Lyft vs Pinterest vs Square

New / Eng RhgM81
Nov 8, 2017 69 Comments

Hi! I have offers from Lyft, Pinterest and Square for L5(senior engineer), 9 years of experience. The compensation is pretty even (around 180k cash and 10k bonus), though I plan to negotiate some raise. I’m trying to figure out what to choose and the choice is not obvious for me at all.
My main requirements are:
- good engineering culture
- a reputable company to look good on the resume
- good future to stay there for 2-3 years
- good tech and smart people to learn from
- Interesting and scalable problems to work on
- collaborative environment
- good work-life balance

If comparing how hard the interview was, the hardest was Pinterest, then Square and the easiest was Lyft.

Any comments are highly appreciated! Thanks!

Upd:
I summarized the answers in this thread:
- Lyft: good eng culture, some chance of IPO
- Square: liquidity and guaranteed money from RSUs, but nobody commented about eng culture or tech, so I assume it’s not as great
- Pinterest: international potential, large scale problems, better work life balance

Based on that, I more favor Pinterest or Lyft so far. Money wise, I prefer more base and Square base is the lowest by a big margin.

Upd:
Can anyone please tell something about how these companies compare in terms of eng culture, quality of talent and technology? Thanks!

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TOP 69 Comments
  • Facebook Crowd1
    Lyft, it has the best future among these 3
    Nov 8, 2017 0
  • Google SQaR46
    Square is my vote
    Nov 8, 2017 0
  • Square / Eng ⬇️↘️➡️A
    I'm biased, but Square
    Nov 8, 2017 13
    • Pinterest T84dS
      Interesting. Square is a great company, so I'm bullish!
      Nov 9, 2017
    • Square / Eng anon98163
      I'm also bullish on Pinterest! I applied there first but got rejected on the on-site :(.
      Nov 9, 2017
    • Pinterest VIEX56
      Pinterest is great. A lot of international potential.
      Nov 9, 2017
    • New / Eng RhgM81
      OP
      Square offers just 300 in stock, total 240. So together with paid food and more expensive medical contributions (for married) this offer is the less appealing of 3.
      Nov 11, 2017
    • Square / Eng SQ
      Paid food should really be the least of your concerns, especially with free snacks, breakfast, and dinner. I get the comp + medical contributions, but $80 a month is a little overkill on making a decision.
      Nov 11, 2017
  • Pinterest goooogle
    Pinterest literally has everything in your list. Better work life balance than the other two companies. If you stay for 2-3 years you’ll be able to stay through the ipo, so you’ll make a lot of money
    Nov 9, 2017 5
    • Facebook Crowd1
      You sound like a startup CEO who is very good at feeding kool aids lol. Nevertheless I do think Pin is a very nice company to work for.
      Nov 10, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng unicorn-
      If you are hoping to make money off Pinterest IPO, you must not have followed the results from Snapchat and Twitter. At this point I am not sure, Pinterest will ever IPO. An attempt to sell in a couple of years is most likely.
      Nov 10, 2017
    • Pinterest LYzC68
      Twitter actually doing great
      Nov 10, 2017
    • Pinterest goooogle
      You don’t know pinterest’s revenue or user numbers 🙄
      Nov 10, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng unicorn-
      Twitter is not doing as poorly as it did in previous quarter. It is definitely not doing great.

      I don’t know the exact number but I know how advertising works. PInterest is picking up some experimental budgets but it is structurally not positioned to return ROI competitive with FB and Google. While Snapchat has a more unique audience, PInterest has a better surface but common audience and not enough frequency of use.

