Lithium Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

Lithium Technologies Reviews

Updated November 13, 2017
23 reviews

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Lithium Technologies President and CEO Rob Tarkoff
Rob Tarkoff
19 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Our work-life balance is what makes Lithium specially attractive to a lot of engineers (in 24 reviews)

  • Great people with a lot of successful tech company experience in their past (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • high turnover in certain groups (in 10 reviews)

  • The only downside to the benefits is no 401k matching, but this is offset by other benefits honestly (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Sinking Ship"

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

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

    Pros

    Work/life balance: good pay and light hours. People get in late and leave early. Ability to self-manage and flexible wfh.

    Colleagues: smart people and thought leadership that are passionate about the space. Collaborative.

    Cons

    Poor leadership: not transparent, decisions are made from the top-down without input from relevant teams. Town Halls use to be informative but now they're all about self-promotion and how great they are. A lot of leadership left.

    Acquisition by Vista Equity Partners caused a lot of turmoil across the company with layoffs and an unclear future. There are ruthless cost-cutting initiatives and many people feel their jobs are at stake.

    Benefits are not that good. Weak corporate culture. People stick to their own departments and don't inter-mingle, which is strange for a small company.

    Limited career growth.

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Nov 17, 2017 – CEO

    Not really sure what you are referring to. We had zero lay-offs as a result of the acquisition - in fact we are bigger now than we were at the time we were acquired. Not sure what ruthless cost... More


  2. Helpful (5)

    "A solid product built on stagnant code"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Lithium Technologies full-time

    Pros

    A lot of passionate people in the ranks

    Cons

    The primary product is a large monolithic code weighed down by years of closely coupled concerns.

    Advice to Management

    Just because past attempts to rearchitect around microservices failed doesn't mean it was the wrong idea, it just means the vision and execution was poor.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "Stay away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Lithium Technologies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    HR team is good.
    You will be compensated well in US.

    Cons

    All major work is shipped to Bangalore. Most of the employees in SF engineering are gone and some have been shown the door. If you want to do some maintenance work feel free to join. If you want to so some exciting work then this is not the place. Lithium has hired people in Bangalore like sheep herd. 1 SF engineer = 5 Bangalore cheap labor. And Bangalore employees are bunch of yes men who agree to whatever the eteam asks them to do without knowing the inner workings of things. Don't be over excited by the good reviews, most of them are from new hires in Bangalore.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees who built the company from grass root level, properly. Don't just show them the door just because you can hire cheap labor in Bangalore.

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Mar 27, 2017 – CEO

    Thank you for your review. I am sorry things did not work out for you. We have a strong multi-site team in SF, Austin and Banglore in Engineering. We hope to build talent in each location and I... More


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Great people, need more transparency"

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

    I have been working at Lithium Technologies (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with, great work life balance (the ability to work from home is awesome), some Executives are transparent but not all, great location!

    Cons

    Poor catering options (Eat Club is cheap but the most horrible food option), cost-cutting initiatives that impacted a few people with a layoff, Executives need to provide more transparency around cost saving initiatives, high turnover in certain departments, no recognition or rewards platform in place for acknowledging employees. Rumors say there are more layoffs to come - not a good sign.

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent. Be Real is one of the Mission and Values so practice what you preach.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Moderation Dept Not Valued or Treated as Equals"

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

    Pros

    - Flexible Work Hours
    - Remote/Virtual Teams allow for greater autonomy
    - Non Phone Work

    Cons

    - No work recognition
    - Low hourly pay
    - Favoritism Especially among Team Leads and who they decide to promote or not lay off/fire
    - No clear career road map for employee self-growth or promotion
    - Little to no work security (When sales aren't putting new contracts into the pipeline and they can't put you into an existing community, get ready for a pink slip)
    - Contractual Work with no pay increase (Be on the ball with keeping receipts and tracking expenses, and you will want to get an accountant.)
    - Low hourly rate

    Advice to Management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I will just focus on Moderation Services:

    Moderators are the abused step child of Lithium... pure and simple. Not to say that management in our department didn't try to bring our department to light in the beginning. But once certain people were promoted to other departments and Team Leads promoted to manage the Moderation Dept that stopped. .

