I have been working at Lulu.com full-time (Less than a year)
Lulu is not your typical office environment. From the floor plan to the amenities I can tell thought has been put into keeping everyone comfortably in touch with each other and this makes for a pleasant and productive day. Big Boy bean bags are scattered around for people to use when the cubicle cramps set in, large monitors keep everyone updated on how Lulu is doing. Recreational equipment and a private bar with dart board come in handy to blow off stress. Communication tools and practices make it easy for the teams to collaborate and push forward. The galley is spacious and well stocked with several stocked refrigerators and a wide assortment of healthy and not so healthy munchies. You can literally survive on nothing but the food supply here. Just camp out. Lulu is a B Corp which means a lot to me coming from an environmental activist background. We compost, recycle, and are pretty lean and green in how me run the office. Lulu encourages employees to volunteer for community outreach activities like working a day for Habitat for Humanity or sponsoring and building a Little Lending Library for a local bookstore. I can say with a straight face that I love working here, and look forward to coming to work. I feel like my expertise and experience are appreciated and encouraged. I feel invested in the success of Lulu and am stimulated by the opportunity to use my special skills to improve our company. The health insurance is very affordable and the PTO and vacation package is generous IMO. WFH and flexible scheduling are a big plus and I made use of them extensively as I relocated from out of state while still getting work done.
I'd have to dig deep to find something to really complain about. I know it probably sounds candy-ass. As a 56 year old guy that has been running his own businesses for 1/2 his life it was not easy to wrap my head around working for a company other than my own. I was especially worried about being accepted because of my age. Most of Lulu employees are your typical millennial generation of kids that I can kind of relate to, but to them I probably appear to be an ancient. So far no problems there, but it's not really a gripe it's just an observation.
Advice to Management
I would like to see some kaizen events at Lulu. I can't think of a company that is more prepared and ready to introduce them. Considering the importance of getting our direction defined accurately it would be good to adopt the methodology of involving the grunts in the decision making of the top brass from the top down. Kaizen can only be implemented from upper management via champions and a commitment to continuous improvement. It would be exciting to see this come to the floor.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Lulu.com (Durham, NC) in October 2015.
After the on-site interview I have some serious doubts about this company's future, and would recommend engineers avoid it due to hints of a bad working environment.
Started with a phone screen with a lead, then on-site with different groups. Almost all the on-site was personality/soft-skills questions with a little light discussion of their tech stack (a bit of a mess, but that's not rare). One trivial coding problem, but to be honest they didn't go deep enough to see if my technical skills were good or not. It felt like my skills were less important than willingness to put up with the chaotic environment, and they emphasized solving problems *fast* over doing them right.
Final interview was where it really went bad, with a senior executive. He came off very egocentric and not particularly pleasant, and bragged about how an effective manager could run a technical company without knowing anything about tech. Basically: "I don't need to understand this to make decisions about it."
Questions about the future plans for LuLu yielded suggested that after being crushed by Amazon's publishing arm, they were going to try to cater to some (very small) niche markets. I think the final straw was that he pushed for an early start date if hired and wouldn't accept a few extra weeks to allow for knowledge transfer. Also seemed horribly offended that I wouldn't reveal where else I was interviewing.
All in all: it feels like the company had very shaky leadership vision (not surprising with the turnover), a significant amount of technical debt and architecture issues, and didn't place much value on technical competence. Of course I didn't let any of this show, but still it was not a good impression to make.
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