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blinkx Reviews

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2.6
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blinkx CEO S. Brian Mukherjee
S. Brian Mukherjee
42 Ratings

92 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They also provide free snacks/beverages and do a staff lunch every Thursday which is generous of them (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The company was complicit in advertiser fraud, and optimizing the sale of fake impressions was a core element of their business (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Blinkx is a terrible place to work. Poor leadership and communication from management."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Cool technology and hot industry. It's also a good location in downtown San Francisco near the Ferry building.

    Cons

    The management is very poor leaders and just puppets to the primary investors. Also a very competitive industry so not a lot of upside. They structure your salary as such: 70% base salary and 30% bonus salary. That's true for all their employees! So for example say you agree to $100k salary in your offer. You'll only get a guaranteed 70k!

    Advice to Management

    Get some management training and understand why the company has such a high turnover rate. All your employees are unhappy but you have no idea.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Relatively fun job, but bad management."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Interviews that are easy to ace. Makes it an easy tech job to get as a recent college graduate.

    Blinkx is a company that boasts "new cool technologies" so it's easier to advance your career after you leave the place. You also learn a good mix of new tools and technologies while you are there.

    Most co-workers are the young and hip crowd so they are fun to hang out with during non-working hours.

    The location (financial district of San Francisco, CA) is also nice. Lots of activities in that area before, during, and after work. Free diet coke, peach vitamin water, orange juice, sparkling water, and Friday lunches.

    Cons

    Cursing is okay in the office so there is almost daily verbal abuse (rated MA-17) from middle and upper management. Nasty-gram emails also gets sent just as often. No feedback or constructive criticism, but rather personal criticism targeting the employee. Also, there is no main Human Resource person to talk to about these issues. We had a loaner HR person, and also nothing can be done if this abuse comes from the CEO, CTO, or CFO themselves.

    Bonus compensation depends whether the CEO is having a good day or not when he is writing the checks. When I asked why I did not get the full bonus, no answer is given. There was no criticism on how I can perform better so that I can achieve the full bonus.

    Management expects you to work longer hours, on weekends, and during vacation. They also expect you to be at work 5 minutes before 8:30am everyday.

    Cramped workspace with 2-3 feet of elbow room between you and the next employee.

    There is no serious internal documentation on any proprietary technology.

    A lot of lying to the customers about features that are not there, demos/prototype that are mostly fabricated, and blatant copying of other company's products.

    Lastly, when you put in your 2 weeks notice for leaving, there is a good chance that they will just tell you to take your stuff and go home on-the-spot.

    Advice to Management

    You should ease up on the strictness a little and boost your employees' morale. Give them more incentives to work for you. Lastly, please no more nasty-grams or verbal abuses!


  3. Helpful (7)

    "STAY AWAY - blinkx's hostile work environment is reminiscent of 3rd world sweat shops"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent technical, marketing, and creative services teams consisting of bright fun people to work with.

    Cons

    blinkx is nothing but a sweatshop, a hostile work environment where putting down the employees through insults and cursing is the norm. There is absolutely no communication between groups which results in projects being rushed and released without adequate testing - there is no formal QA process. Employees are overworked, underappreciated and underpaid. Morale is dismally low as management acts as taskmasters rather than advisors. Ideas are suppressed - the folks tasked with implementing managements' ideas (some of them are good) have no say in how to design and create said products. There is a high turnover rate because employees leave as soon as they realize the company is rotting from the inside out and any other alternative is likely going to be a good one. Finally, because the company is cheap, there is no official blinkx HR so there are constant issues with benefits - I heard there was a period of time where employees didn't have medical coverage. Maim an arm? You're screwed.

    Advice to Management

    Like a previous poster stated, go take some management courses. Reward your employees for the hard work that they put in. Cussing out someone is detrimental to their morale as well as everyone who sees such an encounter (everyone).


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "A waste of several months."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    For some reason other companies seem to think Blinkx is some inventive/good company. This made it a lot easier to get a better job somewhere else. They did pay pretty decent, and it wasn't really hard to get the job. Most of the entry level employees are really nice, however socializing with them is minimal.

    Cons

    Dealing with management. Talk about a bunch of ignorant dudes that don't know squat. It's like talking with a computer. Except they get mad and loud a lot easier. Most of the employees are right out of collage. There is no room to learn anything because everything should have been completed yesterday, and brainstorming with colleges is just a waste of time. Also, a lot of promises and lying goes on internally and externally to customers/press.

