also, I fear there is a high risk that the company's one product will be made obsolete by alternative treatment options, such as stem cell treatment. I worry that the IPO may have been conceived as a cash grab for the owners, so that they can milk the cow for another 10 years before it goes dry.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, and pray that your product suddenly starts working better and sales improve.


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  5. Great company to start out as a young engineer, but is held back by a lack of advanced opportunities and compensation.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Sylmar, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Sylmar, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Second Sight full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is a small company and as an engineer, you will have many responsibilities in a wide variety of work. The people you will work with are all very easygoing and pleasant. The culture is fairly laid back, although that may depend on the department you are in. The company mission is very interesting and if you want to contribute directly to the creation of new medical technology, this is the place. If you are extremely self motivated and willing to teach yourself and pursue your own projects, you will definitely have the freedom to do so here.

    Cons

    The management of projects has not been very good. There is the habit of picking up many small projects and losing focus on the big picture. A significant amount of the work is not towards real, forward progress of the product, but rather just fixing manufacturing mistakes or making insignificant changes. Upper management seems afraid of making big changes because of regulatory burden, but such is the nature of the medical device industry. The worst thing about the company has to be compensation. It is much lower than you would expect for the talent required, and as a result the turnover, especially for younger engineers, is very high. Nearly everyone has left after 2-3 years for much better pay elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Maintain focus on larger projects and try to acquire some specialization with your engineers. Increase compensation so you can hold onto talent.


  6. A major management mis-step that leads to poor morale

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

    I have been working at Second Sight full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Many excellent and friendly people in the work place. - A lot of opportunity to grow in career. - Not much politics in the company. - Fast pace environment. - CEO has the open door policy. He is friendly, willing to listen to constructive feedback from the employees and take steps to improve work conditions.

    Cons

    - Lack of resource to conduct important developmental work. - Management took a mis-step to time the major layoff at the time when employees are at the highest work morale and best company outlook. As a result, the whole company morale drop to the floor level and leading to many committed key people leaving. - Lack of communication between the upper management and employees in the past 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    Seek to understand and improve the work morale of the employee. Give employee the excitement to work at the company. Assure the employee the stability and future of the company. Cultivate and promote a good working environment. It is a cool and rewarding product to work on, but the environment and perception does not reflect that.


  7. Pitiful to waste such fabulous potential

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

    I have been working at Second Sight full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Most employees want to help humanity.

    Cons

    Very poor management - seem to be incapable of making a decision, they get together in a group to hire consultants to make their decisions for them. Has done a couple of layoffs that they don't call layoffs - those of us remaining call them a layoff and wonder when it will be our turn. After these layoffs which are supposed to be about saving money, they hire more consultants - are they working for free?

    Advice to Management

    Most of the people you need to move forward are looking for another gig, is that really what you want?


  8. Helpful (2)

    FDA Approval & Lay Off at the same time?

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

    I have been working at Second Sight full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Founded by one of the greatest inventors of the 20th Century - Al Mann

    Cons

    company doesn't know how to manage its money or its people - we are celebrating fda approval at the same time we are laying off employees without any warning - this will be a fun party (fail).

    Advice to Management

    go take a class or bring in a consultant but learn how to motivate people and encourage them to give their best. a site like mint can help you learn to manage money so we aren't laying off when we should be kicking into high gear.


  9. Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Second Sight full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Small company feel with tons of flexibility.

    Cons

    Sylmar is not the ideal location



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