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Shutterstock Founder & CEO Jon Oringer
Jon Oringer
33 Ratings
  • Helpful (6)

    Awesome brand tarnished by terrible leadership and constant infighting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Shutterstock full-time


    The brand is incredible and very well-known. Their ESB offices are very well-organized, tastefully decorated, and expensively furnished. Lunch is provided for employees daily (meal portions are small, but again, it's free), and the kitchen is fully-stocked with beverages and snacks at all times. There are a number of other awesome perks (Friday massages, library, etc.), and the company events are often extravagant, spared-no-expense blowout parties that last well into the night (and have an open bar!). Employees are provided with whatever technologies they might require to do their jobs (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.). There are a ton of very smart people here (though, unfortunately, not as many as before), and a number of very interesting problems to solve. The technology stack is also widely-varied (spanning several languages and versions), so there's a little bit of everything here.


    As awesome as the company used to be, the culture has transformed over the last couple of years into one of constant infighting, slowed progress, and missed opportunities, led by some of the worst management at every level that I've ever experienced. As examples, the company's stock has lost over 50% of its value from a year ago, and over 70% from its height, in many ways due to ignoring what its competitors were doing until it was too late. Management communicates terribly with lower-level employees, leading many to have no clear vision of the direction of the company or what they might be able to do to help things along. Company-wide meetings are often vague and missing important details, while the Q&A sessions are useless, due to non-answers being given as responses. Technical managers are uneven in terms of knowledge and understanding of technology. Explanations about technology stacks, or expectations on deliverables, are often mangled and twisted based on a manager's limited understanding of the topic. Additionally, some newer technical managers brought with them a very different management style from their old employers: these managers began operating as if the entire company revolved around them, and that their objectives were the only ones that mattered. As a result, employees started being treated like cogs in a machine, as work/life balance went right out the window. The toxic, combative mentality of these managers permeated throughout the organization, to the point where working extra hours (for no additional compensation) is expected in many cases. In line with this, managers will (often under pressure from the CEO) insist that employees work over the weekend, for little tangible benefit. The engineering culture is also very broken. Coding standards don't exist, so teams are free to use whatever they want, provided they claim a willingness to support it. There's a prominent "Not Invented Here" mentality, and tech stacks are often built from the ground-up, rather than assessing existing projects that might do the job. Developers are often unaware on issues with their about how their code functions long-term, and will often push changes that end up impacting the site months later. Technical teams often ignore technical debt, simply moving forward and expanding until something breaks, then having to scramble to get it fixed. Most teams don't do any kind of resource monitoring or planning until there's a crisis at hand. Technical competency is not valued here. Problems with architecture are often ignored, and the developers believe that the infrastructure, not their design, is at fault. As a result, developers get attached to alternative solutions as panaceas, ignoring additional headaches these solutions introduce. All of this has added up to a very toxic, stressful environment. Because of this, the company has lost most of its senior engineers in the last year-and-a-half. While some of these engineers left because it was time to move on, many others left to escape the toxic people and workplace. Worse, many of these senior engineers were replaced with very green hires, lowering the overall knowledge level of the engineering team.

    Advice to Management

    Make Shutterstock a place that's fun to work at again, and you'll stop hemorrhaging talent. Get rid of your more draconian middle management, as the same results can be produced without turning your employees into prisoners.

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