I worked at O'Reilly Media full-time (More than 3 years)
Intelligent, passionate co-workers and team members. Employees get free O'Reilly books. Beautiful location. Your dog can go with you to work. You get education and insight into the inner-workings of a privately held company (which gives you great appreciation for labor unions and business transparency.)
Tim O'Reilly is no longer the CEO, nor is he actively running the company that bears his name. It is currently run by an excess of unqualified upper management toadies who seem to seek only to pad their bonus checks, usually to the detriment of the company. The senior management team is dishonest, ego-driven, irrational, and does not understand the industries in which they venture. As a result of that ignorance, they lack vision as well. After being hired you will never get a significant raise, regardless of performance.
Advice to Management
Be honest with people. be honest with yourselves.There are too many of you concentrated at the top, siphoning off resources while providing next to nothing of value to the company. Shed some of your own dead weight. Provide employees with quantitative, realistic goals at the beginning of the year, rather than toward the end of the year (or never, as you often do), that way those goals can be identified and potentially achieved. Offer significant incentives for good work--going above and beyond in exchange for the remote possibility of a 3% raise is not motivation for people able to do simple math. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Use more carrot, and way less stick.