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Author Topic: Shutterstock CEO Says New Business Plan Hinged Upon Total Overhaul of IT  (Read 13494 times)

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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2017, 08:56 »
+3
The CEO is a megalomaniac ... often wasting tons of resources and time by refusing to allow more-qualified employees to handle the day-to-day operations. The tasks he sets are almost always impossible to complete on time, and he has no qualms about dismissing managers that he feels have failed him, even if the failures were due to his poor planning or lack of understanding of his own company's technical stack.

Don't worry, he will soon be gone - sounds like he is polishing his resume for a job in the Trump administration!


« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2017, 13:22 »
+3
The line where it says a unification of licenses to make it easier terms for bigger buyers looks like you might be seeing the same .02 cent sales as Istock instead of your OED's. Doesn't look good! Istock changed to compete with your crappy .25 cent sales, now it looks like you may be getting it back.

dpimborough

« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2017, 15:40 »
0
Read past the techno babble BS which tries to make them look cool and tech savvy and they basically are stating exactly what the glass door reviews were saying

they are an insular mess of unco-ordinated business managers that allowed anything and everything to happen with out exerting any guidance or control.

Great! They had 13 years to realise this.  I don't give them another 13 years

« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2017, 17:16 »
+1
Read past the techno babble BS which tries to make them look cool and tech savvy and they basically are stating exactly what the glass door reviews were saying

they are an insular mess of unco-ordinated business managers that allowed anything and everything to happen with out exerting any guidance or control.

Great! They had 13 years to realise this.  I don't give them another 13 years
Another 13 years in their industry would be pretty good going...if they still exist I think they will look very different!

« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2017, 18:33 »
+6
Read past the techno babble BS which tries to make them look cool and tech savvy and they basically are stating exactly what the glass door reviews were saying

they are an insular mess of unco-ordinated business managers that allowed anything and everything to happen with out exerting any guidance or control.

Great! They had 13 years to realise this.  I don't give them another 13 years

That's how I read it too,  and I did 30 years in the technology/software business. It's a nice meal set out for investors: a thick buzzword soup, with a side of breathless hype about their industry-leading, state-of-the-art software development process.  And basically nothing about the actual product, its quality or value.   Anytime you hear a CEO talking like this, short the stock. 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 09:53 by stockastic »

« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2017, 04:32 »
+3

Look at part of a glassdoor review (from April 2017) of a departed software engineer



this is exactly how i see SS IT team from outside. last week, they were unaware that the images weren't indexed for 32 hours. they reacted only when a contributor told them.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 04:35 by relativity »

« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2017, 12:19 »
+6
Has SS changed much over the past 15 years? I wonder how much of the current system is band-aid'd 15 year old technology.

Look at part of a glassdoor review (from April 2017) of a departed software engineer

"Preventing the company from having high uptimes is a massive pile of tech debt, the fixing of which is often prioritized out of existence. Several attempts have been made in splitting up the monolithic Perl app that runs the store into several smaller microservices; however, since no resource planning, performance measurements, or any other sort of proactive actions were taken by the developers, the microservices have only increased the number of single-points-of-failure. Compounding issues is a relatively-new directive that all new services *must* be written in NodeJS, and while this is a positive trend from the previous directive of "you can write your code in any language you want";, the extremely-questionable choice of NodeJS was made by a small committee of developers, with no input from other teams in the company.

As such, development at Shutterstock is a nightmare of Lovecraftian proportions, which both developers and infrastructure being ill-equipped for the scale and challenges that need solving. Projects at Shutterstock used to be in pretty much every language under the sun (Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, NodeJS, and Go used to all be supported runtimes), so it's commonplace to be handed code in a language you're unfamiliar with. As a result, services are rewritten every time the assigned developers change (which is frequent, due to high turnover), and as a result, there are many instances where two or three microservices running to serve the same function.

The developers themselves are a mixed bag. As stated in Pros, there are some very smart people here, but they're sadly dwindling in number as the days go by. Instead of hiring experienced developers to replace them, managers instead hire very-inexperienced developers, often right out of college, or very inept developers, who actively make poor coding choices and lower the overall stability of the site further. Since these developers often function by pushing untested code into production with minimal test coverage, problems go undiscovered until they cause production problems, and only after several hours of looking at red herrings first.

The toxic nature of the culture at Shutterstock means that teams are rarely willing to work together, instead hoarding infrastructure resources and institutional knowledge in blind grabs for power and prestige. Shadow infrastructures are commonplace, only being discovered when they cause production outages or break in some other way that affects the developers who created them. At this point, the Infrastructure team is expected to support and fix these solutions, without being given either the manpower to do so, or the authority to remove these teams' abilities to create their shadow servers again. As a result, the infrastructure is in a constant state of flux, and a recent decision to move the entirety of the infrastructure to the cloud was both poorly-justified and badly-planned, and will lead to more outages in the future.