    Advice to Management

    Strongly consider a new career path.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "run away."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice location, beautiful office, with a great view. Good catered lunches on friday.

    Cons

    Blinkx has a "work pit" style floorplan, where the engineers sit between senior management, and sales people. There is a constant buzz of noise and talking on the phone, doors slamming, and a "honking" television hooked up to the server monitoring system, so the engineers get blasted by a honk, every 10 minutes. It is impossible to "get in the zone" and code.

    Blinkx managers like to create what I call "artificial crunch time" - which is an arbitrarily produced type of pressure , where managers think they can squeeze faster, higher quality work out of employees by trying to constantly keep engineers in "crunch time" mode. " We are on a tight deadline, we need something for our clients to ' play with' over the weekend (friday at 1pm) .," every single friday. This type of management is effective every once in a while, but not every single day - engineers go straight to apathetic mode.

    There is a complete lack of planning, project tracking, and specifications on products, because everything needed to be done "yesterday." While I have been at the other end of the spectrum, where projects end up in meeting and discussion hell, and I agree with the agile development philosophy, it only works when there is full transparency and respect.

    Respect - Blinkx has an interesting way of purposely disrespecting their employees, as if intimidation and unreasonable boot camp style hazing can produce loyal, effective employees. Employees are constantly threatened with their job security.

    Transparency - Everyone is purposely kept in the dark, and only partial information is given to each employee in a project. There are NEVER meetings, NEVER. Managers literally go around to each member of a project and give partial information. This is not a result of bad communication, this is purposely employed as a tactic to improve productivity.

    Advice to Management

    Its all about respect. Thats all it comes down to. Everything else would "work" if there was a level of respect. At least pretend to try and gain the respect of your employees.

    There is constantly an amazing, talented, extremely high quality team of designers and engineers at blinkx. Yet only a few stay more than 6 months. The team is talented and passionate enough that, if given freedom and time, can produce exceptionally great products with no pushing. Creativity is not encouraged at blinkx.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Place is a complete mess run by people without a clue"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting product, always intriguing to potential clients. Fairly good benefits as well as good technology and hardware provided to employees.

    Cons

    Management is totally clueless. They are unresponsive unless they need something. There is a total lack of respect for employees, who are frequently verbally chewed out and insulted in the presence of everyone else. There is no sales strategy and very little support. Management is unwilling to accept feedback because it's apparent that any suggestions are viewed as a judgement on their performance. Instead of offering positive support or suggestion, management responds to questions and feedback with the "you're not doing your job properly" response. Unwilling to accept that products are priced in a totally unrealistic manner with respect to the rest of the industry.

    Advice to Management

    Give people a chance to be successful. Respect your employees, as they're people. not drones to be controlled. Accept feedback and criticism from salespeople and use it to better the company instead of replying with insults clearly based on insecurity. Hire management with sales experience that also live in this continent...not South America.


  8. Helpful (7)

    "If Only They Had a Clue!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Business Development in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Once building and location (but not actual office space), hot industry, cool technology.

    Travel; for my role, face to face meetings were required and encouraged, so I was on a plane every week which meant I was NOT in the office (I'd do anything not to spend my day in that place).

    Cons

    Executives had ZERO experience in online video, and or online advertising, before starting blinkx so they don't know what they are doing, or what customers want. Additionally they have never truely sold enterprise software (which I was responsible for doing, even though 99% of my colleagues didn't know what I did), so Executives truly have no idea how to sell and close business. Every Quarter there would be at least one deal in which Executive team would get involved in a deal, and totally screw it up to the point where the prospect/customer would stop taking and returning calls! One time an Executive said to me; "Well you're the expert, I've never sold anything before". I sat there thinking, 'so why are you responsible for the sale's team then? And, why am I asking you on negotiating tactics then?!' Read their bios, they are complete fluff.

    In every sales environment I've been in, it is expected that the sales person tailor the standard presentation to their personal style and to the audience they are presenting to. At Blinkx any deviation from the corporate deck was not tollerated. My colleauge in Ad Sales went to a client meeting with an Executive, and presented some of his own ideas. After the meeting nothing was said about the custom/new slides the rep has presented, but rather went back to tell the CEO about it. When the rep got back from his second meeting, the CEO came up to him, and asked to see the deck he had presented with Matt. The rep did so and when Suranga saw the custom slides he began yelling at the rep in front of the entire office. He didn't pull him into the conference room, but just stood their and yelled. So not only does the Executive team have zero tact in dealing with employees, but they also has no concept of collaboration, creativity, and empowering his employees to make decisions. This was an experienced Ad Sales rep, and in fact he told me later that the prospect and said they like his ideas best of all. When the concept was sold later, Marketing sent a note out saying "they" had come up with a new product- the rep got no credit.