      The visual search product would have to take off first before there is any opportunity for monetization and it is long way from that
      Nov 10, 2017
  • Uber / Eng Darius
    Go to Lyft. The industry is obviously hot. Plenty of room for two players. Lyft will get acquired or IPO sooner than Uber, I think.
    Nov 10, 2017 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Apple Fsgs34hwhw
      Square
      Nov 8, 2017 0
    • Google SQaR46
      You're good enough to get offers at Lyft square and Pinterest. All are top companies. What job are you looking to get in the future where the name of the company on your resume matters? What matters is the complex engineering problems you solve, the relationships you create and the impact you have. You interviewed at all the companies and got some insight into what they are doing. Look at where you believe you will succeed and where you will be on a team that gives you knowledge for the future of your career. All those names will get recruiters to send your resume forward.
      Nov 9, 2017 0
    • Lyft FjdU70
      Have you ever used Pinterest?
      Nov 14, 2017 2
      • Amazon justAGuy01
        I had to design Pinterest in Lyft interview :/
        Nov 14, 2017
      • New / Eng Lillypoop
        I use Pinterest a lot, it’s awesome, their machine learning and image recognition tech are amazing
        Nov 15, 2017
    • Uber Bazg
      Lyft is bad
      Nov 8, 2017 1
      • New / Eng RhgM81
        OP
        Why?
        Nov 9, 2017
    • Facebook / Eng unicorn-
      If you have to choose one of the three - I would pick between Square and Lyft on the basis of if you need to sell RSUs within next couple of years. Lyft has the best eng culture of the three and some chance of making money at IPO (admittedly very small). Square had great run in terms of stock appreciation this year and there is a chance it continues if the payment volume keeps going up. The problem is that structurally the payment fees get pushed down over time and so does the margin of ride sharing company. So the existing business of both of them is limited. Square has a better chance of expanding into services, which would be a better margin business.
      Nov 9, 2017 2
      • New / Eng RhgM81
        OP
        So, money aside, Lyft will be better looking on the resume out of the three? Is there a significant difference in the eng culture between them?
        Nov 9, 2017
      • Facebook / Eng unicorn-
        I think there is no significant difference between Lyft or Square on the resume.

        Culture wise, Lyft is more fun, but Square is not bad
        Nov 10, 2017
    • Lyft Euxsjwj
      Lyft hands down - not even a question
      Nov 8, 2017 0
    • Square OoOoOoO
      Square eng culture is great. I've been there for 3+ years and will be for a while. Can really only speak for payments but there is an insane amount of rigor and maturity. People are kind, caring, and passionate about the mission. Amazing future ahead of the company. IMO Pinterest is a quick no, the product is boring and doesn't really help anybody with anything important.
      Nov 17, 2017 1
      • Square / Eng SQ
        I'm liking it here too. Payments and futures have amazing talent.
        Nov 30, 2017
    • Lyft Yyttyych
      Lyft of course. Much more interesting challenges. Tons of upside. Pinterest has been flat on valuation even after good growth period meaning they were over priced and might still be.
      Also, come join us in our quest to dominate the US ride sharing market.
      Nov 12, 2017 1
      • Square / Eng SQ
        SQ has some interesting challenges too. Just depends on what OP finds interesting
        Nov 13, 2017
    • Plaid
      SeattleEng

      Plaid

      PRE
      Amazon
      SeattleEngmore
      Pinterest rsus should be valued very bearishly, if they ever go public they'll get slashed in valuation quickly

      Lyft will have higher to, but it's illiquid. Choose square if you want/need cash in the next few yrs and lyft otherwise.
      Nov 8, 2017 0
    • Dropbox / Eng f(x)
      Square if you want liquidity. Plus, they're doing pretty well. Lyft just raised a round so they're not going public any time soon. They have some upside, but it'll take a long time to see liquidity. They've made huge strides over the last couple of years, but because Uber handed them the keys. I don't know enough about Pinterest's market to make an informed decision.
      Nov 8, 2017 0
    • New / Eng RhgM81
      OP
      Can anyone please tell something about how these companies compare in terms of prestige and quality of talent and technology? Thanks!
      Nov 8, 2017 0
    • Tinder / Eng
      ix5555333

      Tinder Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      ix5555333more
      Why is the bonus so low?
      Nov 9, 2017 1
      • New / Eng RhgM81
        OP
        They probably don’t see much reason to give me a higher bonus and I don’t know how to talk them into giving me more :)
        Nov 9, 2017
    • Pinterest Crazy loll
      Come to Pinterest if you like solving problems of large scale, or building user facing products. :D
      Nov 9, 2017 0
    • Amazon whoami001
      Lyft can beat comp at t5 level. share the complete offer with RSUs by all to get better feedback if u want
      Nov 8, 2017 4
      • New / Eng RhgM81
        OP
        What would be the fair comp for t5 at Lyft?
        Nov 8, 2017
      • Amazon whoami001
        Lyft can reach 190ish base n 420k+ total
        Nov 8, 2017
      • New / Eng RhgM81
        OP
        What signing bonus do they usually give?
        Nov 8, 2017
      • Amazon whoami001
        30-40k ish
        Nov 8, 2017

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