Axial Reviews | Glassdoor

Axial Reviews

Updated October 4, 2018
55 reviews

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3.1
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Peter Lehrman
43 Ratings

55 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "It's definitely not boring working at Axial, every day is different and I'm constantly learning new skills that help me grow professionally" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Product and Engineering are very tightly coupled" (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • "Because anyone with any knowledge, tenure or talent is let go" (in 3 reviews)

  • "This is mainly due to a severely inexperienced management team and CEO, who rely on buzz-word selling strategies and dated sales tactics" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Product Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager
    Current Employee - Product Manager
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Axial full-time

    Pros

    I've been at Axial for over a year. From day one, I've loved coming to work, and that hasn't changed. This isn't to say the company hasn't had, or doesn't continue to have, issues. More on that below. But there are some serious upsides.

    Culture:

    - Great people work at Axial. I'm generally impressed with how sharp, how driven, and how invested in each others' success Axialites are.
    - No one enjoyed the restructuring in February, or the subsequent gutting of the marketing department (it's being rebuilt), but these choices did ultimately mean that Axial was stripped down to a group of passionate high performers.
    - The VP of Product during this time ended up taking a lot more responsibility than he had initially signed up for, as department after department came under his purview (engineering, supply, marketing). No one thought this was ideal, but it was borne out of necessity and has been largely resolved (he still oversees engineering, but the engineers seem as content as I've ever seen them).
    - Unlimited vacation (people do use it)
    - Free lunch on Wednesdays
    - Nicely stocked kitchen, always lots of snacks, and cold brew
    - Beautiful office in a great location
    - Beer cart comes out at 4:00 on Fridays (non-alc beverages too)
    - New VP of Sales is energized and experienced beyond what Axial is used to

    Product and Engineering:

    - We've emerged from a 7 month refactoring project which simplified our tech stack and sped up the pace of development significantly. When I arrived, we were releasing after hours, once every two weeks, at best. We now do 2-4 daytime release per week.
    - That project gave product and design room to get ahead. We are being smarter about how we learn and build than the organization was in years past. We aim to challenge & validate our assumptions through experiments and research.
    - The app is more beautiful, elegant, and intuitive than ever before.
    - The space / problem we're in / trying to solve is complex, but we care that engineers understand what they're working on, outside of the code. Engineers sit in on customer research calls, and are regularly invited to design and feedback sessions.
    - Engineering morale had gotten way, way down during the re-factoring project. I won't go into the reasons why, but suffice it to say that it's no longer an issue.
    - As far as resource allocation: when I arrived, this company was VERY sales and customer support heavy. This was a mistake. We needed to be prod-eng driven so we could deliver that product-market fit we need to survive. This has changed. Product and Engineering play a much more central role now.

    Cons

    - I think the biggest problem we currently face is the rate of employee attrition. Many people who've been with us for years are taking off, whether they've lost faith in the organization, they're ready for the next thing, it isn't offering the structure, support, opportunities they're after, etc. These are all legitimate issues which are converge in the real problem of low retention. We are getting by, but it's an expensive issue.

    - In order to get a major release out in June, the product team made some ruthless decisions about scope. There are a lot of basic things that our users expect to be able to do, but are still unable to do. We've been fixing this all summer, but it means we've been in a reactionary mode, fixing bugs and building no-brainer features rather than focusing on solving newer, more interesting problems.

    - The brand has perpetually struggled to establish itself with the authority it needs to disrupt the world we're trying to disrupt. There are some good headwinds, but all too often we have heard that we do not have a good enough reputation for our target market to want to use us. Much of this was our own fault and involves lessons we've learned from and corrected for, some is structural and may change with time.

    - We're moving offices. Arguably a pro for the company because of how much we'll be saving in rent, but this will be a place with fewer conference rooms, no library, a slightly less convenient location, and certainly not the same breathtaking views. We'll adjust but no one is excited for the move beyond the fiscal standpoint.

    - The People Ops (HR) team is scaling down. We're going from a team of three to a team of one. Again, it will work, but it is a noticeable loss.

    - We've had some people in leadership positions who did not deserve them. This was damaging on a big scale. Thankfully, those people are no longer in place.

    Basically, some legitimate issues, but nothing lethal at the moment. It is still possible that Axial can straighten out the balance sheets and find a way to survive. In the meantime, we are running lean. Those who have weathered the transition have come out a little burnt and jaded, but those who start fresh hit the ground running.

    Advice to Management

    - Keep making good hiring choices (you know this already). If we make a bad hire, let's part ways sooner rather than later.

    - Don't be afraid to break bad news to the company. We'd rather hear it upfront than through the grapevine.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "toxic work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Axial full-time

    Pros

    hard to come up with any

    Cons

    Toxic work environment consisting of micromanagement and strong top down hierarchy. You're not encouraged to ask questions and it was hard to enjoy any part of my time here.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Positive direction, with an uncertain future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Axial full-time

    Pros

    Giff is a great VP of product, Ryan is a great VP of revenue. They are really leading the company in a positive direction. Snack game is on point, weekly catered lunches on Wednesday. Challenging product space.

    Cons

    Absentee CEO, and the company has an uncertain future.

    Advice to Management

    Make Giff CEO, he's pretty much doing the job anyway.


