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MicroStrategy Reviews

Updated January 10, 2018
754 reviews

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2.9
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MicroStrategy Chairman, President, and CEO Michael J. Saylor
Michael J. Saylor
496 Ratings

754 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • work life balance is very good there (in 84 reviews)

  • Great People to work with and always challenging assignments (in 37 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management doesn't always give initiatives enough time to see if they work so it can feel like you're changing direction several times a year (in 53 reviews)

  • When I told senior management that they have to (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "Not the best place, but not the worst either"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Tysons Corner, VA
    Former Employee - Director in Tysons Corner, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This company can be challenging, but it isn't a bad place to start as a junior level employee.
    It can be fun and exciting at times, especially if you are establishing yourself. To thrive here, you must be extremely flexible and roll with the punches and you need a sense of humor. MicroStrategy typically hires great junior and mid-level people.

    The benefits are good, but could be better (3 weeks vacation to start; max at 5 weeks), 50% 401k match, fun HR activities, employee lounge with nice coffee, beautiful onsite gym with free classes).

    Cons

    Strategy is led solely by the CEO and he believes he knows everything about everything. This means department heads who should be experts in their field typically become "yes men". The department heads typically bring mid-level employees into CEO reviews and don't typically offer much support or air cover which is extremely frustrating. There is a big focus on "field empowerment", but it seems like lip service right now.

    There isn't a lot of diversity or women in positions higher than a Director which is a problem as well.

    Benefits could be better with more flexibility for work/life balance and work from home options. They could also go the way of the tech companies and offer more family leave.

    Advice to Management

    First, give department heads the autonomy to manage their own budgets, people, projects. The level of micromanagement from leadership is insane.

    Second, hire for culture. The company likes fancy schools and experience from impressive companies, but it doesn't matter here if management won't allow these people to do the jobs they were hired to do.

    MicroStrategy Response

    Jan 18, 2018 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Thank you for the feedback - given your length of tenure with us and the feedback you provided, you clearly care about the future of this company. I do as well and we have been putting in place a... More


  2. "Business Development Manager"

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

    I worked at MicroStrategy full-time

    Pros

    - comp package for the role was great
    - great core BI and mobile technology

    Cons

    - ceo seems to pick and choose when he wants to get involved
    - organizationally they seem to cling to the old way of doing things and lack fresh ideas

    Advice to Management

    It's been a while since I've been there and most of them are gone

    MicroStrategy Response

    Jan 18, 2018 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Our Business Development Representatives are a critical part of our sales and marketing function and the opportunities we have in that organization provide a good place for people looking to break... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Positive energy, young people, smart people, recent emphasis on innovation"

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

    I have been working at MicroStrategy (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Innovation program and events ( twice a year one week hackathon, 20/80 program : 20% of your time assigned to your own project if approved)
    If do believe there is a true initiative to make this place, a great place to work, we have diverse events, team event every quarter (even though we might have to remind this advantage a bit)
    I am kind sad to see recurrent skeptical comments, I would (maybe naively) hope more employee would feel like I do, I am excited to go to work everyday and I enjoy my team and my work.
    Good work life balance, my managers are very comprehensive and caring about my growth and personal well being.

    Cons

    There is a quite hybrid version of Agile applied, I think that leave the SMs a little bit powerless. There is wrong agile rules being applied that biases the whole point of SM, like 1 point = 6 hours (the velocity will never change, there is always 40 hours in a week), so it is kind of impossible to get anything out of this data, to learn from it, have meaningful look at our productivity (like you are expecting from Agile). And this meaningless data is a key metric for the data driven management..
    There is a true believe that being a data-driven with "switches" that you can turn up or down is the dream company... on the contrary, I personally don't believe it is possible to inspire people in the long term with the carrot and stick approach. We need to leave enough autonomy and trust to employee so they can do their best work. I do think the 20/80 program initiative is driving us in the right direction.
    The compensation is not what I would expect even though I do feel recognized. The promotion do not solve that problem much (little raise). It is too bad because the only solution to "fix" our salary seems to change company.

    Advice to Management

    Thanks for the energy put into making this place a better place to work. I do love to come to work everyday. That being said, I do personally believe that there is not much that you can get out of a data driven management other than having people focusing on playing with the system. Inspired people (that I believe would do the best work) won't care about it. I don't care about it. We need to make sure that inspired people have their autonomy to work on what they are interested in. I believe that what you will get out inspired employee will worth it. That might mean that they might not go to the right direction, maybe fail at first, but with patience, so game-changer, great work can be born from that.

