Vectorform Reviews | Glassdoor

Vectorform Reviews

Updated Jan 7, 2020

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3.7
64%
Recommend to a Friend
76%
Approve of CEO
Vectorform CEO and Co-Founder Jason Vazzano
Jason Vazzano
31 Ratings
Pros
  • "Very welcoming environment - the founders of the Seattle office all hail from the Royal Oak office, so there's this sense of "family"(in 7 reviews)

  • "The company-wide flexibility allows for work-life balance(in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "It took this invention company (founded in '99) 18 years to provide direct deposit(in 14 reviews)

  • "No direct deposit: If you have mobile deposit with your bank of choice, this helps mitigate the inconvenience(in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Growing 20 Year Old Start Up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - People Operations in Royal Oak, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vectorform full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You get out, what you put in. If you're a dedicated hard worker, they are very flexible with times you come in/ leave, as long as your get your 40+ hours in weekly. The employees here are incredible - they are very welcoming to newcomers, and you honestly can't tell the difference from an employee who has been here for 4 months vs 6 years. You also see the co-founders in the office weekly, very engaged with employees, which is always nice - even as the company grows, top executives stay involved enough to allow the employee to feel okay with going to them with an issue, suggestion, or even compliments of changes! - Open doors, open dialogues.

    Cons

    There are a lot of different systems utilized for each task. For users, it would be nice to utilize a 3rd party software to it's 100%, rather than 2 at 50% each.

    Vectorform2020-01-07
  2. Helpful (1)

    "I like it here!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Royal Oak, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vectorform full-time

    Pros

    Collaborative and open work environment in downtown Royal Oak. Company paid parking, easy to walk/bike to work or commute from anywhere in the metro Detroit area. Cool kitchen, lots of gadgets. Great benefits, interesting projects, awesome co-workers, helpful, dog friendly, team environment.

    Cons

    Like anywhere, there are deadlines and changes made by customers that are out of the team's control. Some need for OT, but you can usually work it out at home if necessary.

    Vectorform2019-05-01
  3. Helpful (2)

    "A great company but YMMV"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Royal Oak, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vectorform full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Vectorform was a great company to work at, I had an awesome experience there. Not everyone will say that though. And that's where the YMMV (your mileage may vary) comes in. Each review you read here will be taken from that employee's perspective and experience. Vectorform is the type of company where if you put a lot in, you get a lot out. Conversely, if you don't put much in or plan to slide by, you won't get very far and probably won't get much out of it. If you'r willing to put the work in, you will get noticed and go far. Some huge pro's were flexibility, the benefits, central location (not downtown Detroit), cool work environment, latest and greatest technology, and the people. One other benefit is that the CEO's are always open to conversation and talking about the business and life. You can walk into their office at any time and just chat with them. While I was at Vectorform I noticed a lot of former and current employee's didn't take advantage of this. Whether you do this at Vectoform or any other company, you should take time to do this, especially in such an open format.

    Cons

    So at Vectorform you must kill to eat. Each job you work on is a contract (they are a client-service based company). So if you like to do one consistent job and work on one technology, you should probably move on. The hard part about this is being able to always switch gears. Unfortunately crunch times do happen and you have to work on a couple of projects at once. This causes a bit of churn and frustration. Another con is recently they have been a bit understaffed for the work they currently have, and have been slow to hire. There is need for this caution but they should be quicker to hire.

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    Vectorform2019-01-04
  4. Helpful (4)

    "Not maturing well"

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

    I worked at Vectorform full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Many talented people that are passionate about what they do. Great potential.

    Cons

    Very cliquey, feels like more of a club than a business. Positive culture rapidly declining. Information distributed by leadership is mostly of the rah-rah variety. Financial stability continues to be a recurring issue over many years.

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    Vectorform2018-12-28
  5. Helpful (13)

    "The good and the bad."

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

    I worked at Vectorform full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    · Cool workspace (e.g., LED lights in the floor, one-wheel). · Full kitchen. · Talented team. · Diverse projects (It's a contract house). · Flexible schedule.

    Cons

    · The company has been, and continues to be, financially unstable. There have been multiple layoffs over the years, most recently nearly 30% of staff were cut. · Projects are often sold underrate which leads to improperly scoped work, tight deadlines, and team members working overtime. · Despite what you may be told, you have little room for creativity. Much like other contract houses/agencies, you are at the demands of the client(s). · The culture used to be something very special - truly a team based environment. Now, its sole focus is on profit and realization rates. (In addition, many of the team members that were the backbone of this culture are no longer with the company.) · Executive leadership refuses to choose a specific direction or type of work to focus on. This has resulted in a frustrating amount of wasted time and resources. · A larger effort should be put towards transparency and honesty. E.g., there are three locations, not five (as listed on their website and branding). The New York office closed YEARS ago; Munich within the last year. · They brand themselves as an, "invention company." They have invented 1 product (DTE Energy Bridge). · It took this invention company (founded in '99) 18 years to provide direct deposit. (I will admit, I slightly enjoyed receiving a hand-delivered paper check every other week.) · Favoritism is prevalent. It can be based on things such as how many extra hours you put in, or having interests that align with Leadership. · They offer WFH, but depending the team you are on, this can affect their view on your performance/position/value within the organization. · Continued promises of having "Developer Days" and "Brainchild" (passion projects), but never fulfilled. · Despite claims of diversity, there is none, and seemingly no desire or focus to improve it. · There are very few promotions, pay increases, or bonuses.

