Intellectual Ventures Reviews | Glassdoor

Intellectual Ventures Reviews

Updated January 20, 2019
126 reviews

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3.0
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Nathan Myhrvold
71 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "You get to work with really smart people" (in 19 reviews)

  • "Everyone here is really, really smart" (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "The company is in a down spiral mostly because it could not address major changes in patent legislation which severely affected its business model" (in 16 reviews)

  • "A business that doesn't value teamwork or bring out the best in its people" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Intellectual Ventures full-time

    Pros

    Geared toward making employees happy

    Cons

    None that I can think of


  2. "Competitive and Siloed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Specialist in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Content Specialist in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nathan Myhrvold is a fantastic innovator, philanthropist, and creative, working at IV is an opportunity to observe a truly unique leader with unusual interests, motivators and drive.
    There are all kinds of interesting and innovative projects happening across the lab.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, middle management at IV's derivative companies is often paranoid and insecure. They have a tendency to try to give upper management agreeable answers, hide their mistakes, and gloss over information which may be disruptive. Managers frequently compete with each other and the general culture tends to toward gossip and infighting rather than collaboration. Projects still get done, but they are accomplished inefficiently and with much emotion across teams.

    Advice to Management

    1. After the next 360 review IV executives should stack rank the middle managers - then the people at each company/team who are leaving the most emotional and negative feedback should be terminated along with underperforming middle management>
    2. Managers who encourage autonomy, self-reporting, and collaboration should be recruited from area startups and brought on to implement a transparent culture, (instead of competitive micro-management).
    3. A 15 minute standup where people self report on projects/blockages should happen daily until the culture is no longer fearful of open communication.
    4. Human Resources needs to coach staff on appropriate conversations and set up anonymous tip lines, I cannot stress this enough. For example, there is no reason any middle manager should discuss the political leanings of Myhrvold with a subordinate especially during business hours. It would be a travesty to see any IV project stopped due to a legal issue caused by a dysfunctional junior manager.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Unhealthy office climate. Not worth it."

    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 Intellectual Ventures full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Generous PTO, flexible work arrangements, company events.

    Cons

    It's a competitive "claw your way to the top" type of environment. Poor teamwork. Upper management and leadership expects 100% perfection on everything, which encourages employees to hide mistakes and hope they go unnoticed, or divert blame/throw team mates under the bus. It was sad how many times I saw directors deliberately concealing their mistakes so they wouldn't be their manager's next target.

    Advice to Management

    Be realistic in expectations. Look at turnover trends/exit interview feedback by leader and actually do something about it.


  4. "Sr Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, good Office location, good salaries and benefits

    Cons

    Business model changes often


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Constantly Changing"

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

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

    Pros

    You get to work with really talented people. The business is constantly evolving and changing, which keeps the work interesting.

    Cons

    Politics. Lack of transparency.

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent with employees about what's going on in the company.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Review"

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

    Pros

    Pay, benefits, and generous PTO

    Cons

    Competitive culture not supportive of team work, little autonomy, and micromanaging leaders


  7. "Innovative Company, Poor Communication"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Intellectual Ventures full-time

    Pros

    Great pay, comparable benefits, learning opportunities, unique business

    Cons

    Upper management detached from workforce, political wrangling and jockeying taking precedence over teamwork, unclear direction, not in tune to employee needs, hard place to work with conflicting goals, poor communication, number of layoffs, shifting of business focus

    Advice to Management

    More transparency, establish a more positive work environment that rewards or supports employees in ways other than compensation to build stability

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Very Unusual Company - now going through a major redirection"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very smart employees, very experienced and at the top of their professions. Only hires people with major accomplishments and previous achievements. a combination of patent lawyers and engineers, all must be with MSc or PhD / JD degrees.

    Cons

    The company is in a down spiral mostly because it could not address major changes in patent legislation which severely affected its business model

    Advice to Management

    Present a long term vision and direction to employees & investors, especially about the future of its funds operations


  9. "Great company to work for!"

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

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The management saw the hard work and provided opportunities to move up.

    Cons

    I do not think of any Cons. The reason for leaving the company was outside environment change such as commute.


  10. "Pretty good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Intellectual Ventures full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun, flexible culture if you work at the lab. Lots of free food and events put on by the administrative staff. Smart people and well funded.

    Cons

    If you work in a corporate function and sit at the corporate offices it's rigid and uncertain. Lots of layoffs and uncertainty in bonus payouts