Primal Fusion Reviews | Glassdoor

Primal Fusion Reviews

6 reviews

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3.5
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Primal Fusion CEO & Co-President Yvan Couture
Yvan Couture
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Challenging but a very interesting space to be in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer, Team Lead in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer, Team Lead in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Primal Fusion full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great office and very very interesting problem that Primal is working on (there is too much data on the net, why can't machines bring it to you?). Semantic synthesis, natural language processing with AI elements. Been here 7 years (as of this writing), my technical chops have grown the most out of any other place I've worked being here.

    Everything you do matters here and your opinion is always valued regardless of your seniority.

    Cons

    We've spun our wheels a bit trying to pick the right go-to-market strategy or catering to larger companies that weren't really aligned with our value prop. It is a small company, which means you are involved in all aspects of the software life cycle, from brainstorming, to product road map & planning, into development, QA, deployment and support. That could be seen as a pro or a con depending on what you look for.

    Sometimes it can feel like we hold up releasing something in pursuit of perfection, which can be annoying.


  2. "No product/market fit"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Primal Fusion full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Good pay, standard benefits
    - Excellent location at King & University (close to bus routes & highway, lots of lunch options, etc)
    - Nice office (decoration, layout, etc)
    - Decent culture and social atmosphere
    - CEO is experienced, well connected and charismatic
    - 5% Employee Trust to be paid out if there's a buyout or IPO
    - Good opportunity for researcher types

    Cons

    - Sometimes it felt like the company lacked focus and other times it felt like the company was focused on the wrong thing.
    - Founder is very intelligent BUT also very non-technical. Trying to nail down requirements was often difficult.
    - Management spent enormous amounts of money to build an elaborate product without ever checking the market to see if there were any customers
    - the Employee Trust is just a carrot on a stick... which only benefits employees who happen to be around for a buyout/IPO (which I don't see happening soon -- if ever)
    - Senior management did a road trip to see VC's and big companies in Silicon Valley and nothing came from the trip. But at the time lots of semantic technology companies were being bought left and right.

    Advice to Management

    Find customers. Pivot, if necessary. Stop wasting government grants. Add insulation between founder and dev team.


  3. "Mixed."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Technical in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Company tries to do new things, rather than doing the same thing as other companies
    - Relaxed work environment, flexible hours, snacks, health club
    - Nice co-workers
    - They have a research team

    Cons

    - a lot of talk about being market driven, but in practice that doesn't happen.
    - no understanding of what value the products are supposed to create for customers.
    - Board need to move founder out of day to day micromanagement

    Advice to Management

    Create products that customers are willing to pay for. Don't develop anything until there is some evidence (revenue?) that customers find it valuable.


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  5. "Primal is a fun place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    * innovation is encouraged
    * results-oriented work environment
    * team is smart and fun
    * lots of interesting challenges
    * openness to ideas from every level of staff

    Cons

    * location
    * salary and benefits package isn't the best

    Advice to Management

    Continue to encourage innovation.


  6. "2nd review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    good salary
    good location
    Ivan tells good jokes
    Fish are nice
    A lot of smart people

    Cons

    they hire people, then they don't listen to what they have to say. Why do they have so many Directors? Most of them are totally clueless of what goes in the company. There is simply no middleman between management and developers.

    The development team was a joke. They spent years and millions of dollars developing worthless software. And when someone told them, hold on, this will not work, the response will be: We want to meet the deadline, we don't care if the software has any practical use. Don't get me wrong. All developers were great at their jobs and did amazing things in very short time. They worked overtime and totally earned their salary. Too bad nobody took the time to do a feasibility study beforehand ...

     The research team was also a joke. Most (and probably all) of the Ph.D.s in the company work as developers.
    At the same time, the culture in the company was to hate Ph.D.s and everything that came from "research".

     A lot can also be desired from HR and hiring.
    I heard that they fired a Ph.D. in computer science and hired a Ph.D. in psychology to run software development, great move, wouldn't you say? IMHO a company with no vision is destined to fail.

    Advice to Management

    Fire all directors, they bring no value to such a small company. How can half of the team of a company be directors? And how can people with bachelor in chemestry and bachelor in civil engineering be responsible for what goes into software production? Middle management should also go.
     As the saying goes, too many chiefs, not enough Indians! The company is too small to need all these directors. Keep about 6 developers max until the company starts to make money. Hire 1-2 Computer Science Ph.D.s (not psychology Ph.Ds) that are experts to guide them. And I mean experts in Web 3.0 (Assuming that's what the company is doing) . As far as I know, the company still doesn't have a single expert in this area.
    Which leads to me my last point.
    Have a vision for a product that can make money. Saying we will develop products that make money is not the same. I heard that a 2nd year coop suggested a better product than what the company currently had. This speaks volume! Maybe this 2nd year coop student should be running the company!


  7. "Great place to work, in a challenging and ground breaking area."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Waterloo, ON (Canada)
    Recommends

    Pros

    Smart team, collaborative environment, exciting products

    Cons

    Too focused on hiring PHDs, too much politics for a company that size.

    Advice to Management

    If they truly want to build a company, management must listen to the employees.