From Redwood City — 06/28/2010
Before I start, I would like to emphasize that I work in the Engineering Group at Zazzle. Zazzle also does manufacturing, marketing, customer service, creative design, and content management. These are all important teams and they are each run a little differently. I hope that my comments reflect the typical experience of a Zazzle employee, but I wouldn't presume to speak for any other group.
Pay: Zazzle has a lot of talent, especially in the Engineering Group. I suspect that many of the team-members could make more elsewhere, but stay because of the excellent growth prospects.
Benefits: As a small company, Zazzle cannot offer the premium health benefits of a company like Google or Microsoft, but the health benefits are better than many places and the other benefits (meals, activities, flexible hours, work-from-home days, paid-vacation, gym-membership, and 401k) more than make up for it.
Job Security: Like many companies, Zazzle had to layoff some of it's staff duffing the downturn. However, the general feeling seems to be that this was the right strategic decision, even though some of the individual cuts were painful. Additionally, Zazzle hires a lot of contractors (especially in manufacturing) and everyone is held to a high standard. I, personally, was worried I would not make the grade the first few months I worked at Zazzle. However, for a company that has been around for less than a decade, you find an unusual number of employees who have worked for Zazzle 3-5 years. Zazzle works hard to keep talented people as employees.
Work/Life: Many people in the Engineering Group spend a lot of time at Zazzle. This is not mandatory and some employees prefer to work more regular hours, but there is some peer-pressure. However, Zazzle holds a lot of activities and events during the work day. There is an emphasis on not taking things too seriously and on making sure everyone is happy.
Growth: Zazzle is a small and fast-growing company. This is an excellent environment for motivated people to advance their careers.
Location: Redwood City is at the North End of Silicon Valley. This is a longer trip for a Stanford Intern or San Jose resident than Zazzle's former location (Palo Alto), but it is still in the heart of the Bay Area. Another factor not to be ignored, is that Zazzle's Building has a lot of parking. I suspect the building would exceed capacity before the parking-lot would.
Co-worker Competence: 5-Stars, first-rate, doesn't get much better. It seems like everyone at Zazzle is very motivated and results-focused. There are few, if any, hangers-on. It seems impossible that a company can continue to grow and maintain the quality of it's workforce, but with every new hire the impossible happens.
Work Environment: It is a little hard to explain the Zazzle Work Environment to someone who is accustomed to a more traditional office-environment. If I could post a few photos, you might have a better idea. Most of the people I have given a tour to, have been in-awe of the atmosphere, the artwork, the lounge areas, the snack room, and even the desks. The most common comment I get is, "how do I get a job here?" ;)