Lithium Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

Lithium Technologies Reviews

Updated March 7, 2017
19 reviews

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Lithium Technologies President and CEO Rob Tarkoff
Rob Tarkoff
16 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Our work-life balance is what makes Lithium specially attractive to a lot of engineers (in 17 reviews)

  • Great people with a lot of successful tech company experience in their past (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • high turnover in certain groups (in 9 reviews)

  • Sales is given little to no help from leadership or marketing (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Stay away"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great people, need more transparency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  3. Helpful (21)

    "The Real Deal? I Don't Know Anyone Here That Is Happy."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    - Awesome office in downtown San Francisco
    - Free lunches
    - Many smart and energetic people

    Cons

    - Super outdated technology - communities - tech created in 2001
    - High turn over - everyone at the company seems to be looking for a job
    - Executive turn over - not typical of a company close to an IPO
    - Layoffs - not typical of a company close to an IPO
    - Desperate/dishonest executive team - when things start going bad, people start lying and that is what is happening - my favorite lie? the infamous Lithium IPO - the CEO has been saying this for years - but there is no way it is happening; company performance is just not there. The other issue? Lithium is spin city - everything bad is spun to be good - like layoffs - how can you spin layoffs as a good thing?
    - Office culture of backstabbing for survival - like rats on a sinking ship people are doing unnatural things to save themselves from the layoff - that is when they are not spending work hours looking for a new job. Not a healthy environment.
    - Klout purchase was a failure - poor integration, and not a clear message as to how/why it adds value to lithium or to the product offering. - Complete fail by the CEO.
    - Hardly any sales people making their number - again - not typical of a company close to IPO.
    - Finally all of the talented people are leaving -

    Advice to Management

    Stop lying, stop manipulating your employees. Be honest about the performance of the company - STOP SPINNING!


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  5. Helpful (20)

    "Avoid at all costs!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing 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

    Market leader in communities
    Parts of the product are really great
    Nice offices and catered lunch

    Cons

    They still talk about IPOing all the time, but just had major layoffs (maybe the two are related). It has been absolutely miserable working here and I plan to quit before they lay the rest of us off.

    On top of that, the majority of the product is really pretty terrible. Maybe it was great 4 or 5 years ago...the current project to tie everything together is going to take so much time that other vendors are going to end up on top. I would be amazed if this company is anything but a foot note in 5 years. Zero culture. High turnover. No direction.

    Advice to Management

    Ravi is a step in the right direction; the rest of the commercial leadership is an absolute joke and it's been miserable to see so many great ideas be thrown by the wayside just so we can integrate Klout.


  6. Helpful (21)

    "Don't work here!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    None. The brought in a new CRO who's major contribution is to lay people off, just after the company announced a very strong Q2 earnings report. No real rationale for the cutbacks.

    Cons

    Many. Trust is non-existent. I may be a current employee but I am looking for a job elsewhere. The Klout acquistion is very puzzling. they still don;t know what to do with it.

    Advice to Management

    Be more honest. Live up to the values you so endlessly repeat to everyone.


  7. Helpful (16)

    "Dishonest Leadership, Always take Low Road, Poor Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Great Market to be a part, and solid set of customers, yet they never tend to stick around for very long, Renewal Rate is less than 80% which is very poor for the industry

    Cons

    -- Most customer's leave after a 3-5 year run because they realize there is not much special about the technology.
    -- Multiple past employee's have contacted me directly to share stories about compensation disputes, miss treatment of employee's and very high turnover. (Just dig into how long all the employee's have worked at the company)

    Advice to Management

    -- Good luck selling or taking the company public before these issues surface and become aware to the public.


  8. Helpful (12)

    "Poor Management, Great Benefits.......Stay away from it"

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

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

    Pros

    Except the great benefits (Base Salary, Stocks....), there isn't any Pros to state

    Cons

    Bad work environment, full of politics, not really a good work environment for growth if you joining lately.
    What can i say about management, Unfit people, people not even good as lead/managers become directors here.

    Advice to Management

    Don't leave this company, you can never find the same title outside this company for your narrow minded politics and skill set.

    Lithium Technologies Response

    Jun 23, 2014 – Community Team

    Thanks for your comments. We understand we're not perfect and definitely don't claim to be. Yet we strive to be at a place where folks such as yourself can be proud of where we're heading. There's a ... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Company with great potential but no focus and a bad culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * great demand for Lithium community in social customer space
    * no real competitors
    * you don't have to work hard to be successful in this company as long as you are in a good relationship with the management

    Cons

    * processes for processes sake. HR runs this company.
    * lack of real competition is good for sales but it also means there is no interesting work to do, because customers don't have anything to compare Lithium to. And Lithium doesn't innovate unless told to do so by its customers.
    * hours are not flexible at all. Enormous amount of meetings/number of managers in the company means engineers have to be in the office at all times. And at Lithium meetings/managers' satisfaction is way more important than real work.
    * Weak middle management is causing real damage by interrupting cross team communication and communication between the team and higher management. Poor management also causes employees demotivation/talent departure.
    * Engineering salaries are way below average.
    * Last but not the least, Lithium became this only after the era of Rob Tarkoff had begun. It could be the way any pre-IPO company has to operate to be successful. But I would strongly discourage anyone with start up background from joining this company because most likely you are not going to be happy here.

    Advice to Management

    looks like the management is happy, so not sure they need my advice.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Not a great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    There is not much positive to say about this company, it's a bad place to work. For example the day after the CEO told the team more layoffs would take place and there would be no raises ,he and his cofounder showed up the next day driving brand new $80K+ german cars.

    Cons

    The eteam is weak and not forthright. The morale is horrible. Stay away!

    Advice to Management

    Beware your employees don't trust you and are going to leave when the economy gets better.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Moderation Dept Not Valued or Treated as Equals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


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