Design Reactor Reviews | Glassdoor

Design Reactor Reviews

Updated December 11, 2016
16 reviews

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3.0
Star Star Star Star Star
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Leon Papkoff
14 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interactive Designer in Campbell, CA
    Former Employee - Interactive Designer in Campbell, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There were tons of high profile projects, with a variety of clients. Great setup for student like me just graduated to learn more in-depth of the industry

    Cons

    There were times where the work load was just overwhelming


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Very unorganized and unclear future!"

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

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly to your face. I am sorry to say that there was nothing much positive besides a free lunch once in a while.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership, unclear future on where they want to go or what they want to do. Friendly to your face and tell you one thing but changes their mind quickly and does another. No organization whatsoever!

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what it is you want and have a plan before jumping and promising things you can not deliver on!


  3. "Good company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Campbell, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Campbell, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Design Reactor full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Design Reactor is in the middle of a lot of changes, I only left because I got an opportunity I couldn't pass up. The work and clients list is exceptional. The team members are outstanding to work with, very experienced and talented group of people. I fond management easy to work with, sure they expect a lot out of me, however they understand how to set expectations. I really believe DR functions better as a smaller company, as I know there were challenges when they were much bigger. Now its just the right size....I will miss it.

    Cons

    Overall agencies are tough...not the easiest place to work. Clients and management have big demands and set the bar high. Some days it can be challenging when you don't know the work is coming. Clients always want it done now and expectations can be very challenging to meet.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that employees are first....focus on the staff and the work will excel.


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  5. "Amazing Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Modeler in Campbell, CA
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Modeler in Campbell, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are no two ways about it: Design Reactor is simply an amazing place to work. While there, I had a chance to work on many exciting projects for many amazing clients/brands. The work itself is always challenging, yet fun and constantly fresh. The company has a start-up mentality but has been around for over a decade and is continually evolving in a highly competitive space to continue to grow and stay relevant. One week you might be working on a set of UI/UX designs and the next creating virtual environments for a fashion show.

    But like any successful company, it's just not just about the work they do that matters, but it is also about the incredibly talented people who work there. The people at Design Reactor are extremely passionate about the work they do and the open leadership style of Dave and Leon allows employees the ability to work collaboratively while encouraging individual creative freedom. Over the years I was there, I saw many great folks come and go, but one of the really neat things we did was to compare the portfolios that artists came in with to what they had when they left. The growth was always incredible and I know that for me, the ability to continually grow and expand my skills as an artist was one of the biggest reasons I loved working at DR.

    Cons

    Like any other design agency, Design Reactor is constantly operating under tight deadlines. As a result, it's not uncommon to find yourself working nights or weekends to hit an important deadline.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Incredibly mismanaged company, run by a man who believes his own lies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Campbell, CA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Campbell, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people that work there (non-management) have tremendous heart and passion. They are (what's left of them) a group of seiously-talented people. Also, the flexibility. No one is checking to see that you punched in at 9 a.m.

    Cons

    What really sucks about Design Reactor is the complete lack of process, which, in turn, ruins every other aspect of the job. From who is responsible for what, to what is the billing rate, it's a very confusing, and thus, annoying place to work. Keep in mind, your evenings and weekends are not your own. They WILL (not can) be infiltrated by work. Another thing that seems to really be a downer - no reviews and no raises. You can be there for 3-6 years and not see much fiscal appreciation for the hard work you put in.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking about how much you appreciate your employees and starting doing it. Also, stop being manipulative with everyone and be as honest and transparent as you claim to be. One more thing - play the role you know you can do. If you've never done project management, stop doing project management. If you were never a developer, stop trying to lead the developers. if you've never designed a thing in your life, stop trying to guide the designers.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Disregard the positive reviews - they're management’s attempt to cover up the overwhelming negative ones."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Campbell, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Campbell, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Design Reactor full-time

    Pros

    Design Reactor is a good place to gain experience, especially if you’re just starting out in your career. The reason is that it’s so unorganized and you’re forced to do many things manually where there should be a method or process governing.

    Cons

    The majority of negatives at Design Reactor stem from poor management; its root being the top of the management chain. Unqualified managers are appointed without merit and are incompetent in their work. This creates a trickle-down effect, as employees are faulted for failures at the upper level. An environment of distrust between manager and employee is the result. At times, management blatantly participates in such discourse. It’s a regular occurrence for management to ask employees to perform tasks outside of their official responsibilities (some even illegal!). If an employee refuses, it is common for management to talk smack behind their back. Statements like, “Who does he/she think he is? I can replace him/her in a second!” are commonplace.

