ThinkGeek Reviews

Updated March 19, 2015
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2.9
17 Reviews
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Kathryn McCarthy
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Employee Reviews

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  1. not as geeky as the name describes

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

    I have been working at ThinkGeek as an intern (less than a 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
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    A Sinking Ship

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

    I have been working at ThinkGeek

    Pros

    The employees are talented, hard-working, creative people.

    Cons

    The company is top heavy and most of the higher ups are worthless and do not listen to or care about what anyone else in the company has to say. The rank card gets played far too frequently. All of the best employees are leaving or looking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You've made decisions that have caused the company to lose it's edge. If you want to figure out how to fix it, you don't need to spend millions on focus groups or more hair-brained VPs. The answer is in your employees in the lower ranks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful

    Was an amazing place to work until the board fired the founders

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

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

    Pros

    Working at ThinkGeek was once a dream come true. Amazing office culture. Flexible hours. Work life balance was great (although work felt like play most of the time). It never felt like there were "bosses"... just friends who happened to have different job duties than you. I will always cherish my memories of ThinkGeek in the "good ol' days" because it was absolutely amazeballs.

    Cons

    None of the pros are true anymore.
    Management believes employee morale is "not our problem" and high turnover is "normal."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You reap what you sow.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    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
  6. 6 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
  7. 6 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. 6 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 a 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
  9. 3 people 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
  10. 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
  11. 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 a 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

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