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    Vectorform2018-09-13

    Vectorform Response

    October 9, 2018Cheif People Officer

    Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comments. While Vectorform has certainly had some financial highs and lows through the years, as most companies have, we are financially stable. Making the tough and frankly heartbreaking decision to let staff go is never an easy one. However, sometimes it is necessary for the greater good. Regarding our culture of invention, It is important to understand what product invention really entails. For every 10 concepts we dream up and prototype only one or two might make it to a proof of concept stage. For every 10 POC's that make it less than one will result in a commercial product. Objectively speaking, if a product we invent becomes a commercial success every 10 years - that's not too bad! Regarding what we call "incremental invention" which is more focused on adding incremental value to an existing product - we find this can be just as challenging and rewarding with the added benefit that a far greater percentage of projects make it into the hands of the public. Regardless of how you classify our projects, the fact is that we have invented a lot of great things over the years. Examples include: A game that helps children with autism learn life skills (for Kaiser Permanente), a system to help doctors diagnose neurological disorders (for Texas Health Resources), and new methods of sports training (for Adidas) - just to name a few. Paid client work and invention are not incompatible concepts. In our business, not all projects are the same. Sometimes they afford less opportunity for creativity and/or invention that we would like. Other times we have the latitude to achieve things that are beyond our wildest dreams. Client work can often be challenging and certainly timebound both of which sometimes require extra effort. This does not result in favoritism for those who put forth extra effort but rather a culture of pride in what we can accomplish when we pull together to achieve the seemingly unachievable. Vectorform’s leadership has established a very clear direction and vision. However, we must balance this with client demand and need. It’s true, it’s not always an easy balance and sometimes adjustments are needed. It should be noted that at the present we are working on a variety of fun and exciting projects with a good sales pipeline of interesting work as well. Finally, Vectorform offers a rich benefit plan that allows for work schedule flexibility, including the ability to work from home, and many of our employees use this benefit regularly. If an employee feels their team does not support this, we hope they would address it directly with the team or with human resources. It is important to us that all Vectorformers can enjoy our benefits equally. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "An excellent experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interactive Solutions Engineer in Royal Oak, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vectorform full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great culture Exposure to a multitude of technologies Amazing learning experience Personal Leadership Great Work/Life balance

    Cons

    Lack of Standard Operating Procedure

    Vectorform2018-05-03
  7. Helpful (16)

    "Enter at your own risk - The Grand Illusion"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Troy, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vectorform full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Vectorform gets early access to some of the latest / coolest technology from various partners such as Amazon, Microsoft, Oculus, and HTC / Valve Corporation. To add, they are also doing a good deal of projects as it relates to IoT, AR/VR, Mobile app development, Voice, and Machine Learning, Web development. There are also a handful of some very talented individuals that work on various projects and bring a ton of value to their clients. Also, I liked the Innovation Consulting offering which allowed Vectorform to build early and strong relationships with new clients which would eventually turn into future project work. They are also very flexible when it comes to the hours you work as well as providing you the option to work from home. The office is also centrally located in the heart of Royal Oak, which makes it ideal for client visits, lunches, as well as being close to downtown Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. Also, the office space is designed very well, with lots of open space, tall ceilings, stand up tables, and

    Cons

    When I was first hired, I was very excited about the new opportunity and was under the impression that this would be a chance to work for a really cool tech company that played in the digital space. However, after few weeks, I began noticing some very significant red flags. First, there were about 5 or 6 employees who put their 2 weeks in within the first month while I was there. To add, this turnover continued as more emails started going out about long-time employees who had found new opportunities elsewhere. Even when I left, more employees departed and the Also, the management team had done a very poor job with giving employees feedback on progress, where improvement was needed and overall performance. Vectorform also had a few Directors and Senior Managers and Technical resources that have been there for over ten years seemed to have been part of what I called the "inner circle" and felt almost cult-like. Essentially, you have one group of folks who were hardcore dedicated to Vectorform and another group with one foot out the door. Specifically, a high number of project managers seemed to be the most likely to either leave or get fired. To add, they also pay each of there employees with paper checks at each pay period. For a company that presents itself as a futuristic tech company in 2018, handing out paper checks every two weeks seemed a bit odd. I also felt at some point, that they were running by the seat of there pants especially as it related to client fires and various issues that would arise with a project. Vectorform also relies heavily on 1-2 core clients that generate most of their revenue. This creates significant risk especially if the relationship is damaged or completely severed. I believe much of the employees' dissatisfaction came from one individual specifically.

