Saturday, July 24, 2010

Microvision: Employees Talk

When you work for a cutting edge technology company like Microvision, there are bound to be comments from employees that are good [called pros] and bad [called the cons].

I’ll skip the “pros” because they tend to be mostly glowing and biased… because if the employee still works there then it must be good; otherwise “what the heck are you doing there in the first place”.

However, when it comes to “cons”, they really tell a lot about the company and how it operates internally. One word of caution nonetheless when reading the “cons”… you have to extrapolate the negative because most of the time the employees talking to you are reluctant to say bluntly what’s on their mind for the sake of keeping the job they have at Microvision.

With that in mind, here are some Microvision employee comments…

Microvision Engineer in Redmond, WA: (Current Employee)
“Microvision - when you work here, you make a difference.”

As a small company, some resources are not available. Everyone, all the time, is stretching to get done what needs to be done. There is a fairly constant feeling of being overloaded.

Advice to Senior Management:
Try to cut back on the project list.

Microvision Engineer in Redmond, WA: (Current Employee)
“Working for Microvision”

Too much work, extra time not compensated. Poor communications among teams. Busy all year round, no taking it easy time. Lots of deadlines.

Advice to Senior Management:
More free time, less tightly bound schedules; more communication would really make Microvision a good place to work for everyday.

Microvision Not Telling As We Run So Thin A Job Title Would Give It Away. in Redmond, WA: (Current Employee)

Some of the downsides to working at Microvision is that Senior Management is not very good at communicating down to the regular employees. It's a bit embarrassing having a relative call me about a press release that I hadn't heard because we don't say anything internally. I think it was almost two months before they announced a huge sale of bar code scanners to the rest of the company. When all you are selling is one product at the moment those kinds of wins help pick people up!

One other big downside is that much of the company needs to switch their thinking from how they were before. I've never worked at a place that actually sold something that had so many barriers in place to finishing a sale, so many signatures are needed and physical pieces of paper need to go places, it's very inefficient. There are definite growing pains here as the company goes from an R & D house to a company that actually sells consumer products.

One final downside is that we are running very lean on people so often times you have to do things that are completely outside of your scope. While this is good at times, sometimes it feels like you get setup for failure.

Advice to Senior Management:
I would urge Senior Management to celebrate the wins when they happen. Also if there's news going out, even if it's "non news" let the rest of the company know so we don't look stupid when people ask us about it.

In conclusion, here’s the link just to make sure you don’t think I made-up this crap…

Advise to Microvision investors…

“Don’t get too comfortable… keep an eye open while taking the snooze”.

Anant Goel