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Neato Robotics Reviews

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3.5
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Neato Robotics Chairman & CEO Giacomo Marini
Giacomo Marini
14 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Exciting Things are Happening"

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

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

    Pros

    Brilliant and fun co-workers
    Everyone I have met LOVES the product
    The Botvacs are awesome!!!
    Flex time when needed
    Catered lunches and good PTO allowance
    Leadership team works well together

    Cons

    Communication could be better but that is always a work in progress!

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing! Stay connected with employees and keep the communication lines open!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "On the right track"

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

    I have been working at Neato Robotics full-time

    Pros

    There have been years where the leadership has seemed a little shaky, the product has seemed a little shaky, and the teams have been a little shaky. All startups go through it and so has Neato. The difference is that this pre-IPO company is very focused producing a product that is selling very well and challenging (and besting) the market leaders.
    Probably the only consumer robotics company I know of in the valley that is in the black.
    Talented and dedicated team members in all facets of hardware, product design, and software (cloud and roboticists).
    Cohesive, positive, and team oriented work environment.
    Fun, with access to every department within footsteps - including a nice machine shop.
    Lunch catered

    Cons

    Comparatively low salaries
    Stingy with options
    Few perks
    No team building weekends
    Stingy dental plan

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. I think the focus on the bottom line is finally starting to pay dividends. Take more risks, but not any "bet the company" risks. We learn a lot by trying and failing, too. Focus on recruiting more hardware and software talent.

  3. "Great potential and making strides"

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

    I have been working at Neato Robotics full-time

    Pros

    Fast-paced and leading-edge technologies. It's a small startup and your contribution makes a big impact. Great energy rolling in the company as more smart, collaborative, and passionate people join in. Top leadership is empowering employees and allowing for fun and engaging interactions. Flexible hours, feedback loops and forward-looking actions add to the positive indicators that the overall direction is going up.

    Cons

    Too many meetings. Lacking of process/schedule alignment across groups. Some level of office politics, unresolved conflicts and allowing some weak leadership to continue uncorrected can put a damper at times and pose risk to growth.

    Advice to Management

    Take action to squash office politics, do not allow negativity to breed, and communicate the vision clearly and succinctly company-wide.


  4. "Be a part of something great!"

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

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

    Pros

    Open-mindedness to new ideas. There is a great deal of freedom, employees are supported and encouraged to take on challenges often outside of their core responsibilities. Great efforts to communicate to employees, sharing news and business updates widely. Great teams of passionate people.

    Cons

    Communications between teams could improve.


  5. "good and getting even better"

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

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

    Pros

    It's an overall positive place to work with an uplifting and collaborative atmosphere. All levels of senior and executive staff have a very doors open policy and are right in there working alongside their team members. Its easy to tell that they care about the people, the product, and the company.
    Neato has a lot of talented and friendly people who are willing to help in any way.
    Despite tight deadlines and high priorities when possible Neato provides a good work life balance.
    It's a stellar product that is above competitors and something to be proud of.

    Cons

    The office space lacks "personality", the conference rooms and work spaces are a bit stale.

    Advice to Management

    Delegate a bit more often and trust your employees to do the job you hired them to do
    Have more company meetings with more transparency


  6. "Excellent experience at Neato"

    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 Neato Robotics part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Fun, passionate, and brilliant coworkers in all departments
    - Fully stocked kitchen
    - Excellent product
    - Friendly CEO

    Cons

    There is so much freedom that quite often you encounter someone twiddling their thumbs. Very frustrating when it is someone you work closely with.


  7. "Improving"

    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 Neato Robotics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When I joined the company, it was undergoing a very tough time, with a lot of newly-hired engineering staff trying to pick up where their predecessors had left off and figure out how to get things to work. It definitely got worse before it got better, but by the time I left, the work environment was improving, with several new products successfully launched in 2015. Everyone was friendly and there's a strong core of keen robotics people in the company. A lot of effort is put in to make the product good and reliable.