    The hard truth is, the sales team has an incredibly hard time selling our department as a feature for the product. Likely because they don't know what we do. Nor do they try and learn about it. They simply don't care about our department at all.

    When we were introduced to an online pay rolling system, we were lied to and told the goal was to allow moderators to become employees and offer all of us benefits. When they realized the legal implications, that each country has different laws labor rights & protection, they quickly realized that their promises were just a dream and they didn't see or couldn't afford to add value into their staff. But again this was a lie because they have employees in other departments located all over the world and they are considered employees. So the excuses we were told were nothing but lies and a smoke screen.

    Then the corporate bloating occurred. Our wages stay the same, because we are "Independent Contractors" but the product overall has become more expensive. And in turn, what has occurred is the shrinking or cancellation of contracts, and a recent slew of layoffs because management didn't have the foresight to realize that when a chunk of your billable hours for a department come from one client, and that client stops feeding you.... you starve.
     And weekly team meetings became bi-weekly, or sometimes monthly because of cancellations. The disconnect became prevalent.

    In terms of career path, there is no future here because management doesn't let you know it even exists. It is impossible to know about openings unless you are friends with someone higher up or in another department. There is no real training, the certification modules from Klout are incredibly simplistic and don't really teach much.

    Knowledge sharing? You have to learn it all on your own. No one offers helps and don't bother asking your CSS because he/she are spread too thin on different projects (they claim but really don't do much but attend meetings that usually don't involve them since moderation is never a priority.) We constantly review communities on bi-weekly meetings that we've seen before, after we've been introduced to a list-long amount of bugfixes that were done, but they don't use that time to teach you about JIRA, LSI, Confluence or the dozens of other products we can use to become future leads, CSS, or other position besides moderator. You do not learn by watching someone quickly fidgeting with new feature who have a 15-20 minute window to show you how it works. YOU MUST CREATE LEARNING MODULES with EXERCISES to get real learning!

    For remote moderators, departments are a myth you hear about. You are completely 'silo'ed and are maybe getting an inkling of understanding of Lithium's corporate culture. The only way you can find out anything is by e-mail, and when you are bombarded with hundreds of posts a day to go through, most of us don't want to spend more time learning about what went on in terms of organizational changes in the company, when you are never going to see or even get a letter or e-mail from the higher-ups in the entirety of your career in moderation services.

    It was only near the end, that some CSS staff were really engaged in learning about our technical skills. They were promoting people who had no business being in certain positions, while others were sitting idly with their qualifications collecting dust. This is when the favortism really started to show. If you were a gamer and part of gaming forums outside of work, you got promoted. Your job was secured.

    Then the layoff's came. Again favortism at its full glory. People who had much higher skill levels and higher quality of work were laid off while those friends with certain Team Leads or who never questioned her or would just accept her abuse were kept. Job performance was not a factor when deciding who was kept. This saddened me greatly as I never thought Lithium was this type of company.

    And to make it worse, once a client decreased hours they told moderators they would be reassigned to another client and to self train while they did the restructuring. Then not even having the common courtesy to tell moderators they were now without a job and never were going to be reassigned, they locked us all out and had Kelly Services call us to let us know. They could not even tell us themselves. But yet we were supposed to be so valuable.

    From what i hear the rest of the company is great to work for. But Moderation Services while its good for a while, you won't know day to day if you have a job. And if you want to move up make sure you are a gamer or learn to be one and kiss the butt of certain Team Leads.


  6. Helpful (24)

    "Completely Unprofessional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Community Management
    Former Employee - Community Management
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Lithium Technologies full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great moderation team and excellent clients to work with.

