My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble

Book - 2016 | First edition
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A memoir of life inside the tech bubble by a writer and co-producer for "Silicon Valley" describes how, after losing his magazine writing job, he took a position with a tech company rife with cultish millennials, absent bosses, and venture-capital amenities.
Publisher: New York : Hachette Books, 2016
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780316306089
Branch Call Number: 338.040973 L9953D 2016
Characteristics: x, 258 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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May 08, 2018

I found this book trite, repetitive and not well written. The author's attempts at humor often succeed but overall I found it an uninteresting read.

Dec 11, 2017

Whatever criticisms one might have about this author's experience joining the world of start-ups past age 50 there's no denying that he produces a compelling and entertaining read. The reader comments on goodreads.com are entertaining, interesting, and mostly spot-on. This would be an excellent book for a book group to devour and discuss as there is much to digest and think about.

A very easy, entertaining read but also one with deeper implications.

May 24, 2017

Funny account of an older, recently laid-off man who re-enters the work force by joining a start-up. If you can overlook occasional forays into self-pity (the best part about side gig at HBO? being able to tell inappropriate jokes), he nails the start-up culture and need for making it to an IPO stage.

Jan 03, 2017

Although quite "ranty" at times, it's a very informed read of the current start-up culture and what it's like to work for such a business. The story resonated a bit and left me with a bit of PTSD from my time working in marketing, but highly recommend. Very well written.

Nov 24, 2016

Quite a shocking expose of the current "silicon valley" culture. Well worth the read if one is interested in the startup culture. Listening to the audiobook, narrated by the author, he did seem very bitter and so the tone of voice and the writing can feel like a rant at times.

Jul 23, 2016

This is a terrifyingly funny book. The irony drips from every page. One example - HubSpot, a company that sells inbound marketing software, must use overbearing outbound tele-marketing to get customers. Another - Hubspot’s corportate speak for it’s company “culture” is “HEART” (for Humble, Effective, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent), but the company uses impersonal computer monitoring and brutal algorithms to determine if there’s any value in retaining its candy-coated sweatshop employees. If what Dan Lyon recounts about his time at HubSpot is even a little bit true - his professed nativity is questionable since he was the author of the deeply sarcastic, inside tech blog, The Fake Steve Jobs - it’s a dark, dystopian world out there in the land of tech startups

Jul 16, 2016

Fantastic look into today's generation of tech and the system of start-ups and millennials alike. It exposes the seemingly brainwashing tactics and the ethics (or lack thereof) within the culture while defining its off-the-wall workflow. Somewhat a frightening crystal ball view of the start-up industry for those looking to enter. Laughed myself silly reading the prologue alone, so I was sure I would enjoy the rest; I did.

Jun 06, 2016

20-starred review
This book is both hilarious - - and scary! Disrupted is easily the best business book for 2016 - - and most probably the best book on the sociology of work [and the sociology of worker stupidity] and and also social economics!
Please do pay especially close attention to pp. 116 to 121; most important!
What the author describes applies to the majority [or vast majority - - surely there must be one exception?] of Internet startups over the past 20 to 25 years - - and save for a few details, is universal for the American business venue over the past 40 - - and equally applies to telecom tech startups I was at in the late 1970s, early 1980s!
The ageism thing is really part and parcel of the lack of diversity, but more indicative that with the offshoring of jobs and insourcing of foreign visa workers, real experience is trivialized, and not recognized, costing American business untold innovative and creative wealth [programmers reach peak more towards 35 to 50, not 15 to 25, but there are those who would argue with me no doubt] - - but was the author really in a tech startup, since Internet startups aren't really about the technology, per se, but follow the telecom financial model: if profits are ever realized, it usually requires at least 10 years of existence, first!
[This book brought back many frustrating memories, how the majority of companies I've worked at were really criminal enterprises, my first required office hacking to correct the results of back inventory programs mucking up everything, only to realize years later it was on purpose as the overall corporation was involved in money laundering - - and as a contractor at Micro$oft long ago attempting to explain the major flaw in Word's mailmerge design [mass mailings aren't normally made to the same address] but the 22-year-olds had no Real World expierience, and thought I was misguided!? And the HR person at one startup writing about Venn diagrams, which she considered complex, in the company newspaper - - were we introduced to Venn diagrams in 4th or 5th grade???]
My advice to anyone just starting out today: be sure to bug your supervisor's workspace and, if possible, the CEO's office - - yes it is illegal, but they will be aiming endless illegal practices at you and the others!

May 12, 2016

As author Dan Lyons states, this book is not satire, it's what really happened to him during his time at Hubspot. In addition to being about the ridiculous culture and behavior of a startup company without any adult supervision, there are other important topics touched upon: the dire circumstances of a 50-something who was laid off, the overt age discrimination of the tech field, the borderline fraud of startups, and the exploitation of workers. An easy and interesting read that makes one think twice about working at the startups popping up in Silicon Valley.

May 04, 2016

Office voyeurism at its best. Lyons walks the line between self-incrimination and tell-all. He sometimes seems naïve about what office life is like but then explains what a newsroom offers and it becomes clear why his new position is such a poor "fit." More interesting for me was the explanation of how the "financials" at tech startups follow different rules than those used elsewhere. I now know why posting numbers using non-GAAP is scary.


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Apr 18, 2016

Lyons was a technology journalist at the top of his career when the news industry imploded, leaving him 'screwed' in his words. He stumbled around, eventually getting work at HubSpot, the marketing support company. The job fit was so bad! When it ended about a year later, Lyons had a perfect chance to exercise his well practised skills in satirical writing and 'take the piss out' of Hubspot.

There are a few themes here:
- ageism: Lyons was twice the age of the average Hubspotter, and he delights in detailing how green they were

- VC start-up bubble: Hubspot and similar businesses make their founders millionares while being unprofitable. The investors foolishly loose millions.

- marketing: Hubspot's 'awesome' capability was in spammy email campaigns.

- culture: The company culture was laughable, and Lyons has a great time satirizing it.

The book is infamous at this time. See Lyon's https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-comes-age-bias-tech-companies-dont-even-bother-lie-dan-lyons Linkedin post, and https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/undisrupted-hubspots-reflections-disrupted-dan-lyons-dharmesh-shah Hubspot's riposte. See also Lyons' http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/opinion/sunday/congratulations-youve-been-fired.html article in the NY Times . And Lyons' Linkedin profile describes his experience at Hubspot succinctly 'Veni, vidi, scripsi'. Lyons may never again get a chance to work in a technology company, but he has revenues from a best seller, and I suspect he has a comfortable future as an author.


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