Sezmi Corporation Reviews

Updated August 17, 2015
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2.6
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Peter Heiland (KIT Digital)
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  1. Amazing Idea with Trouble in The Details

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sezmi Corporation full-time

    Pros

    Sezmi intended, brilliantly, to leverage the broadcast bandwidth made available by the government-mandated transition away from analog TV broadcasts. The idea was to lease the suddenly-available spare bandwidth to deliver subscription content. Furthermore, we were pioneering some of the predictive delivery technology to further optimize bandwidth use. We made it into several test markets and into a couple of big retail outlets. There were plans to build a unique user interface and remote unit and to make the whole experience revolutionary for a TV viewer. Really we were shooting for the moon.

    Cons

    The company was divided into an east-coast division that did most engineering and a west-coast division that did sales and management. Internal politics seemed to become a problem as pressure increased. Unforeseen problems with the technology and with content and bandwidth acquisition caused other problems and so increased the coastal rivalry. A blame game ensued that caused some demoralization.

    Advice to Management

    Know your team and hire for integrity as much as for technical expertise. Be suspicious when the problem always seems to be with the team that's not in your office. Reward honesty.


  2. A very dysfunctional organization.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Software Engineer in Belmont, CA
    Former Contractor - Software Engineer in Belmont, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sezmi Corporation as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The business concept is very strong, with the right connections to get amazing content.

    Cons

    They seem to have difficulty in honoring their contracts/obligations. Time and time again they failed to pay vendors on time and in some cases even wrote bad checks. I don't know how writing a check without the funds to back it up is anything other than fraud, but maybe I'm being too harsh. Or maybe not.


  3. Ok, not great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Content Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Sezmi Corporation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It was a start-up and had all the things going for it (day-to-day) that most start-ups do. Free Food and drink, casual but slightly exciting work environment, stock-options, etc.

    Cons

    Mismanaged big-time. Developed poorly, business stratgey changed something like 4 times. There were some good ideas but the execution was terrible. Once you got the idea of the people and what was going on, it wasn't hard to see that it would fail (or in a best case scenario, get sold which is what ended up happening).


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  5. One of the most amazing group of engineers I've ever worked with.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Belmont, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Belmont, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Sezmi Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I learned a lot working with an amazing group of very talented engineers. Worked with cutting-edge technology and a very elegant code tree. Learned a lot about the cable/tv industry as well.

    Cons

    Being a start-up has its downsides. Difficulties getting to production, inability to get the channel contracts necessary to really compete, and internal politics made life difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Place more trust in the engineers and stop redesigning everything every other week. Continually changing requirements utterly kill productivity.


  6. Out of Touch and Disconnected

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Attempting to launch an innovative and 'never been done before' product.

    Cons

    Not very successful at launching an innovative and 'never been done before' product. Deadlines are never met. Communication between teams is severely lacking. Executive team disconnected from true consumer demand.

    Advice to Management

    Stay better connected to what the consumer demand is.


  7. Helpful (1)

    TV 2.0

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

    Pros

    * Very interesting product. Initially Sezmi was such a great place to work at! * Lots of problems and lots of freedom to solve them. * Great health benefits package. * Flexible hours and vacation days. * Change of direction happens often. (Requires agility of one's skills.)

    Cons

    * Change of direction happens too often. * Still waiting for the big break. (This could be in the pros section...) * Too many managers. * The developers are not listened to that much. The reason is that most of the developers are in FL, all senior managers are in CA. * The new hires in the CA office want to make their mark too quickly. Usually, they try, they get frustrated, then they leave. (Sometimes leaving a mess behind.)

    Advice to Management

    * More knowledge of software and the software development process. * The amounts of managers and developers seem dis-proportionate. (Too many managers and vice-presidents. Too much money wasted on people that just make plans and documents.) * Hire people that would stay with the company. (Especially in the headquarters in CA.)


  8. Helpful (4)

    All Politics and No Leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Almost unlimited snack, soda supply in kitchen (although water sometimes runs out) - New product - Stock options

    Cons

    - Executive Management is not up to date on trends and common practices in the industry, which is an impediment in attempting to develop an innovative product and service that is ahead of the curve. -Out-of-the box thinking does not seem to be as appreciated as is sometimes claimed. - HR is out of touch with day to day personnel issues. - Too much politics and finger-pointing between engineering and corporate. - Deadlines continually get pushed out with no consequences

    Advice to Management

    - Focus on hiring the right people - Focus on addressing personnel issues more effectively - Bring on leadership that truly encourages out-of-the-box thinking - Develop a process to evaluate employees - Develop an action plan to address political/finger-pointing issues that impact morale and employee motivation - Improve top down communication


  9. Helpful (3)

    Exciting mission and innovative concept... Not very competent in execution or practice

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    -The company is in the press frequently, due to the product recently being launched. -Potential for decent financial gain via stock options, if the company is successful. -Medical benefits are on the better end, and the company has absorbed the premium increases in the past. -It's fairly easy to get hired and difficult to get fired at this company.

    Cons

    -It's fairly easy to get hired and difficult to get fired at this company. -No 401k matching. -Purchase orders take a long time to get approved, impacting how quickly people at lower levels can act on initiatives. -Because the company is spread out between three different offices in Northern California, Southern California, and Florida, effective communication is challenging, cultures are different, and cliques develop. As a result, it often feels like the three offices are three different companies who are outsourcing each other. -"Left hand not talking to the right hand" is prevalent and not conducive to developing such a complex, technological product. -For a start-up, projects take a long time to come to fruition because of the decision-by-committee process and bureaucracy. -Deadlines constantly get pushed because things are "not ready yet." -Executives at the Vice President level do not seem to be experienced in management and leadership. Some of them also do not take advantage of the experience and expertise of the people under them, resulting in some very overpaid and under-utilized employees.

    Advice to Management

    -Hold the company accountable to deadlines. -Realize that in the current job market, you can probably easily find someone else who does any given job better than the person who has already been hired to do the job. -Being results-oriented is good, but not if it's acceptable for executives to use any means or method to get those results, regardless of how it might negatively affect the employees under them.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Great technology, need to focus on better leadership, communication, and employee recognition/compenstation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Junk food/Soda in the kitchen and is always stocked - Somewhat flexible hours - Core, technical work - Great technology - Able to use/test product at work/desk - Able to take product home for personal use/testing - Sick/Vacation time is bundled - Company Holidays are good - Diverse workforce - There are some really smart engineers working here - Dinner (take-out) paid for by company if working past 8pm - Lunch (take-out) paid for by company if working on weekends

    Cons

    - For a company of this size, politics are rampant and pervasive amongst upper management - Stock options are VERY low for engineers given the amount of work completed/required and are not proportional to upper management offerings - No expectation of reward for months of overtime or weekend work and meeting deadlines (no BONUSES) - No formal or yearly review/promotion process (have had 1 review in 3+ years of employment) - No opportunity for career growth/advancement - Upper management seems to only be concerned with launching product and seems out-of-touch with rank-and-file - Upper management does not disseminate information to rank-and-file - Some upper management always demonstrate a need to be right and to have the last word - "Penny wise, pound foolish" with regard to spending - Apparent animosity between engineering and corporate offices - Too many last minute decisions from upper management about product direction and features

    Advice to Management

    - Hire less politically-inclined upper management - Improve top-down communications - Create and follow-through with a yearly review/promotion/raise process - Improve project scheduling so it's realistic - Focus on QUALITY vs QUANTITY in regard to product features. Make a plan and stick to it



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