Sonicbids Reviews

Updated July 25, 2014
Updated July 25, 2014
10 Reviews
1.9
10 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Panos A. Panay
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A lot has changed

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

    I have been working at Sonicbids full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great work life balance and a plan that is growing the business. Developing new products that are more about the user than the 'sexy' opportunities. Product and Engineering team is the best I've ever worked with.

    Cons

    We work very collaboratively in our team but sometimes in a bubble from the rest of the company (which is good and bad).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As the company transitions into new ownership, focus more on the users, opportunities for them, and data that supports decisions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Frustrating and disappointing

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

    I worked at Sonicbids full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I thought the culture would be great, what a shame!

    Cons

    Quite stressful for little pay, with an I.T. department who couldn't be more condescending. Extremely poor managers, and no prospects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your managers properly. They need to be able to get the best out of the team. Instead they had inexperienced staff who quite frankly were impossible to work with and extremely egotistical (which absolutely baffles me given their experience and education)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Artist Relations

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Artist Relations  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Artist Relations in Boston, MA

    I worked at Sonicbids as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    - Great team
    - Push an opinion and build relationships to grow an idea

    Cons

    - Overall feeling of doubt with percentage of custom complaints

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Exclusive relationships with opportunities only bring in high volume of customer service work. Strike a balance and focus more efforts on the bottom while improving education to artists.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Cool company with poor CEO leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    Sonicbids is a fun place to work, as it has a laid-back culture and you can interact with cool musicians and promoters. People are really friendly, fun, and truly love music. You can wear what you want to work and play music at your desk all day long. Also, from an outside world perspective, its cool to say you work at an internet music startup.

    If you display leadership and are a top performer, you can be "promoted" quickly (although these are often just lateral moves with different title names). Great ideas make it up to management fairly quickly (although very very few are actually executed), so if you're willing to put in the work, you can get on management radar early and often.

    Cons

    Sonicbids is a very small company that is completely defined by its Founder and CEO, Panos Panay. As Panos goes, Sonicbids goes. And Panos is highly mercurial, egocentric, and a micromanager. All of Sonicbids culture, strategy, hiring/firing decisions, pretty much everything is ultimately run by Panos. He is notorious for hiring top management talent, then micromanaging them to the point where they either quit in frustration or he fires them for being unable to accomplish anything. He is a fantastic salesman, and pitches the company both internally and externally as a fun, innovative, fast-moving, forwarding-thinking startup that belongs with the likes of Google, Apple, etc. But in reality, he quashes most innovation internally, changes his mind daily (often with complete disregard for the hard work and good thinking his staff has put in), is a bottleneck for decision making, and is always more concerned with how the company looks than how it does. I can't stress this enough. In any given situation, Panos cares mostly about appearance (his and the company) to the outside world, and much less about actual performance or creating real value.

    On a side note, the pay here is horrendous. Their formula is to hire cheap young talent (typically immediately post-college) and promote top performers to management positions, pay them well below what you'd pay a real manager, and fill underneath them with more entry-level workers. They typically offer top performers good stock options, but it's unclear if there will ever be a liquidity event where they can cash their stock out. In all fairness, as a cash-strapped startup there's not much else Sonicbids could do in terms of compensation without further straining its thin finances.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Panos should step down as CEO and instead lead the Sales/Business Development department, which is where his true strengths lie. The Board should bring in a real CEO with true management experience and talent, and focus on creating a scalable self-service product that delivers real value to its customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    No where to go

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    Cool culture and down to earth people with passionate CEO. The concept of company is interesting with online press kits provided for all artists and managers.

