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Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble Paperback – March 7, 2017
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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
About the Author
Dan Lyons is a novelist, journalist, screenwriter, and public speaker. He was a staff writer on the first two seasons of the Emmy-winning 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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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.
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Dan Lyons observes how the nature of work is changing.Read more