Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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"Using his trademark wit and clear-eyed analysis, Dan Lyons has delivered a much-needed referendum on the current state of Silicon Valley. In wildly entertaining fashion, Disrupted explores the ways in which many technology companies have come to fool the public and themselves. Lyons has injected a dose of sanity into a world gone mad."―Ashlee Vance, New York Times-bestselling author of Elon Musk
"Dan 'Fake Steve' Lyons runs such a savage burn on his ex-employer, HubSpot, that the smoke can be seen clear across the country in Silicon Valley. Disrupted is fun, compulsively readable and just might tell us something important about the hypocrisy and cult-like fervor inside today's technology giants."―Brad Stone, New York Times-bestselling author of The Everything Store
"Dan Lyons goes deep inside a company that uses terms like 'world class marketing thought leaders' to show us how ridiculous, wasteful, and infantile tech start-ups like this can be. And best of all, Lyons does this with his trademark pejorative and hilarious tone."―Nick Bilton, New York Times technology columnist
"Troubling but funny ... [a] coolly observant book ... [with] a splendidly weird coda ... You couldn't have written a tastier ending, even for HBO."―Dwight Garner, New York Times
"Disrupted by Dan Lyons is the best book about Silicon Valley today.... Simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, Disrupted is an insider's look at a technology start-up from an outsider's perspective. Yet it's more than a chronicle of Lyons' tenure at one company, but a broader commentary on a business culture that often appears to be built on financial quicksand."―Los Angeles Times
"As the writer behind the satirical blog Fake Steve Jobs, [Lyons] could not have imagined a place so ripe for parody as HubSpot. Every detail of the hip office space, incompetent management, and delusional workforce described by Lyons in his hilarious and unsettling exposé is like something out of a scripted comedy (the author writes for HBO's Silicon Valley) ... An exacting, excoriating takedown of the current startup 'bubble' and the juvenile corporate culture it engenders."―Kirkus Reviews
"Scathingly funny .... Like the show 'Silicon Valley,' Disrupted nails the workings of spastic, hypocritical, delusional tech culture."―New York Post
"Read this book if you work or invest in tech and, in particular, tech startups. And not just for the tales of corporate intrigue, hypocrisy, and ridiculousness that have caused HubSpot and its allies to get so hot under their collective collar.... [Lyons] makes a strong case for how all of that young labor, when increasingly wrapped up into an over-arching 'corporate culture,' creates subtle age discrimination that these employees won't recognize for years to come. This not only is a real (albeit virtually ignored) issue at tech companies today, but is going to become a much larger one as digital natives continue to age."―Dan Primack, Fortune.com
"Hilarious and eye-opening."―Business Insider
"It would be incomplete to classify Disrupted as merely an Office Space-esque critique of Corporate America. It also serves as social commentary about the way that more senior employees are viewed and valued in a hyper-aggressive startup culture hell bent on an IPO. In other words, you will both laugh and think. I consumed the book in less than a day and highly recommend it to people curious about what could very well happen to them."―Phil Simon, The Huffington Post
"Disrupted provides an eye-opening and gut-busting account of the maddening world of startup excess, hubris and groupthink from the unique perspective of a prominent technology reporter and satirist who was inexplicably hired and given a front row seat to the lunacy."―Mashable
"A juicy read.... Disrupted is worth a read for its exploration of startup culture and its effect on labor....The book made me fearful of the fact that startup culture--from Google-style perks and zero work-life balance to corporate cheerleading and a cult-like devotion to the 'mission'--has become aspirational to many corporations. The ways in which the worst parts of startup culture benefit managers and investors while making workers disposable are particularly scary, and Lyons attacks that issue in a compelling way.... Disrupted is a foil to all those awful books that make sweeping generalizations about how to work with millennials."―Erin Griffith, Fortune.com
"Lyons finds the right company, if only for the raw material that he, a seasoned satirist, spins into gold.... But the book is not just a chronicle of the tech bubble's silly quirks.... Lyons uses the lens of his growing disillusionment to focus a broader critique of Silicon Valley."―Financial Times
"An often-delightful tour through startup culture... But there are parts of his book that should send shivers down the spine of anyone who uses the Internet."―Harvard Business Review
"The tech industry needs more writers like Lyons who are willing to probe its hyperbole, the ridiculous valuations, injustices and inconsistencies."―MarketWatch