    Cons

    I am utterly shocked at the lack of professionalism displayed by a company who I had expected more from. I was employed by a 3rd party, Kelly Services for 7 years. I was never given a raise and worked for significantly lower pay than competing companies. About a week ago, I learned that the client was cutting back on their hours. I was informed via a group email that I would be relocated to another client and that I should train in other areas in the meantime. One day later, I received a call from Kelly Services...NOT Lithium...giving me the bad news that since the client had cut back hours, my employment was to be terminated. I logged into email to contact someone from the Lithium team, only to find that all access had been taken away. Completely shocked. This is a company I had poured myself into for years. The lack of consideration or compassion was appalling to me. I have a BA and 12 years of experience in Community Management only to be pushed aside with total disregard. I was warned that Lithium did this by former co-workers and I am saddened that I put more faith in the company as I did. Proceed with caution.

    Advice to Management

    Professionalism and sincerity go a long way in a quality company.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "Executive Assistant"

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

    I worked at Lithium Technologies (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great employees to work with. Plenty of activities and they continue to grow as a company. They keep the refrigerator stocked.

    Cons

    The executive team was not great to work with. It was like high school working with the other EA's. If you didn't look and act like them they will shun you.

  8. Helpful (14)

    "Very sharp/talented people, indecisive leadership"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lithium Technologies full-time

    Pros

    - Amazing people to work with.
    - Probably one of the best places to work for as an Engineer
    - Beautiful Office
    - Great location

    Cons

    - E staff changes direction regularly
    - Very, very difficult to succeed if you're job function is tied to revenue
    - Layoffs happen quarterly
    - High employee turnover rate

    Advice to Management

    Get acquired ASAP

    Lithium Technologies Response

    May 11, 2015 – CEO

    I am sorry your employment did not work out at Lithium. I hope you are finding good opportunities elsewhere. Our direction has been clear and consistent but has to remain agile in a fast-paced... More


  9. Helpful (19)

    "Bad place to work. No direction. Stagnant. Does not know how to treat their employees."

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free snacks. Nice part of town. Pays reasonably well.

    Cons

    I worked for this company for almost 4 years. Upper management is disjointed and lacks respect for the people who actually do the work. They bring people in from outside and rarely promote internally. Company offering is stagnant.

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Feb 22, 2015 – CEO

    Hope you are happier now that you are with another company -- good luck!


  10. Helpful (29)

    "Awful Place, terrible leader, unclear vision, Klout what?"

    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

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

    Pros

    Cool San Fran office, nice perks, pockets of really good people (who are all looking for new jobs). The LiNC conference is excellent

    Cons

    CEO is not to be trusted- I love how he responds to the negative posts on Glassdoor with "sorry you feel this way, you should come talk to me about your review" Oh sure - you are such an approachable guy, I'll get right on your calendar. The CRO is not inspiring and hiring his big company friends which is radically changing the culture. Worst turn over I've ever seen -particularly in sales. No clear vision - stop focusing on IPO and start focusing on hitting your quarterly number for a change. It's a highly political environment (coming from the top). And the Klout acquisition has been a total bust! All that has come out of it is dilution of our share price, a complete obliteration of the Klout employee base and lots of head-scratching both internal to LIthium and within the market.

    Advice to Management

    How long is the Board going to put up with Tarkoff's weak leadership and constantly missing the unrealistic numbers he signs up for? Who is responsible for the Klout acquisition and what it's done to the value of the company? Who is responsible for hiring the CRO and the massive turnover that has resulted from that poor hire? It takes a long time for people to become productive, so sales will continue to miss quarter after quarter - someone needs to take responsibility for driving what was once a great company into the ground.

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Jan 1, 2015 – CEO

    Wow, sounds like you have had a tough run here. Anyone who wants to get on my calendar can. I am always eager to hear feedback. Not much I can do if you don't try.

    Our CRO is a phenomenal... More


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