    Cons

    High turnover, especially a couple of years back, makes life challenging trying to keep everything on track. Hopefully there's now some stability in the engineering department. I left because I felt I'd reached a level where I was not going to progress without changing job. Pay was a bit low and didn't increase while I was there.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good, steady progress, it was definitely getting better towards the end of my time at the company

  8. "awesome"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    this is a great company

    Cons

    I see no flaws whatsoever

    Advice to Management

    be nicer

    Neato Robotics Response

    Aug 8, 2016 – Chairman & CEO

    Dear "awesome",
    we are sincerely delighted by your words but bit puzzled by the 2 stars.
    We will be nicer.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Decent Product, Great Engineers - if they had stayed"

    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 Neato Robotics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Catered lunch (maybe a perk)
    The robot works well, despite insane timelines and short-cuts.
    Once upon a time, the staff worked as a team and for the love of robots.
    I cannot state enough good things about partner company.

    Cons

    If you were a roboticist, this is great product to work on - but you won't have the time for that luxury.
    Warning: Engineers are Expendable. Zero employee retention plan.
    Zero long-term knowledge base... debugging, refactoring, or recruiting will not happen quickly while unicorns are still undiscovered.
    Serious lack of vision - Almost no engineering planning capacity, top-down - mainly because there is a huge gap between the product complexity, testing, user experience, and 'time to market'... and no feasible way to close that gap without robotic-focused-minds in the mix.
    Never-ending series of 'whim' decisions that cost lots more in man-hours and dollars.
    Employees are constantly overworked, under paid, and expected to put in insane hours forever.

    Advice to Management

    This company is small - therefore my review is far from anonymous. I strive not to be rude, rather I strive to be honest.

    After working for the company for a few years, I became numb to the insane expectations. In my experience 6-months is about the average time for an engineer to become useful and figure how to navigate the layers of history internal to how the product 'functions' (with some mentor assistance, of course). This basis would also be a requirement for that engineer to make an informed decision on how to 'fix' or 'change' something... because you have to first understand how it works before you fix it.

    I cannot count the number of good engineers that have left or been forced out. Why? Different reasons for this one or that one... but still, there outwardly seems to be very little thought administered as to how sudden major transitions will affect the trajectory of such a small company.

    May the bottom line continue to improve during the process of constantly reverse engineering the product.

    Neato Robotics Response

    Feb 22, 2015 – Chairman & CEO

    Yes, we have been on a path to change how engineering is done at Neato. I take responsibility for it and will not apologize for it. We are changing the forever debugging, bug fixing approach to... More


  10. Helpful (5)

    "A company with a genuinely novel start destined for an unremarkable end"

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

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

    Pros

    The people who designed the original product designed an unprecedented navigation and cleaning robot. It was, for a long time, without equal.

    Free Lunches

    Abundant free snacks and soda

    Cons

    There are many serious problems with this company. Terrible pay is not the worst of it. My personal experience included a supervisor that would answer my results with profanity. The VP, who hired me, lost a great deal of my respect when he picked up this habit of speaking to me in the same fashion. I have never been in a workplace where I was spoken to in this way. These were people who should have conducted themselves with so much more polish. I took maximum effort to not become belligerent or just as profane. When you are beholden to a mortgage and personal expenses, you cannot always take the principled stands you would prefer to take. I just didn't expect, with the skill and education I have, to take the kind of abuse I would expect if I was a teen working in a retail job. Shame on them!

    In other instances, I could be in meetings with my supervisor and peers and utterly disregarded. I would speak and literally not have my spoken words acknowledged. I know I was not inaudible or invisible. It was the paramount of rudeness. I accepted that I was not respected. I did my best to care about the issues that kept this product in jeopardy in spite of the way I was held in such low esteem. Later, what I had cautioned would surface as valid, but never with the acknowledgement that I had clearly stated it. It was not my place, as an engineering professional, to tell them what they wanted to hear. It was my job to report how it was. It was their loss that they would not heed what I told them. It was not a compliment to their wits that they could not fathom that I had warned them about each of these matters. I owe them some thanks in fostering indifference in me. It surely preserved my sanity.

