Synthego Reviews | Glassdoor

Synthego Reviews

Updated March 16, 2019
56 reviews

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4.4
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Paul Dabrowski
47 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great work environment and Great employee's" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Working in a cutting edge field" (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • "Fast paced dynamic work place, many challenges" (in 7 reviews)

  • "The peninsula traffic can be bad for commuters" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great atmosphere. Ability to move up."

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

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

    Pros

    Atmosphere
    Supportive environment
    Ability to move up
    Not limited to one task

    Cons

    Company still going through growing pains

    Advice to Management

    No advice to management.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Unhappy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Synthego full-time

    Pros

    -Free lunch, dinner, and snacks
    -Coworkers are pretty intelligent people for the most part

    Cons

    -Be wary of positive Glassdoor reviews put up right after negative ones, they try to cover up how serious and prevalent their issues are throughout all departments so they might not always be an accurate representation of the company
    -Company is growing too fast and is taking on projects that it doesn't have the time, manpower, or resources to be able to handle. Unrealistic expectations of what is feasible to complete leaves many employees in all departments extremely stressed to meet these deadlines and face the consequences when products are not on time
    -Ideas and suggestions for improvement are said to be welcome but are never taken to heart or acted upon. Basic safety concerns are either ignored or responded to with a web of lies. This is not just a one time occurrence
    -Management shifts all blame and pressure down the food chain but are the first to take credit for anything that goes right without spreading that down to those who put in the elbow grease
    -Many (but not all) managers and higher ups are vastly under-experienced and sometimes have no relevant experience at all to their current position and cannot fulfill what is expected of them from their employees. Difficult to complete work when managers don't know enough about what their own employees do each day to discern what is a reasonable accommodation and what will vastly slow down productivity

    Advice to Management

    Happy employees make happy oligos; listen to your employees and take action on their cries for help. Clear out those who foster a negative work environment and this will lead you to the productivity you desperately seek.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great start-up culture, talent, and company vision"

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

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

    Pros

    A culture with very young, talented people, and even the older people are hip! Culture that encourages recognition and rewards hard work. Everybody feels comfortable speaking up. Everybody works very hard and is extremely talented. The company vision and priorities and blockers are transparent and shared weekly. Complimentary lunch and dinner orders are provided, as well as snacks and drinks. Rapidly expanding!

    Cons

    Not too much structure or process established yet, but is in progress (but what else to expect from a growing start-up?) Only fear is that they might not be able to keep up with the rate they ARE expanding, scaling up, growing - they are setting the bar very high.


  4. Helpful (16)

    "Not worth it"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Synthego full-time

    Pros

    Some free food.. but still not worth it

    Cons

    Be aware – this is NOT a research position! This is how they trick people. They do not state that it is a MANUFACTURING position at any point in the interview even though the title is “research associate” so they can get better candidates. Be wary of all the positive reviews, these are from brand new people that were encouraged by management to write good reviews. They haven't seen how bad it is yet.

    The culture is vicious, toxic and it is the perfect model of how NOT to run a company. Management does not have any respect for the overworked employees, and they continue to overload them with extra work because some of the managers don't know how to do their jobs. A lot of C-levels are unqualified for their role.

    If you try to break free from the cog-like mold they have put you into, they will try to knock you down until you shut up and do anything that they tell you to do or you quit. Management constantly tries to put the blame on anyone they can find when things go wrong but take all the credit when you do something good.

    They are constantly trying to patch the holes with people who have little to no relevant experience. There’s a ton of people quitting every couple of months since they have realized that their careers are going nowhere at Synthego. Management is constantly scrambling to put out the fires that they have caused. Synthego just can’t seem to get it together. If you desperately need experience, get in and get out quickly.

    Advice to Management

    LISTEN to your employees, hire people with relevant experience


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Growing and great company"

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

    I have been working at Synthego full-time

    Pros

    Pros include medical insurance other than Kaiser, very welcoming staff, fully stocked kitchens, lunch/dinner provided, winter access to a lodge in Tahoe, general willingness to help each other, and more.