    Cons

    Not a lot of communication going on between upper management and rest of departments. Get used to doing the same thing over a long period of time because there is not a lot of promoting going on unless someone leaves the company; given it's incredibly small size and loyalty of employees. Employees don't seem to be motivated or ambitious enough to want to be promoted or do much with thier career since many are lifetime musicians and artists at heart--most employees graduated from Berklee school of music. The busiest positions at the company are in the customer service department since many of their clients are unhappy with the membership they charge and the service Sonicbids actually provides.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate more to people applying for job and working at company so that they know not to expect too much in terms of promotions and working up the ladder. Create more challenging work so that motivated workers are encouraged to work to their best ability rather than waiting for lunch hour and end of day to come.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    No work/life balance, incredibly demanding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    "cool" company culture, casual dress code, most of the entry-level employees are nice people, not a bad first job if you were a music major

    Cons

    senior management does not understand how to motivate people, they push you until you break, nepotism runs rampant, only those who kiss up to management are promoted, managers pit employees against each other and gossip openly about the people that report to them. no matter how hard you work, it is never enough. middle management has a sadly inflated sense of self-importance, when in reality they are just glorified customer service reps. if someone has stayed there for 5 years, it's because they have nowhere else to go. management uses yearly bonuses as motivation, but i never saw anyone receive a bonus in all the time i worked there. management expects 25-year-olds making $28k/year to care about meaningless "stock options"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are too many cooks in the kitchen. Step back and let the people you have hired do the jobs you are paying them to do. Stop trying to be friends with everyone and then firing them when this doesn't work out. You cannot expect your employees to invest as much in the company as you do when they do not receive the same reward for it's success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Chew 'em up and spit 'em out! Rockin' on the outside, rotten on the inside.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    Unique business idea. The cool factor of working in the world of independent music. Casual work environment. Beautiful office space in a trendy part of South End Boston. The neverending stream of brilliant professionals who line up to work there. Good benefits. Potential for travel in some jobs. Outwardly appealing culture.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership. Senior management is insular, paranoid, and extremely resistant to new ideas (despite constantly arguing otherwise). Staff members come an go pretty rapidly; they come in wide-eyed and excited and leave completely shattered and bitter. There is very little anyone can do to satisfy the constantly changing whims of management. Most often the result is everyone working insane hours and chasing their own tails. Employees are screamed at regularly and backstabbing is encouraged, even instigated, by the senior leaders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The CEO needs to listen, not just pretend to listen while waiting to talk. A true leader is not just a guy with a good idea, but someone people respect and want to follow, someone who also has the capacity to evolve and aadmit when he's wrong. Ruling by fear is laziness. If you set people up to fail, they will. The concept of the company culture is sweet, but in practice there is really no respect for the average employee. Words are cheap. Cool furniture and an espresso machine don't make up for a complere lack of professional ethics.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sonicbids is fun for a while, but not a place to make a career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    It is a very laid-back office environment, bright and cheery with a fun streak.

    Cons

    The pay is absolutely horrible, vacation is rarely approved, and there is very little opportunity to grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Salaries need to be in the standard range.

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Career Misstep

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

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    The company truly does understand their customers-- struggling musicians.

    Cons

    I noticed a general acceptance of the company's poor treatment of the employees with verbal public admonishments, disparaging employees to coworkers, micromanaging and disregarding suggestions or requests. Among management there was blatant in-fighting and constant jockeying for power. On the surface it seems to be a fun place to work but it was truly unpleasant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would focus on getting top-level managers with real-world experience in the appropriate roles and then letting them do their job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Working for Sonicbids is a huge disappointment.

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

    I worked at Sonicbids

    Pros

    Very nice lower-level staff. Music industry feel. Groovy office space. The company does a lot of work to seem cool and relaxed from the outside. You get your birthday off and you can wear what you want and blast your music loud all day. You'll think it's your dream job.

    Cons

    Your job will change daily. You'll report to someone new daily. You'll get dressed down weekly. If someone asks you to do X job in Y way, when you turn it in you'll be berated for not doing Y job in X way. You have no room to push back on this. Micromanagement is encouraged from the top down. You will feel badly for your colleagues, who are working way more than 40 hours each week for less than $30k. You will feel guilty for leaving at 6. You'll watch in bewilderment as some of the most competent-seeming and nicest people are fired without explanation. If you have sense, you will leave before you join their ranks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Unstructured and inconsistent leadership is neither cool nor edgy: it's confusing. I echo the advice of whoever posted before me: let the people you hired do the jobs you're paying them for. Don't give assignments until you're sure it's what you want people to do. Communicate your expectations and keep them immutable so that your staff know what you want from them instead of driving themselves crazy trying to predict what you want.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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