    MicroStrategy Response

    Dec 26, 2017 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Thank you for this thoughtful feedback. I appreciate that you have noticed the energy we are putting into making MicroStrategy a great place to come to work and that you have provided some very... More


  4. Helpful (14)

    "Stack ranking is a poison"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Tyson's Corner, Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Tyson's Corner, Fairfax, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Great enterprise BI softwares
    * Great location of the HQ building
    * Decent pay and benefits
    * Food truck and Thirsty Thursday in summer
    * Quarterly performance review allows for quick feedback from the management, which is helpful for improving performance and expectation.

    Cons

    I was quite surprised that MicroStrategy still uses the stack/forced ranking approach to review its employees that had been proven a failed system for performance evaluation by Yahoo, Microsoft, etc a few years ago.

    During the quarterly performance review process, managers use a number between 1 - 5 to rate the employees (1 being the worst and 5 the best), and they curve the performance ratings within each team, meaning that a small fraction of the team members get a 1 or 2, and smaller fraction get 4 or 5, while the majority get a passing score of 3. Almost all of us consider the following to be equivalent:

    1 = F,
    2 = D,
    3 = B,
    4 = B+,
    5 = A

    Even if you are a new hire, your performance is reviewed without lenience. To be honest, I got a low rating three months after I joined the company. Never had I got a such low performance rating in my entire career or school life till that point, I was totally frustrated. I tried my best to learn the new gig, and yet the manager considered that to be NOT good enough. I feel like MicroStrategy does not allow the new people to take time for learning, instead the manager expects new hires to hit the road and start running on day one, which is unrealistic expectation for people who come from a different field than BI. As a new hire, your first 3 - 4 weeks are spent 100% on the bootcamp, leaving only 8 - 9 weeks for actually learning/doing the work.

    My first perf review results made me question whether the company is good fit for me, so I made myself back on the job market. A few months later, I quit and landed on a bigger company that offers a better compensation package and probably a better career path, too.

    Advice to Management

    * Get rid of the toxic forced curve ranking
    * Be lenient to new hires - what do they have to lose if they jump jobs shortly after joining MicroStrategy?

    MicroStrategy Response

    Nov 9, 2017 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Stack ranking is a poison - I don't believe it works in companies that use non-random hiring procedures to select brilliant, motivated, and enthusiastic employees. That being said - performance... More


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Very Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - TSA in Tysons Corner, VA
    Current Employee - TSA in Tysons Corner, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A diversified company that really supports your growth as a professional.

    Cons

    Not that I'm aware of, but it is a big corporation, so individuality is not easy around.


  6. Helpful (24)

    "MacroTragedy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tysons Corner, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tysons Corner, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at MicroStrategy full-time

    Pros

    Central location (Tyson's, adjacency to mall, etc.), gym, nice modern building, as noted by many other reviewers.

    Also, employee lounge with pool table, if that sort of thing interests you.

    Flexible work hours. Working remotely is frowned upon, but building elevator is busiest around 10 pm and 5-6pm.

    Some minor but industry-average employee discounts at tech retailers like Apple and Dell.

    Ridiculously talented technology workforce in China and HQ. These are the architects, programmers and testers that pour countless hours into building company's products and reducing technical debt in the face of continuous cultural and organizational challenges, never-ending realignments of product strategy and a caustic work environment.

    Cons

    It is not at all surprising that this company with great potential has been marred by trouble after trouble in many directions.

    The now-infamous 2014 letter from Apex Capital to the CEO telling him to dock the yacht may have been spot-on but did not bode well for the rest of the company: Saylor came back with a vengeance and started micromanaging every nook and cranny of each product in the company's portfolio. This happens in many companies and the user that product management has to react to and satisfy is not only the customer but also the executive sponsors; but in the case of MSTR, these executives are a socially inept CEO that listens to noone but himself, a CTO that is even more socially inept than the CEO, with no technical acumen or leadership skills to speak of, and a string of yes-men (mostly men) from the CTO all the way down, that have time and again seen that the the key to survival in a company that did reorgs once a month at some point is never disagreeing with the CEO lest face, at best public humiliation over email, and at worst, termination.

    The company was run with no governance and internal accountability like an early stage start-up for many years and the efforts to rectify that were ham-handed at best. Paying a large sum for Agile Scrum management software, management tried to institute a time-recording system using that platform, raising the ire of many employees in the development ranks. Years and years of never having done real performance reviews and not having kept performance records, the company enabled senior director or VP-level people to directly grade hundreds of employees based on no feedback whatsoever from them or their supervisors; the effort to start performance management took off pretty much as a formality, where rankings and promotional considerations still continued to be based on factors other than real merit.