    Cons

    It's a startup and currently experiencing some growing pains but staff are cohesive and perseverant.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen and respond to what employees have to say, especially those in operations/ production.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Rapidly growing company at cutting edge of biotech"

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

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

    Pros

    Shared company vision with energy to make a difference in the CRISPR field. Plenty of perks, your co-workers are some of the best in their fields, and rapid growth is inspiring to see

    Cons

    Departments could communicate better and would be nice if all personnel were in the same building.


  7. "An amazing place to work"

    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 Synthego full-time

    Pros

    Very intelligent people that aim to challenge the narrative around CRISPR genome engineering. An intellectually stimulating place to be.

    Cons

    You have to like a fast pace and changing environment, and being busy - need to have good time management and ability to prioritize.

    Advice to Management

    The management is amazing. If I have to give one advice, that would be to listen to their employees more.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Overwork Engineers"

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

    I have been working at Synthego (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working on great product. Smart people and good mission.

    Cons

    Feel overwork, underpaid, and undervalued.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "High Potential Biotech Startup with Lackluster Leadership and Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Free Lunch and Dinner
    - A ton of snacks and drinks
    - Small company-built gym
    - Standing desks
    - Lots of plants and open space
    - People are generally smart
    - Good for scientific research in the CRISPR space and learning about all things CRISPR
    - Proprietary software/hardware/information
    - Incredibly high barriers to entry so competition mainly comes from big pharma who can't move quick enough
    - Seen as a leader in the CRISPR space by outsiders
    - Huge Series C funding

    Cons

    - Cofounders lack work experience/MBAs leading to high-pressure micro management and a reliance on more veteran senior management which creates a lot of politics and self-saving efforts rather than collaboration and teamwork. The cofounders did not define a company culture early on leading to subcultures and cliques that nobody bothers to change. The lack of willingness to communicate across departments and teams shows how much people dislike having to work with others.

    - Clear sense of prioritizing people who speak the loudest, are most popular, and appear to be "smart" while those lower on the totem don't get any real recognition/promotions despite how much work they do. The only time they receive recognition is during the weekly all-hands which really, to me, seems to be a pity pat-on-the-back showcase for people to pretend like everything is going well.

    - Managers range from 4-15 years of experience, so your mileage will vary in terms of your career development and projects.

    - It seems that the main incentive to join Synthego is the fact that it has unicorn potential rather than a great working environment, and I think a lot of employees are willing to hold out until Synthego reaches an IPO despite its obvious flaws but time will tell. I suspect a lot of the younger people will start to leave in 2019 when they figure out you can't build a long-term career here and nobody seems to care about their future.

    - There's a habit of people straight up ignoring emails and blocking off communication for hours. It is super unprofessional yet there's no accountability since everyone seems to do it.

    - Huge lack of available conference rooms

    - No 401k matching

    Advice to Management

    You've done your best, but your inexperience shows very clearly. Start focusing on people rather than results now that you got your funding.


  10. Helpful (22)

    "I regret it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Synthego full-time

    Pros

    Free lunch and dinner. Company is very good at marketing and promises anything to get the sale. Fast-developing field.
    Some middle-level people are trying to fix mess.

    Cons

    Don't believe everything that you read or hear. Multiple levels of incompetence at this company. A lot of the C-level not qualified or has exp in irrelevant fields.
    A lot of chaos and disorganization around product decision and many things are overpromised and underdelivered. Toxic individuals are allowed to stay on and create a zone of destruction around them. Management is too inexperienced or political to do what's right for the company.
    If you are in production, you are treated like a cog, get worked very long hours, and get none of the supposed benefits of a startup.
    Lots of experienced people got fed up and left recently.

    Advice to Management

    Actually listen to your employees and implement their solutions. Don't think you know how to fix everything. If you want quality, then expect to pay for it.