  4. "Solid Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Axial full-time

    Pros

    Fun work place and people

    Cons

    Unorganized when it comes to business plan


  5. "Business Development Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - BD Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - BD Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Axial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Young, energetic, new leadership team
    -Ability to make yourself stand out in a meaningful way
    -Never a shortage of feedback and training
    -Feels like a family

    Cons

    -Everyone is learning at the same quick pace as the company is experiencing exponential growth, have to remember that and be patient.

    Advice to Management

    -Keep the vision that was part of the pivot in 2017, don't make the same mistakes (haven't since I've been here).
    -Never stop recognizing the efforts of your employees who are trying to crush it so that this company does too


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Awesome company helping the economy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Business Development in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Axial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    this company is great because everyone gets so many perks and all the beautiful girls get to travel in a private jet. Peter has really done a great job at helping the economy and trickle down economics with the way all the investor funding is subsidizing our perks! I love this company.

    Cons

    well maybe there are too many to list but for starters senior management can help human resources do their job and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace

    Advice to Management

    Please stop wasting investor money


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Sales wasteland"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A solid group of coworkers, relative autonomy, free yogurt and hummus, centrally located.

    Cons

    - no formal sales training or mentoring
    - no real sales leaders
    - stale product, no meaningful enhancements in years, feedback goes into a black hole
    - we don't have an actual product demo, just slides - makes a pitch very difficult
    - zero marketing support
    - no engine to create prospect interest
    - current prospect base has negative view of Axial due to aggressive, highly questionable outreach tactics in years past
    - buy side feedback mainly focuses on limited, "cheap" deal flow

    Advice to Management

    - been around for 7 years and prospects still seem like they don't want our product with the difficulty of selling and retaining existing clients; would recommend revisiting drastic changes to the product or value you expect to deliver

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great group of people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Axial full-time

    Pros

    Axial employees are a great group of people -- they're smart, driven, and fun to be around. The current group shows a lot of promise and is dedicated to growing the company and making it to the next level. There have been multiple new hires who have stirred up excitement and seem to be ready to dive in head first.

    Cons

    Because the company has gone through a lot of changes over the past 6 months, there's still room to improve the lower-than-normal moral.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Provided a meaningful opportunity to grow as young professional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Marketing in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Axial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    As I entered the doors at Axial, I had a handful of miscellaneous skills - none of which were particularly solid or impressive. I was thrilled to be a part of a team where everyone was hardworking, determined and excited to be at work most days. Over many conversations about my professional development and growth, Axial provided me with an opportunity to hone in the skills I cared about most. In the last year and a half of my employment with the company, I had the opportunity to run point on major long-term marketing projects, manage the majority of the email and content marketing program, as well as interface with high-paying customers and members of the Board. Perhaps most importantly, I got to work with a colleague (a peer, not a manager) who worked with me patiently and diligently to develop my writing and editing skills. Without that opportunity, I would not have been able to assemble my work portfolio that helped me secure my new role elsewhere.

    Cons

    The great things I can take away from my experience from Axial did not happen accidentally. I constantly pushed for my many managers to see my potential and to provide me with new opportunities to grow. I also established great friendships with my colleagues and learned a great deal from them both professionally and personally. For me, that was more than enough to keep me happily employed for 3 years at the company.

    In my opinion, young professionals not speaking up about their career goals (or not knowing what opportunities exist for them) combined high manager turnover and a low count of business "wins" can be credited for much of the low morale, disappointment and low employee retention witnessed in the past year or two.

    Advice to Management

    I believe firmly that anyone who works at, or will be hired at Axial in the future must accept that the business is a startup and will frequently present you with the proverbial "startup pains" and fatigue. Conversely, it's important that hiring managers and members of the leadership team find ways to better communicate that in the recruitment, on-boarding and growth process for every employee. If that balance is properly struck, people will find Axial to be a productive place to work no matter what challenges the overall business faces.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Product Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Axial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    + Honest and transparent environment, where you can ask hard questions and get honest answers.
    + The product and industry it serves has a lot of complexities, which provides for intellectual challenges. The work is more interesting because of it.
    + New work is being done that challenges a lot of past assumptions, there's lots to do which makes it exciting.
    + A considered movement to more agile and collaborative processes--- The past year has been challenging because of the technical refactoring work, but now with recent product releases we're able to incorporate better practices.
    + Friendly people, and everyone is happy to help and really get work done.
    + We listen to our customers, even if we're not always able to act immediately on their feedback. There are definite efforts to continue and incorporate research.
    + Does NOT have the gross bro-techy immature culture that is often a plague of startups. People here listen, promote each other, and respect each other as adults.

    Cons

    + The more recent turn overs have been a downer, but many of them were also necessary. I understand that could sound harsh. Some people's talent & skills were not aligned with the role that Axial needed from them.
    + There has been a slow time to ramp up to releasing new features/products. I see this improving though as the technical debt is paid down and the engineering culture morale has improved with better management.
    + Not enough focus on machine learning / data opportunities-- I feel this could be better supported and incorporated into the product.

    Advice to Management

    I like how the CEO (Peter) trusts his employees to do their best, and bring their particular skill to the table. Please keep doing this.
    My only real criticism is just the VP of Product is very talented but stretched very thin. There need to be more execs working at his level, who are capable of keeping up pace.

    Axial Response

    Jul 17, 2017 – CEO

    Thx for the thoughtfulness of this review, and especially the constructive feedback on Giff being stretched quite thin. Particularly helpful to hear this straight from a product team member. We will... More


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