IDEO Reviews | Glassdoor

IDEO Reviews

Updated April 7, 2017
125 reviews

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3.8
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IDEO President and CEO Tim Brown
Tim Brown
82 Ratings

125 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Low pay compared to other comparable roles (in 7 reviews)

  • There can be lots of travel, and while you might feel like you're helping the world most days, you could end up on the dog-food project (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Learn how to think"

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

    I worked at IDEO full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    working with the smartest people in the world
    exciting projects
    caring culture

    Cons

    struggling to come up to come up with a Con. Maybe the fact that IDEO is large and you won't know everyone immediately.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A great place with talented people"

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

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

    Pros

    Ability to be entrepreneurial, be creative, push boundaries, try new things and experiments. A learning environment. Hire amazingly talented and creative people. Great team culture (on my team. I can't speak for every team / studio). Work on amazing projects with great partners. IDEO brand name allows access to thought leaders, etc.

    Cons

    People can be less open to others than it may initially seem. Less reaching out to others, engaging conversation. More difficult than expected to find cross-collaboration among different teams / studios. Salary compensation is not stellar (although benefits are good).

    Advice to Management

    Encourage more cross-collaboration. Always remember the 7 core IDEO values and how to live those out daily. Allow people to truly bring their "whole selves" to work, even if it's a different flavor than we're used to.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great, smart people, interesting projects"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IDEO full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Title says it all.....oh, and most clients are pretty great too.

    Cons

    If you are a product person, you may not as satisfied. I make stuff so I left with a heavy heart

    Advice to Management

    Remember David Kelly and the spirit he brought to the company.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Talent Lead"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Talent Lead in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Talent Lead in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at IDEO full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing culture, fantastic people, high-impact work

    Cons

    Salary feels low for Silicon Valley

    Advice to Management

    NA


  6. Helpful (20)

    "A Heartbreaking Experience"

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

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

    Pros

    IDEO holds such a strong reputation as a firm that's written the language and framework of modern company culture that it continues to draw amazing talent. The mid and lower level staff here are amazing; full of energy, enthusiasm and hope.

    Cons

    After about six months here you see the trends emerge that many have mentioned in previous reviews. The hardest part is when you realize there is no desire within leadership to change anything that doesn't directly affect the lives or salaries of the partners.
    -cInconsistencies between what is promised and what is offered
    -cCliquey, high-school level politics
    -cExtreme nepotism
    - No growth track particularly for anyone not in traditional design roles.
    - Elitism of designers vs. everyone else despite the company's love of saying "everyone is a designer."
    - Complete lack of leadership engagement with mid and low level staff.
    - CEO acts more as figurehead for the brand myth of the company, while almost never engaging directly with studios and staff.
    - Unusually high attrition rates.
    - Huge spending on things like partner meetings while other staff are kept at baseline salaries

    Advice to Management

    Look beyond your own ambition, cushy salaries and public personas to the staff that do the work to hold this company together. Start requesting feedback bottom up, not just delivering it top down. Promote people who have LEADERSHIP skills instead of who have played the politics best. Learn the value of project managers. Start to care about your attrition rates and ask, why are they so high?


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great people & opps upon leaving, but less so while there"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Design Lead in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Design Lead in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Excellent place to develop skills, wide variety of people (I've learned so much from software & business designers and others who are very different from me), entrepreneurial, etc.

    Cons

    People often receive 2x compensation upon leaving (partly because they are valuable in the market, but largely because IDEO underpays). Very political organization. Promotions seem to come from side projects vs. actual project work.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Strong culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Lead in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Design Lead in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IDEO full-time

    Pros

    great culture, strong design pedigree, smart people and flexibility of working styles. A good platform for any designer to learn the ropes. You will learn a great deal from wonderful peers.

    Cons

    Senior leadership doesn't seem as interested to invest or nurture young talent. Harder to get exposure to the leadership team. Salaries could be better.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the talent


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Senior Project Lead"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Portfolio Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Portfolio Director in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IDEO full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are kind, smart, and cool. Many of my best friends come from here. The legacy and brand recognition are great too. Once in a while you get a outstanding project. Design Thinking is really creative. Groups work well together.

    Cons

    Career development is horrible. MDs and Partners don't really help middle level career people. You end up just being a "resource". It's very two faced. It's suppose to be about human centered, but really it's business centered. Projects can be really lousy. They only show the world the rare cool ones that come in.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in middle career people. Don't tell them to just figure it out. Also, don't take forever to give people bold new things to do. Don't say you're family centered, when you're just like McKinsey


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Interesting and challenging but not in a good way"

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

    I worked at IDEO full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Initially, wonderful work environment. David Kelly was involved in the company's day to day operations. Employees felt valued and important to the success of the company. People were rewarded not only for their individual accomplishments/contributions but also on the success of their work team and the company as a whole. Free food, drink and many opportunities for social interactions outside of work.

    Cons

    Good ole boy network. Too few women in upper management positions. Appeared that people were promoted based on who they were friends with rather than managenent/supervisory skills. Once you reached age 50, your knowledge and experience were considered worthless.

    Advice to Management

    Promote based on skill set and competence, not who is a friend of management team.


  11. "Best place I ever worked"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Human Factors Specialist, Level III in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Human Factors Specialist, Level III in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    collaborative, creative, stimulating environment, top-level talent, mostly ego-free interactions

    Cons

    mid-level management should be more transparent



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