ThinkGeek

  www.thinkgeek.com
  www.thinkgeek.com

ThinkGeek Reviews

Updated August 24, 2014
Updated August 24, 2014
15 Reviews
3.1
15 Reviews
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Kathryn McCarthy
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Customer-focused retailer

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

    I worked at ThinkGeek full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good office culture and a well-loved retailer that stays focused on the customer. Good pay and benefits and an all-around innovative and highly creative company.

    Cons

    No matching on the 401(k) and limited stock options. Company is becoming more corporate over time, but that is somewhat to be expected as it grows.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management could do well by maintaining the creative atmosphere and allowing employees to experiment and have a large degree of freedom to explore products and solutions. The company needs to retain and attract creative individuals and that is done by allowing them to follow their own instincts.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Not what it used to be...

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

    I worked at ThinkGeek full-time

    Pros

    Small company "feeling" where you get to know others well. Fun business to be in.

    Cons

    Formulaic to a fault at this point, very little challenge except to actually make money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    not as geeky as the name describes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at ThinkGeek as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    people here are nice and always willing to help

    Cons

    things working on are kind of tedious, don't have much chance to learn new stuff and apply at work

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people- except the managers

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

    I worked at ThinkGeek full-time

    Pros

    Mostly great people. Easy to mesh, accepting. Generally a team atmosphere, but success of the individual seems more heavily emphasized as of late. Nerf guns ever present. Decent PTO and holidays, industry standard discount.

    Cons

    Very very little growth opportunity or support for existing employees. Almost no promotion from within. Continuous external hiring. Poor communication between departments, breeding resentment among both employees and vendors. Goals are not aligned. Majority of employees are in the office or working from home >50 hours a week. High pressure, high anxiety environment. With the rotating door of employees, very difficult to feel like your job is secure.

    The environment isn't just a 150cc race; it's your first run through rainbow road. People are constantly falling off the edge because no one knows where they're going.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you find your employees overworked, you need to hire more of them. If things aren't getting done fast enough, despite everyone working very hard (which I assure you, they are), you need to hire more people. Happy workers are better workers.
    Trust your geeks to know geekdom. Stop believing you know the audience better than your employees do. Geek culture is deeply ingrained in one's personhood, and that is not something you can just study. Talk less. Listen more.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Wonderful co-workers, lack of opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Creative in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at ThinkGeek full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Wonderful people! My team was fantastic to work with – helpful, dedicated, empathetic, and just a joy to interact with.
    Benefits were great. Maternity leave was pretty good, especially considering the size of the company.

    Cons

    Low compensation; while the benefits are great, overall ThinkGeek pays fairly below the standard within the professional industries involved. On top of that, there's no real growth potential. It makes for a short-term gig that you're best moving on from after a couple of years.

    Management – I'd say that the management team is mismanaging the opportunity that the company has been given, relying too heavily on short-term gains instead of cultivating long-term growth. The need for individuals to perform has overshadowed what used to be a very collaborative, creative, fan-driven innovation.

    Location: The northern VA area is TERRIBLE to commute through and expensive as anything to live in. Fairfax is definitely one of the most expensive counties to live in, so you're probably looking at a crappy commute or an incredibly inflated cost of living. Very sad to see so many employees who barely make enough to live in the area that they work in.

    Future Stability - turnover has increased in the past two years that I worked there (with two rounds of massive layoffs in the first 4 months when I was initially hired) Over use of interns to do real work (even though they are paid, it's not adequate for the sort of work they are doing), management changes, and just major differences between the employees' idea for the ThinkGeek mission vs the management's mission is BOUND for a lot of more issues in the future. It's just not a place I'd try to sink my career roots into which is why I moved on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensate employees better, instead of cashing in on your "company culture cred" to get cheap employees who underestimate the cost of living in the area.

    Keep employees involved in the discussion of important company decisions concerning branding and mission – and learn about the fandoms that establish the foundation of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Massive decline in culture and vision

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Employee in Fairfax, VA

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

    Pros

    The culture is being held together by a few brave employees who are still dedicated to the mission, so it can still have its fun days. There are some great people and fun experiences to be had if you ignore the Dilbert-style management.

    Cons

    ThinkGeek used to be a great place to work, with management genuinely caring about the employees and culture. After they fired the founders and much of the management team and brought in "suits", the culture has taken a nose dive (employees were recently told that management was not responsible for fixing the morale problem). The corporate vision consists mainly of driving profits harder and faster. It seems to be turning into a Spencer's Gifts for geeks. It's a very sad thing to watch what was a great company turn into a shell of its former self, all in the name of the almighty dollar.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring more executives at insane salaries with golden parachutes while filling most of the other roles with interns and hourly workers. It often takes two interns to fill the role of a great employee who left because they just couldn't stand working there any more. Back off on the death march towards more profit. Treat your people better. Happier employees are more productive and engaged, remember?

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

    On a culture decline

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

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

    Pros

    There are some amazing people that are easy to become friends with outside of work. When I started working for the company, there was a great customer-focused vision and employees were treated well. The commute is simple enough (for me since I go against traffic) and there are places to eat out of the office, including a Giant in walking distance.

    Cons

    There has been a major culture decline since the newest management team was hired, most of whom don't understand the brand or the customers they want to sell to. They believe too much is stereotypical "nerds" with suspenders and taped glasses or anything Doctor Who. Can you put a TARDIS on it? No. Just don't.

    Corporate is very prone to letting people go without warning and seemingly without cause because they'll create a new position for the same job months later. Attrition is currently at the highest I've seen my time with the company.

    Don't ever expect a raise. Of any sort. Or a bonus. Or a company party you'd want to go to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask your direct reports why they come to work every day. My answer used to be because I have a job that I love for a company with values I stand behind. I can't say that now. My answer now would be to pay the bills until I find something better.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Funstastic!

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

    I worked at ThinkGeek full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Imagine a place where you're surrounded by like minded people who love all the same geeky things you do! Fun is work, work is fun!

    Cons

    The commute. The intersection where the building is gets backed up at 5pm every day.

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Customer Service Rep

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at ThinkGeek as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Free candy and some awesome people (always a few jerks tho)

    Cons

    The company itself has no caring for it's employees since it has changed hands. The people that work there and have to deal with the ass hats at the top are cool tho

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out and find yourselves a real nerd haven not a company that fakes it to sell more Dr. Who mugs

    Doesn't Recommend
  11.  

    Shell of a once-great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Manager in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Manager in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at ThinkGeek full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very cool co-workers (at least until the company laid off its founders and most of the original staff). There is still some remnant of a once-great geek culture, but it fades by the day.

    Cons

    ThinkGeek has a bad habit of hiring people, then laying them off a few months later for no apparent reason. They do this every year, year after year, in positions from top to bottom - you have been warned. It's a dotcom business, so expect to be connected 24-7 - it's more of a lifestyle than a job, which for the right person will not be a con but for normal people it can be a lot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop worrying about the bottom line and start worrying about the people and products. Geeks will not stay with you after your transition to corporate shill.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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