    What I found totally amazing was that the engineering team had no idea what my job was. My role was responsible for bringing in REVENUE, and yet non of the engineers had a clue that Blinkx sold software. They thought Blinkx simply sold ads on blinkx.com. How do you not tell your employees that your company sells software?

    Each person who has worked for this Executive team, probably has at least a dozen stories of how inept, clueless, rude, and disrespectful, this team is. They probably also have tons of stories of how there is a lack of collaboration, trust, communication, and visibility into corporate goals, product road map (they don't even have a product road map), and overall lack of team.

    Advice to Management

    Despite the all of these "glowing" reviews on this site, and the incredible employee churn, you will probably never change your ways. You think you know what you are doing and everyone else is wrong. Keep it up!


  9. Helpful (7)

    "THE worst possible place to develop your career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is no good reason to work for blinkx, you will be expected to work long hours for peanuts.

    Cons

    The company is propped up like a fancy magic act. Lots of smoke and mirrors. They promise software that can turn the audio in a video clip and make it searchable. The software they use for this, from their parent company Autonomy, does not work. These people employ more lawyers than actual engineers. Suranga is bi-polar, some days he's pleasant, most days he's a jerk that will use his Cambridge education to insult you. The CTO Matt is better suited to be a comedy writer than to lead any engineering team.

    Advice to Management

    Find a bridge and jump off it.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "I'd hesitate to call it "management"."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing location.
    Fair compensation.
    Friendly coworkers.
    Stimulating work in the field of scalability and data aggregation.
    High employee turnover means you can probably get a job there without much difficulty. Might be able to get a referral bonus if you could convince a friend to work there for a year. They might not be your friend anymore afterward, though.

    Cons

    A complete lack of transparency on any level. Management would commit to specific deadlines long in advance but not tell engineering until days before. Maybe it was a motivational tactic; always keep your employees near an impending crisis and they'll work harder. Just promoted confusion and stress.

    No visible product roadmap. Products, to the extent that there were any, were specced out on the spot by looming managers. No one had any idea what we'd be working on the next week let alone the next month. Much more time was put into the press release schedule than the engineering schedule.

    Loud, bullpen-style office. No separation between PR, engineering, management, etc. Meaning often management will shout something all the way across the room and expect a response, distracting the hell out of everyone in between.

    Many, many more fictitious demos and presentations than actual products. I'd call the driving force of Blinkx software development 'lie-based engineering' - hack up some demo for a product that might take months or years to complete properly, show it off to someone with money, then in the rare chance they actually bite, deliver the goods piecemeal until said customer gets fed up and stops paying. If more engineering time could be spent on the core product than these demos, Blinkx might actually be a usable website or search engine.

    Shouting matches in the office from senior management. Multiple firings began with a manager calling someone "(strong expletive) stupid" repeatedly in front of the entire bullpen and ended with the employee escorted out that same day.

    Most of the engineering team is hired straight out of college so they can pay the least amount possible to people too naive to know that a real company should have organization and direction. Meaning there's no senior engineers to fall to for mentoring or advice.

    Showy displays of lame bonuses or gifts to certain employees at meetings. Eschewing a holiday bonus because "most would prefer a holiday party". (I don't know who comprised this 'most').

    Advice to Management

    If at all possible, learn what the concept of respect is and start showing it to your employees. Just because you're paying someone doesn't entitle you to swear at them in front of their colleagues, passive-agressively jab about job performance, and keep them in the dark.

    But realistically, never manage a company ever again. You don't deserve to be in charge of anyone or anything and to pretend otherwise is doing our economy, planet, and sanity a disservice.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "It's incredible blinkx is still around"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I could have stared out the window for hours.

    Cons

    I couldn't wait to jump out that window.

    It's amazing that you can find some of the most despicable people in the industry, lump them together, and put them at the helm of a software company. There is absolutely no upside working for blinkx. The CTO is inept and has no management skills. The CMO keeps the fake hype floating, the COO isn't afraid to show preference certain folks, and don't get me started on the CEO. Wow, he needs to go to therapy to fix his feelings of inadequacy.

    Advice to Management

    Take some business and management courses at the local community college.


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