    Design Reactor is notoriously frugal with their finances. Salaries are below average, and performance reviews are nonexistent. The salary you receive most likely is the salary you’re stuck with as long as you’re employed there. There is very little room for advancement. The frugality doesn’t only apply to salaries, as equipment is scarce. Good luck with getting a keyboard or mouse to use with your PERSONAL laptop, as it’s always a struggle to have needed purchases approved by management.

    Overtime work is expected from employees at Design Reactor. Many projects are poorly planned and result in unreasonable deadlines with a lack of manpower. Again, this stems from the top. “Fun” company outings are rare and many employees turn into Jack Torrance from ‘The Shining’ - “All work and no play....” As a result, employees’ motivation to remain productive is reduced to a minimum and many employees do just that - and defer the rest of their work to other employees.

    Advice to Management

    N/A since management generally disregards employee concerns and doesn’t learn from mistakes. The fact that Design Reactor has been in existence for more than a decade and yet is still in start-up mode says everything.


  8. "A Great Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Designer in San Jose, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I started working at Design Reactor back in 2011. It's an amazing place to work with lots of creative talent. New ideas are encouraged and the management team actually listens. The portfolio of clients and projects are beyond my expectation. The hours can be long, but I don’t mind as I’m learning so much.

    Cons

    No structured hours, makes it difficult to plan. Some days we start at 8am, others at 9am. It really depends on the project.

    Advice to Management

    We should look into expanding internationally. There is a lot of demand for creative services in Asia.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Unprofessional and disrespectful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tiger Mom's Slave Cub in Campbell, CA
    Current Employee - Tiger Mom's Slave Cub in Campbell, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Unfortunately, there's not a single nice thing I can say about this place, except it's really close to where I live.

    Cons

    Working under a Tiger Mom Account Manager is no bueno. I could not begin to fathom the lack of respect I got from this person.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your subordinates well. Maybe you'll be harmonious and work efficiently. Lack of communication and mentorship. Pretend to care all you want. Bad experience to the max!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Bad Management. Out of Money. No respect. Partial."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Campbell, CA
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Campbell, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Take this opportunity if you are out of work and need to make some money.

    Cons

    Overall I was thoroughly dissatisfied with the level of communication. Pay was too less. Work was good because no one understood the technical challenges. I had the free will to implement whatever framework, technologies I wish too.

    They have money to throw lavish properties but do not give essential IT equipment to its web developers.

    This happened to me and my colleague.

    We were lucky enough to find right opportunity in silicon valley after the rise of economy.

    Strict no if ur looking for career growth. Even in terms of money nothing fancy. Bare enough to pay your bills.

    Advice to Management

    Please start treating your employees as human beings and not as liability. Company owes to its people.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Great place for experience but very chaotic and unorganized."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Jose, CA

    Pros

    People, people people. The people there are usually easy to work with, friendly and will share their knowledge with you. Upper management is approachable. Have start-up like mentality. Breadth of work means your experience and skills grows with each project.

    Cons

    Very poor client management and project management skills. Deadlines missed, over promised projects, last minute projects, gets bullied by clients. This means crazy work hours with hardly any compensation.

    Accepts projects when company clearly has no resources to handle them; hence an influx of outside contractors usually toward the end of a big project.

    Upper management are sales people and lacking COO-type skills which results in high turnover. Company is bleeding talent. Upper management doesn't seem concerned by this which they truly should given that "people" is what defines a service company.

    Advice to Management

    Its not just about the clients, pay attention to your people. A service company's assets are its people, so be fair to them and be sure to do everything possible to keep talent in your company.

    Secondly, the brand Design Reactor needs to stand for something. Right now, regardless of the company's mission statement, I don't think the brand really represent anything in client's minds. Stand for something, make sure everybody in the company understands it and stands for it, and make sure your work represents what you stand for. This will ensure that clients understand what DR is about. This will also help DR hold its price point and not get bullied by clients.

    Do something innovative to manage client's expectation and project deadlines. Clients don't follow deadlines because there is no incentive for them to stick to them. Do something to incentivize them to adhere to pre-set deadlines. This allows you to maintain budgets, make profits and prevent overworking your employees (which == higher morale, less turnover).


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