    When MSTR ventured into identity HR made colossal mistakes by stacking the senior management of that effort with non-technical product executives from security companies. And when all failed without a proper GtM strategy, they rebranded overnight into a security product, which finally fizzled out into an add-on feature for the BI suite.

    The bitterness from management mistakes and the executive rank's reactions to developments in a publicly-traded company results in very poor morale in the workforce and subsequently super-high attrition rates quarter after quarter. To HR's credit they tried every trick in the organizational behavior playbook: An employee council that tried to make employees feel empowered through anonymous surveys? Check. Super-high referral bonuses? Check. Happy hours? Check. Food truck free lunches instead of serving leftover food from the executive floor on other floors' kitchens? Check. But, the fact remains that most of the employee base is either looking for jobs elsewhere or scheming to rise.

    Another indicator of the poor health of the company is the vast divide between perceptions of success in different groups. Business Development or Engineering folks can be right in the middle of this misery (unless they are senior level folks that know how to play their cards right) while Legal or Marketing folks can be blissfully unaware of the fires going on among the development teams.

    Advice to Management

    Let me repeat what I said about the company's real asset: A ridiculously talented technology workforce in China and HQ. These are the architects, programmers and testers that pour countless hours into building company's products and reducing technical debt in the face of continuous cultural and organizational challenges, never-ending realignments of product strategy and a caustic work environment.

    So stop dangling bonuses to managers in exchange for cheerful reviews on Glassdoor (you can tell by the lack of detail and material in positive reviews that they were obtained this way) and take care of the employees. This doesn't mean the employees or good engineering alone can save the company --of course not. But good governance and organization, starting all the way at the top and systematically implemented horizontally and vertically, can maybe, just maybe make MSTR a place where people aren't either constantly looking for jobs elsewhere or scheming to rise.

    MicroStrategy Response

    Dec 26, 2017 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    We do have ridiculously talented people on our technology, services, sales, and corporate teams - I could not agree with you more. MicroStrategy has survived and thrived for nearly 30 years through... More


  7. Helpful (2)

    "software engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in China, NY
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in China, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    not very busy. good work/life balaance

    Cons

    company has a slowly growth

    MicroStrategy Response

    Nov 29, 2017 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Thank you for the review. Our plans call for aggressive growth and we compete in an exciting space. As many job seekers in the US, Poland, and China (where we have major centers of work) are seeing... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Traditional BI company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Product Owner in Vienna, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Owner in Vienna, VA
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great perks, great team with smart engineers.

    Cons

    BI has a long history with nearly 30 years and it is very hard to do something creative. The tech stack is kind outdated.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "BDR'S time to run out of the 14th Floor!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Representative in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Business Development Representative in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    None for a BDR, 2017 has been a disaster more then 50% BDR worlwide have quit becuase CEO decided to reduce the commission by more then 50%.

    Lack of respect for BDR, A few Account Executives respect and appreciate but upper management have no respect for BDR and while they increase account executive salary and Commission they have reduced the BDR.

    I would also like to ask a question why nobody from HR has respnded to the previous posts by BDR'S which have been negative but have responded to all the other BDR posts?

    Cons

    As mentioned in my Pros, More BDR will quit if they don't give them the respect and commision they deserve, already many of the competitors have hired EX BDR from MicroStrategy.

    Advice to Management

    Top management need to respect BDR and what value they have otherwise you will continue to loose and Business Development will suffer.

    MicroStrategy Response

    Dec 4, 2017 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Our BDRs are critical to the success of our company. We have been reading and considering the posts that have come from our BDR organization during the past several months. While the response on... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "MicroStrategy = Micro management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Tysons Corner, VA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Tysons Corner, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    very few friendly people
    free parking

    Cons

    For the past two years, my manage has micro-managed and abused his team. The whole team two years ago has left because nobody could stand his ignorance and abuse.

    As the leader of web team, he is biased on specific person. People who work hard never got promoted. Promise given never got fulfilled. Instead, person who finish the least work got promoted because he has a better connection with manager.

    As a result, five people who was treated unfairly has left the company for the two years.

    MicroStrategy should reconsider its major value because what's most important to a company is its people not just the managers.

    Treat people leaving with dignity instead of saying ill behind back!

    Cut down the numbers of VPs, hire more people who will do the real work instead of people who would only flatter managers.

    Advice to Management

    turn off the light

    MicroStrategy Response

    Dec 1, 2017 – Chief Human Resources Officer

    Our company success is completely dependent on our ability to create a workplace environment where people feel supported, respected, and empowered to do great things. If anyone feels that "abuse" is... More


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