Speck Design Reviews | Glassdoor

Speck Design Reviews

Updated February 25, 2017
15 reviews

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3.2
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Elisa Jagerson
10 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director, Product Development Strategy in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Director, Product Development Strategy in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have worked at Speck for over a decade, and watched us grow from a small scrapy company to an impressive design firm. What I love most about Speck is the opportunity to work on amazing projects for very cool clients. We work with everyone one from big companies like Apple, Google, and Ford to exciting start-up with cutting edge technologies. The team here is very close and supportive of one another.

    Cons

    We are small, so don't have all of the infastructure a large company has. Now that we are owned by FutureBrand some of that infastructure is improving.

    Advice to Management

    Keep bringing in great projects and people.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Not saved by acquisition..."

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

    I have been working at Speck Design full-time

    Pros

    Every creative agency has at least some creative people so that does not say much. We tend to skew older which means that our people have more than a few projects under their belt.

    Cons

    MANGEMENT and CULTURE. Wow. We seem to have a glassdoor flame war going on here but from a design and engineering perspective we seem to do project work for decent clients. We are not in the same league as the premier firms by any means. The company has been in business for 20 years but we have never been smaller. There are really about 14 people left (the website still has people that have left) which makes it hard to be taken seriously. It also makes it impossible to have any energy or vibrancy. It feels dead especially with two offices. Sometimes I am the only person in the office... DEAD. We have no awards of late and the company that purchased us has never designed product (they are a brand company). Our leadership is now down to just a CEO that has no design or product experience (as mentioned in many other reviews) and a BD executive that has never sold anything in the 1.5 years that he has been here. I hope things turn around but if you are looking for work here just know that we are in a bit of a stall.

    Advice to Management

    Please hire people who have successfully run design firms and that can close more strategic deals. We are only as good as the work that we do.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Meh"

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

    I worked at Speck Design full-time

    Pros

    Client interaction at all levels of experience
    Projects from a wide range of industries
    Multidiscipline environment

    Cons

    In any company, the cultural drive to create the best designs possible comes from the top down and Speck’s CEO/Owner does not have the experience or genuine desire to do the work it takes. It’s all about the bottom line and selling the company.
    Your passion for design will be drained until there is only a husk.
    Many promises for benefits like matching 401K are “offered” but there is little follow through or consistency.
    Turnover has significant effects on culture and maintaining internal processes.
    You are “required” to meet a 40 hour billable week which is difficult when you end up with 8-12 hours of internal meetings a week.

    Advice to Management

    Ignite passion and invest in developing your employees and culture.


  4. "Small name, big impact"

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

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

    Pros

    Awesome reputation in Silicon Valley.
    Working with big time clients and super cool projects.
    Culture of collaboration and authenticity.
    Still making real products (competitors spend more time making powerpoint decks)

    Cons

    Operational support feels like an early stage company

    Advice to Management

    With more investment there are significant growth opportunities here
    Dial up the HR expertise


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Weird little company"

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

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

    Pros

    They seem to attract great clients, and somehow manage to deliver good work. Some projects can be very exciting and rewarding to work on.

    Cons

    The engineers and designers (ID) were great, but the management sucked. The one ME manager I dealt with was a data-hog who didn't know how to share and was eventually removed like a tumor on the company, sucking the fun of the company. But what can you say about a CEO who actually seeks guidance from a psychic (seriously!). It tends to shake your confidence in how she leads the company.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the company to someone who actually knows something about the product design business.


  6. "It's a fun and collaborative environment!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends

    Pros

    The people are genuinely nice, do great work and the clients are Fortune 100 and start-ups, too. Something for everyone. Lots of team building and socializing makes people bond. Relaxed and creative atmosphere and amazingly focused on solving the problem, making things work really well. Passionate. Proud of work but not cocky.

    Cons

    Free food. And lots of it. Am gaining weight weekly. More than twenty words about weight gain due to free food is not easy. But I did it.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be late for meetings...that goes for everyone. Including anyone reading this. Hugely disrespectful when people are late for meetings.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great projects and fun atmosphere"

    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 Speck Design full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pretty impressive range of projects. I've had the chance to work on new Google hardware, Apple retail environment, and future of mobility initiatives. And lots of robotics and computer vision technologies. The culture is unique -- supportive and quirky with a bit of rowdiness.

    Cons

    There are some growing pains with the FutureBrand acquisition.

    Advice to Management

    Maintain the culture even with lots of growth ahead.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Needs an overhaul"

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

    I worked at Speck Design full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -some real smart and real fun people
    -I found the compensation to be fair
    -variety of projects

    Cons

    -somewhat sketchy behavior from leadership: CEO asked company to put reviews up on Glassdoor to counter the negative ones which had been posted, not ethical
    -poor project quality & planning has made it hard to succeed or stay interested
    -poor team cohesion, especially with last-minute new hires who are not properly on-boarded or vetted by the existing team

    Advice to Management

    Bring in admin-level people with real first-hand experience in design, engineering, or insights to lead the company. Some leaders at the top within Speck do not seem capable of fully understanding what their company even does because they have never done any of the work themselves.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Where good engineers go to die"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Speck Design full-time

    Pros

    -There are literally no pros to working at Speck Design. I could not wait to leave.

    Cons

    -Some of the highest strung people I've ever worked with.
    -A very odd group of engineers. No cohesion.
    -The company has this thing about hiring contractors. Makes no sense. They'd constantly bring in engineering contractors to work on projects. And then a few months later they're gone. That's a great way to build a team.
    -Projects lack excitement. Maybe not Speck's fault. They have to take on any projects just to make ends meet.
    -Constant money problems.
    -No career advancement.
    -There is no fun here.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some people from actual design firms like Frog, IDEO, Bridge, Lunar, etc.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Awesome people, endless possibilities, great place to be!"

    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 Speck Design full-time

    Pros

    Speck Design works with some of the biggest names in the bay area. The ability to work on groundbreaking products is what drew me to the company and it has not disappointed.

    Speck Design is in a unique position with the recent acquisition by Future Brands. This has opened up many more opportunities. If you are the kind of person who embraces a challenge and loves to drive change, then Speck is the place for you. The staff is a unique mix of disciplines and everyone works well together.
    There is never a dull moment.

    Cons

    There are some growing pains and organizational challenges which come with an acquisition, but I am positive these will be resolved in the near future.

    Advice to Management

    There is a lot of passion and energy, which starts at the top. Keep it up!


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