    Aside from the unconventional feedback I got in chiding and profanity, there were more serious issues to the health and success of the company. As an engineer, it's an alien concept to be charged with fixing a part that doesn't work but being forbidden to change the shape of the part. It would be akin to seeing a doctor who has diagnosed a patient with an operable cancer, and forbidding the doctor to use chemo or surgery. The doctor cannot affect a cure when the means to cure are taboo. In my case, I could not exact a cure to a mechanism without changing the shapes of failing parts. It's so obvious I don't think i should have to explain why that's a problem. A design had been created and not advanced past a prototype. That prototype, not having been fully tested, was put into production tooling. The mistakes of any design are expected to be resolved in prototyping, not production. Issues with design were being put to production staff to remedy. Of course, these were design issues, and outside of a production remedy. Redesign was required. That also meant that tooling, no matter how expensive it is to be made, would have to be discarded because it was implemented prematurely.

    I sympathize with the pain of the expense of making new tooling. I also can't comprehend how a design was put into production before it was tested. Moreover, if it had been tested, and issues like these surfaced in spite of testing, redesign was still a requirement to make a successful run. There is a culture, at Neato, where suggestions become dismissed. And, in my case, I withdrew from the process of offering insight and investing myself in the struggle to advance the product forward. I was hired to help with engineering issues. It became clear my job was to absorb harsh criticism and take abuse. I started interviewing for a new position a month after I started work there. Always hoping along the way I would insinuate some good. I learned to stop looking for those opportunities. I had to stop caring because caring became too expensive for my spirit.

    Advice to Management

    All of the engineering staff that designed the product, when I arrived, was no longer with the company. All of the people who interviewed me had left in less than 3 months of being in the company. Some of them were dismissed. Most left. It is not reasonable to say that people leave for better opportunity in pay and benefits. You must take ownership for your errors because anyone else who can be blamed has been replaced. Some of the people blamed have been replaced repeatedly. So, you have to look at who has been at the company the longest and ask yourself if those people are really the people you should be trusting for the this company to work. You need a mirror for this process too.

    People are leaving in response to the state of misery they feel at work. It takes an inordinately bad situation to drive people out of a company where people love the product and dream of its potential. There were amazing accomplishments made by the people who created the first generation of this product. Since then, there has been no real effort to advance the product and keep it relevant. The time the company has existed has been long enough to accept that it is no longer "a start up". It's time to make difficult decisions about what should be happening next.

    There's something rotten in Denmark... It's the king.

    To address matters of morale will require a complete restaffing of the management. It's an indictment of poor management when the person with the immediate charge of morale resigns for a new position.

    On my last day, I was told in my exit interview that 32 people had left in the course of that 8 months. Imagine, in so small a company, what that says. You cannot point a blame at the employees when so many can't bear to be there.

    People there know that dismissal is what awaits anyone who takes a stand about what needs to be done. We know because we've seen it happen so often. The roster changes so frequently that we were often unaware that people had left or been dismissed. Often, unanswered emails prompted going to a colleague's desk. And arriving at that desk all of that person's effects would be missing

    Small measures and blame have been the theme in keeping the company moving. Small measures are destroying the company. Blame is elevating the worst in the organization and filtering out the talent that could help you to succeed.

    If people are penalized or fired for telling you what you don't like to hear, no one will be bold enough to keep your company afloat. It's a shame because you pushed away people who wanted so much for your company to succeed. A lot of great people were pushed out or fired. People, who in retrospect, you couldn't afford to hire but loved the potential your product had.

    If parts need redesigning, people need better pay, or management needs replacing, then you must meet these needs to succeed. If these are places you can't deliver, you are conceding you're not able to maintain the minimum requirements to keep the business viable. It would be better to accept failure, or belly-up-to-the-bar and make the needed expenses. But, drifting between will only cost more money and damage the brand. Accept failure or commit to success.

    Have the humility to know you are not equal to the task and step down for one who is. OR, accept that you have failed.

    Neato Robotics Response

    Nov 6, 2014 – Chairman & CEO

    I will be brief.

    Pay: Our pay is competitive. We are attracting the top talent we need and are compensating appropriately.

    Profanity: we do not tolerate inappropriate behavior. We... More


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