A lot of these faults and problems lie squarely at the feet of management, who have to be among the most inept group of executives I've ever worked for. Middle management is easily the worst, with good management is often coached out of the company, replaced by others who are too busy playing politics to manage effectively. There are way too many middle managers, and others are promoted to management positions without experience or a clear directive. As a result, managers often battle with one another over responsibilities and power, and burying each other in meetings is far more common than it should be. This directly affects morale and productivity, and engineers are often paralyzed into inaction for fear of making the wrong move and losing their jobs.

At the C-level, the poor performances continue. The CEO is a megalomaniac who micro-manages the site and the work teams are doing, often wasting tons of resources and time by refusing to allow more-qualified employees to handle the day-to-day operations. The tasks he sets are almost always impossible to complete on time, and he has no qualms about dismissing managers that he feels have failed him, even if the failures were due to his poor planning or lack of understanding of his own company's technical stack. This further increases stress and fear among the engineers as well.

Overall, working at Shutterstock is a frustrating, unfulfilling experience, and there is almost certainly a better company in NYC that would make better use of your skills, and respect you more as a person. Avoid!"

This should come as no surprise to any of us. The site has not been functioning for at least 10 years. jon has consistently stiffed contributors and choose the bailing twine approach each and every time numerous bugs became impossible to ignore. Based on his business plan to run prices into the ground; I have always suspected he and the people he brought on board for the IPO, believed the money would be made before the site imploded. As such they never invested the capital and resources needed to develop the site for the long game.

They made changes to the search engine to facilitate the IPO and flow of sales between pay tiers to boost stock prices. For years, jon has been consistently making choices for short term profit with no regard for the welfare of his contributors or employees.

« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2017, 12:25 »
+4

Look at part of a glassdoor review (from April 2017) of a departed software engineer



this is exactly how i see SS IT team from outside. last week, they were unaware that the images weren't indexed for 32 hours. they reacted only when a contributor told them.

This has been going on since 2007.  Since that time they have been absolutely aware, that they have indexing issues and they consistently choose not to address them. They hope contributors will not notice and when they do, they offer very little in the way of meaningless noise to quiet the crowd. 

« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2017, 14:38 »
+1
They hope contributors will not notice and when they do, they offer very little in the way of meaningless noise to quiet the crowd.

noise is never approved by the reviewers  ;)

seriously, bravo!

« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2017, 14:52 »
+3
the reviews on glassdoor are quite damaging to be honest. reading those experiences from the developers is a sad affair. 12 hour days, dog eat dog world, inept managers, and backstabbing culture. no thanks

« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2017, 13:47 »
+1
For years, jon has been consistently making choices for short term profit with no regard for the welfare of his contributors or employees.

the day they went public we should have known it is time for us contributors to "spend time with family".
it's like beating a dead horse, we come here and scream and shout, the only solution and change is we, you and me,..
become a major shareholder . that would be the only way anyone is going to make money with sh*tterstock these days.

ok, time to go back to spend with family.   8)  take care y'aall!!

« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2017, 12:35 »
+4
They've tried to corner the market by lowering prices until competitors gave up.  Now, having completely devalued their product, all they can do is cut their operational costs to the bone and try to Make It Up In Volume, which I think is the point of this marvelous new IT 'platform' they're talking about.   But that strategy doesn't work for their contributing photographers, so the supply chain is withering.   That will catch up with them at some point. 

« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2017, 13:07 »
+2
They've tried to corner the market by lowering prices until competitors gave up.  Now, having completely devalued their product, all they can do is cut their operational costs to the bone and try to Make It Up In Volume, which I think is the point of this marvelous new IT 'platform' they're talking about.   But that strategy doesn't work for their contributing photographers, so the supply chain is withering.   That will catch up with them at some point.
Their prices have gone up a lot from when they started.  I don't know why people keep peddling this lie?

« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2017, 14:42 »
+9
They've tried to corner the market by lowering prices until competitors gave up.  Now, having completely devalued their product, all they can do is cut their operational costs to the bone and try to Make It Up In Volume...
Their prices have gone up a lot from when they started.  I don't know why people keep peddling this lie?

Yes, but...

At the beginning, when their collection was tiny and they had only an all-you-can-eat subscription for $89.99 a month. It grew to $119, $129 and then in 2005 $139 but with a 25 a day limit. Collection grew and prices did increase for a while, but there have been cuts along the way in prices for ELs, On Demand, Video and most recently the sleight of hand with lower cost subscriptions for a lower volume commitment (the only way the subscription model makes sense from a contributor point of view is that you trade low prices for high volume) which effectively was a cut-rate on demand sale as well as a lower cost of entry.

They have clearly made most of these cuts because of competitive pressure (largely Adobe) and for a while, the high value SOD sales mostly made up for the other cuts, but now they've effectively "disappeared" most of the high value SODs, that feels like another cut, albeit of a different sort.

« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2017, 16:46 »
+1
We would also like to see them to be proud of the contributors royalty percentage increase..

« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2017, 23:17 »
+4
We would also like to see them to be proud of the contributors royalty percentage increase..
Sure, we can hope for a royalty percentage increase, but they'll still throttle us.

I had several days this week with earnings within pennies of each other.  And download counts were nearly as close.  They're clearly capping us, then pushing us down in search results.


 

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