"Hilarious... A must-read, not just in the real Silicon Valley but also on Wall Street... A highly entertaining, highly troubling tale of greed, graft, possible extortion, marketing nonsense, #content, incompetent bozos, investor hype, the impossibly wealthy and a man just looking to make his cut. That, folks, isn't just the Silicon Valley dream. It's the American dream."―Chris Taylor, Mashable ("Geek Book of the Week")
"This humorous and well-crafted memoir is part of a proud literary tradition: the disgruntled ex-employee tell-all. It's a genre that includes classic nonfiction accounts such as John DeLorean's On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors (detailing the carmaker's decline in the 1970s) and Michael Lewis's Liar's Poker (describing life at Salomon Brothers during the 1980s boom)."―Harvard Business Review
"Disrupted...offers an unvarnished insider's view of a tech startup.... That makes the book a must-read for anyone who works at a tech startup or wants to create one, in the same vein that books like One L became mandatory reading for soon-to-be law students.... A delightful portal into the world of a tech startup."―Lilly Rockwell, Austin American-Statesman
"[Lyons's] artful reporting from the inside makes for a funny and thoughtful account of the current culture surrounding technology startups. But in addition to entertainment, Lyons's book is also flush with analysis of those the entrepreneurs that founded these companies and the myriad firms that fund them."―The Atlantic
About the Author
Dan Lyons is a novelist, journalist, and screenwriter. He is currently a co-producer and -writer for the HBO series Silicon Valley. Previously, Lyons was technology editor at Newsweek and the creator of the groundbreaking viral blog "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" (AKA "Fake Steve Jobs"). Lyons has written for the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Wired. He lives in Winchester, MA.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you find yourself considering employment at a similar company, and if you're "old" (over 40 and certainly over 50), please read this book before you sign anything or accept any job offers. It's a cautionary tale that is the most perfect description of the current startup "culture" I've ever read. It made my blood boil while reading it, and at the same time I found myself laughing out loud throughout.
The book is a remarkable achievement, giving both prospective employees and investors a razor-sharp look inside a hellhole that seems so pleasant from its exterior. I loved this book and hope all my former, present and future colleagues take the time to read it.
Entertainment: Disrupted caused me to laugh out loud more often than any other book has ever caused me to laugh out loud. Would you expect less from a writer for the TV show Silicon Valley? Reading Disrupted is like binge-watching SV, only this company is a REAL place, which makes it even better.
Important social issues: Disrupted also raises a couple of troubling issues that surely extend far beyond the culture of this one company. The first is what appears to be a false promise of meaningful work to young people who desperately want to be doing meaningful work, but who are really just making a couple of people very, very wealthy. There's a smoke-and-mirrors quality to the ways in which employees are recruited, trained, treated, and then "graduated" (Hubspot's term for "fired"). They're told that the work they'll be doing is changing the world (when really what they're doing is online advertising), that Hubspot is more selective than Harvard (when this is actually a severe distortion of the data), and so on. The perks used to attract employees include an 'awesome!!!' candy wall, shower pods, beer, nerf gun battles, etc. You quickly get the sense that the work is empty, meaningless, even soulless -- and that what it's really about is making a couple of guys very, very rich (which I would be okay with IF the work truly were meaningful and IF the employees truly were being treated as individual humans, not as hypnotized sheep.)
Second, Dan is brave enough to bring up another important issue in startup culture: ageism. Older people are seen as having nothing to contribute. The age discrimination is actually shockingly overt. Imagine saying, "I want to run a company that really attracts people with blue eyes, because people with brown eyes just aren't creative." You'd (probably) never say something like that. But people who run this company openly say that about young people versus older people. I'm glad Dan is talking about it, because someone needed to start that conversation.
No, the story you get here is the 21-st century Alice-in-Wonderland story. Wonderland here is a startup creaking at the seams while being dragged kicking and screaming towards IPO. HubSpot is shrouded in a veneer of company patriotism and moral superiority that would make a soviet apparatchik green with envy.
Told with the brand of dark humor that made Lyons' Fake Steve Jobs so irresistible, it's hard to blame anyone for being unable to put it down.