Todd A writes a damning account of his time working at RED, the digital cinema camera company:
I have a post drafted in my blog titled “My birthday gift to myself this year: Retirement.” It’s dated February 26, 2012. At that time, I’d been working in the online marketing (web) department at RED Digital Cinema for about 5 months. I was sick of complaining about it to my friends and family. I didn’t want to be that guy who is always bitching about his job but never doing anything about it. Yet, I remained at RED for two more years. How is that possible?
Ouch – he already wanted to leave after only 5 months.
It’s surprising to hear such incendiary remarks considering the passion and devotion that usually surrounds RED’s users and fans. However, within the context of founder Jim Jannard’s forum posts and his recent exit into the shadows, it’s unsurprising to hear Todd speak out against, “the president making announcements on the community forum before the employees knew” and writing:
After the stressful product launches in December 2013, things quieted down enormously. Almost too enormously. It was quiet like “this is bad for business” quiet. But I knew NAB — the major broadcasting convention — loomed in April and I knew RED was bound to surprise all its employees with its plans for the show. “Keep the crises rolling” and all that.
Todd goes on to describe broken promises for bonuses and equity, long hours, and an unhealthy lack of organization. And in the comments, someone else named “Brian” added:
I was at RED from the start for 4 years . It is a good characterization of the place. Easy to understand why none of the first employees are no longer there anymore.
As RED matures from the disruptive force it was several years ago into a major player on the digital cinematography field, it’s going to have to address the problems and negative experiences of employees like Todd and Brian – even if they are in the minority.
(Todd wrote another post, too, about how companies can avoid the mistakes he encountered at RED.)