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    Vectorform2018-03-31
  8. Helpful (4)

    "Develop Personally & Professionally at Vectorform"

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

    I worked at Vectorform full-time

    Pros

    My years at Vectorform were incredibly formative. They laid the groundwork for the type of employee and colleague that I will be for the rest of my career. Push yourself, and learn from those around you, and you will benefit immensely from working for Vectorform. The team at Vectorform feels like family. I formed lifelong bonds with the VF team in my time with the company - not just friends, but great mentors, as well. The company-wide flexibility allows for work-life balance. You will be able to (to a reasonable degree) work hours that accommodate coming in later than 9am, occasional doctors' appointments, picking up you kids from school, etc. Take full advantage of Vectorform’s global offices. If you are based in Royal Oak, work from Seattle, New York, Munich - Vectorform is very flexible in working remotely, and getting to interface with and get to know colleagues in other offices was invaluable. (Plus it allows you to explore a new city with your coworkers - one of many great perks.)

    Cons

    Of course, as with any job or any family, not every day is perfect. It is work; research what Vectorform does - if you find the work compelling, and if you are willing to work hard, you will thrive. If you work there and end up on a project that you don't find compelling, speak up. Leaders will try to work with you to allow you to work on things you enjoy. Be prepared to push for your own upward movement. While there is an attitude to foster growth and career development, you should be prepared to assume the responsibility of fighting for increased compensation and opportunities. As with most companies in 2017, the 9-5 no longer applies. This is the flip-side of the flexibility mentioned in the pros; some days will allow flexibility for you, some days you will need to be flexible to work outside of the "9-5".

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    Vectorform2017-10-30
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Rewarding team to work with and an opportunity to experience vertical growth in your career."

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

    I worked at Vectorform part-time

    Pros

    Transparency/The IKEA effect: The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which people place a high value on things they felt they had a part in. At Vectorform, you truly get to feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. I think a big contributor to this is witnessing how transparent Vectorform is about where the dollars are and where they are going. Internal systems are very open to employees, and the managers and owners were always approachable. The culture: This can't be overstated. Electric skateboards, nerf guns, always alive and vibrant office. Very casual dress code. Cutting edge tech: If you like new tech, you'll love Vectorform. It seems like we always had the newest devices soon after the community knew they existed. Location: The downtown Royal Oak office is amazing - and parking is handled by Vectorform. (This could have been quite the con if not for the monthly passes.) Schedule Flexibility: No one micromanages you - for the most part you can make your own hours and the company has a relaxed work from home policy.

    Cons

    Internal Systems Onboarding/Processes: When I was employed by Vectorform, I noticed Onboarding people to processes and systems wasn't quite as standardized as one might think. This can cause some confusion in the beginning of your experience with Vectorform, but you don't have to go far to find someone willing to help and I was noticing improvement in this area. No direct deposit: If you have mobile deposit with your bank of choice, this helps mitigate the inconvenience.

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    Vectorform2017-10-16
  10. Helpful (12)

    "Miniature Dysfunctional Corporation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Royal Oak, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vectorform full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Diverse projects Somewhat autonomy possible if you're lucky Royal Oak downtown is cool

    Cons

    Where do I start, This is a great place if you want to experience working for a badly run mini-corp. Senior management is just people who have risen to the top for no apparent reason than time spent at the company and they completely eat juniors talents and skills. Typical agency world where juniors put in all the hard work and senior management (directors) barely know what they are doing. Much of your effort will go unnoticed. Client is king no matter how good you are at your job. Most of all the vague deliverables are delivering nothing but fluff with pretty pictures and industry buzz words. Founders are too busy dreaming and completely ignore the deplorable state of employees. Every few months they will rebrand the company objectives and off we go again. There's a reason this 17 year old company is basically a start-up, but works like a corporation.

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    Vectorform2017-10-10

    Vectorform Response

    October 20, 2017Director of Talent Management

    Dear Former VF Team Member: We were disappointed to read your review. You are certainly right in stating that clients receive our focus, attention, and dedication. As a service business, it is essential. In fact, we take pride in being solution oriented to ensure our customers’ needs come first. That said, our team members, who we trust to service our clients exceptionally well also receive our focus, attention, and dedication. We’re sorry that you did not feel this balance. We wish you had a better experience, and know you likely made a significant impact on the client projects you supported over the years. We are working to increase the recognition, visibility, and efforts of our team members. We know how important this is. Recognition events, acknowledgement at company-wide meetings, along with 360-feedback, and proactive steps taken to outline career paths for employees, are all steps being taken to improve recognition of our team members. And, yes, our founders are always pushing for what comes next. One of Vectorform’s core principals is to continue driving commitment to meaningful innovation in the industry. Not every effort is successful, and that can be frustrating at times. The team has demonstrated many times over in the last 18 years that it can and will continue to invent the future. Being here 5 years, you played a significant role in that. As for the state of employees, we have collected ample survey data, conducted 1-1 interviews with nearly everyone in the company, and continue to make improvements in internal communications, leadership training, process improvement, and resource and project allocation. Through these mechanisms, we’ve learned what our team members value, what they love about Vectorform, where they want to see improvements, and we work to make adjustments each day to continue creating the company we all envision. Vectorform’s People Operations Team

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