Amazon Lab126 - No culture, good pay | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Amazon Lab126

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Helpful (11)

"No culture, good pay"

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

I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than 3 years)

Pros

Compensation is very competitive. They generously offered me more than 20% of what I said I would work for, plus a large but standard bonus and RSU's. They provide limited shuttle to SF, East and South bay and you get fruit on Tuesdays, but get there early to get it.

Some great innovative project ideas and lots of money behind them bring them to life. Exciting to work on projects where nothing in the market exists to compare it to. Other projects are 'me too'

Some employees are very dedicated, extremely intelligent and hard working. There are some gems here.

Cons

There is literally no culture or much in the way of perks. Work life balance can be pretty bad. There's all the policy and corporate structure of Amazon with lesser engineering staff than Amazon (on some teams). The bar can get lowered when teams are desperate for staff and I've seen good people quit because they're tired of low quality talent getting hired.

The offer is back-loaded but otherwise fairly standard. My particular offer was 50% of the bonus on the day I started, owing the pro rated portion back if I leave before the year is up. Then the remaining 50% of the bonus amortized over year 1-2. RSU's sit in a holding tank and you don't receive any until years 2-3, with the majority of them being over year 3-4. When there's no culture, heavy workload and high stress: that four years is going to feel like an eternity.

For projects that haven't launched there is a lot of auditing and hoops to jump through to adhere to Amazon standards.

Lots of blame, occasional employee backstabbing and spending energy to be 'defensive' against other groups and protect yourself from blame. Some bad employees poison entire groups yet the bad employees remain.

Many of the hires are people that have families or obligations that require the high pay and only do it for the paycheck, showing very little passion in their work. Or H1-B type hires that take weeks or months to finally join your team.

High levels of attrition across the board. I worked on multiple teams and saw that most people don't stay more than 2 years.

Jeff doesn't want to provide perks like free food because they believe in a culture where there are people who are builders and are dedicated to working just to work, and not essentially 'moochers' that show up for perks. What they don't understand is that there is a balance between those two and not everyone who enjoys free food is a moocher.

During launches they might cater free food but often it's dinner with the expectation that you'll work 10+ hour days. Sometimes this just means pizza. Rarely is lunch provided, but it really depends on the team.

Expect less than 1% raises for an average employee annual performance review. All your compensation better be negotiated up front because it's pretty static once you're on the team.

Often people who get promotions won't get recognized for it because there is a culture where they don't want to make other employees jealous. Lots of management get shuffled around and shoved back down the totem pole when under performing.

It can just feel like a sad place to work.

Advice to Management

Work on your culture and don't lower the bar. You need to create better culture before people will stop leaving so quickly. The high pay isn't enough to keep people happy.

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon Lab126

  1. "Challenging but positive place to work"

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

    I have been working at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazon will challenge your capabilities but provide enormous growth. The company invests heavily so there are plenty of exciting projects to be involved in. It is an opportunity to learn and grow at the largest e-commerce company in the world. All points of view matter and you are encouraged to speak up and take action. It s a unique culture and a great group of bright and motivated people throughout. Lots of passionate debate which leads to great decisions.

    Cons

    can be hard to close on directions and get the org moving in one direction. It can be consensus driving which make it difficult to get decisions made.


  2. Helpful (34)

    "Worst place I've worked over the past 2 decades"

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

    I worked at Amazon Lab126 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Honestly, I can not think of one single pro about working here; any pro comes with a con. For example, any bonus is tied to a 1 year commitment of employment, any 401K match is tied to a 3 year commitment of employment, RSU vesting structure is such that only 20% of your shares vest after 2 years of employment and after 2 years you will likely be miserable working here. It could be an okay place to work for an internship or new grad, but you will be doing yourself a huge disservice working at Lab126 if you want to advance your career or grow intellectually.

    Cons

    I could write a book. My advice is to not ignore the negative reviews on Glassdoor because they are all valid. Lab126 is a politically charged, lack of vision, lack of leadership, follow the competition and copy the reference design house. The amount of money wasted churning on "me too" products and flying out large teams of people every time somebody overseas farts is ridiculous. Ideas touted as innovate inside the company are typically absurd and are only value as a marketing gimmick. Any truly revolutionary ideas will be slapped down because they have no confidence on executing new concepts or creating new market segments. But the best part of it all is that if you bring these great ideas of yours to the table you will be chastised for not cowering in the corner like the rest of the good little mice. There are some good people here and some truly worthless people here, but who stays and who goes is based off pure brown nosing and strategic politic alignment. There are some high profile people working here I would not hire to mow my lawn. The benefits are poor for a company this size, but then again, there is no benefit in working here. I would give zero stars if I could. If I have saved one person from accepting a job at Lab126 then typing this was time well spent.

    Advice to Management

    There will always be buses to throw people under.

There are newer employer reviews for Amazon Lab126
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon Lab126

See Most Recent

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