Employee Review

  1. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    A VR pioneer doomed to the same fate of their phone business

    30 Apr 2019 - Product Management in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    VIVE is amazing for your resume. As of writing this post, they have are the #1 seller in VR for enterprise and #2 for PC based. This won’t last long most likely, so think of HTC as a short term pivot point into spatial computing. The Seattle office for the most part is a pretty relaxed environment. While some people work very hard, for most people it’s a 9-4 job with little weekend work. The pay is all over the place. If you negotiate a good base salary, the benefits are good. Don’t count on bonus, at risk pay or anything else however. Also assume merit increases are minimal, bonuses are far from guaranteed, and variable-pay will be tinkered with. In terms of talent, about 1/3 of the company is really great. The remainder would be lucky to be a temp worker at a larger tech company.

    Cons

    The company is unbelievably secretive internally. A combination of bizarre accounting and finance practices allow the company to recognize losses where it is most strategic for them. There is a lack of trust between HQ and the rest of the company and this really limits anyone not at HQ to do their job well. Roadmaps are very secretive and even basic details are withheld until the last minute. People at HTC have a lot of cultural nuances which is invariably described as ‘that’s just HTC.’ The company continues to be driven by ‘the CEO Says’ (the CEO approves nearly ALL decisions), which creates this bizarre Game of Thrones where the 12 VPs battle for their favor. In practice, strong leaders leave and the remainder are largely incompetent and very political. The level of dysfunction is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The company has some amazing engineering chops, however their market position is built mainly on Valve intellectual property. Facebook out-invests them by a factor of 10x at least which has forced the company to heavily retreat in consumer and move into enterprise. Unfortunately, the company chooses to make many bets versus going very deep on 1 or 2. The result is a fractured VR strategy (hardware, proprietary app store, startup accelerator, content studio, enterprise efforts, etc) as well as many ‘huh?’ solutions (5G hotspot, blockchain phone, and likely every other buzzword in tech. Strategy is a set of choices and the most important one is ‘where to play’. The company need to FOCUS on being great at one or two, not have ten fractured bets. There is little rigor in HR in terms of hiring so quality of hires is all over the map (the only real constant is that the CEO approves all hires, which is crazy for a company of this size). The company tends to promote from within, so you get a strange org setup of role fit and competence. The company has an amazing brand and top talent is lured in by VR. However nearly all of them leave pretty quickly. The remainder of talent is mixed at best. If you’ve worked at a top tech company, about half the company would be a temp / contract worker at best. Management is really the fatal flaw of HTC. Loyalty and tenure is valued over competence and the result is a very dysfunctional executive leadership team. Beneath them are extremely talented ‘manager level’ talent who have been made into AVPs. The quality varies dramatically by functional management lead. Most have had no investment made into them of how to be a great manager, so some are epically good and others unbelievably bad. In most cases, they demonstrated tenure and loyalty and were promoted accordingly. The company has regularly laid off entire functions and practices some concerning HR practices. Put another way, nothing is beneath them in this regard. I provided two weeks notice as an example and was told that ‘we are accepting your resignation effective today’. I’ve never even heard of a company who doesn’t honor a two weeks notice! I wasn't even going to a direct competitor! Lastly, really take time to look at the market before considering any role. Facebook, Sony, and others below them in pricing are eating their lunch in terms of volume of shipments. Above them, Valve's Index headset is essentially the Vive Pro done better at a lower price. As more companies enter the market, HTC will be increasingly challenged.

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    24 people found this review helpful
  1. 5.0
    Former Contractor

    Contract work at HTC

    19 Apr 2021 - Product Design Engineer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The people in the design studio were great to work with.

    Cons

    Lot of late afternoon/evening work calls due to time difference with Taipei.

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  2. 3.0
    Former Employee

    Great company going through hard times

    20 Apr 2021 - Senior Human Resources Business Partner in Seattle, WA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great staff to work with, especially in the US.

    Cons

    Lack of job security in the US.

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