Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble review

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up BubbleDisrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is about what it’s like for a 50-year old former writer for Newsweek to join a tech startup. Dan Lyons wrote the Fake Steve Jobs blog, among other things, and he writes a pretty entertaining book.

The main thesis is something like “this company/industry is craaaaazy”. While I mostly agree, there were a few times where I thought he was in the wrong:
– He mocks the relentlessly positive emails (mocking is fine, but actually sending them seems a bit much)
– He can’t understand why his boss wants him to set up a calendar invite to go out to lunch. As someone who works at a place with shared calendars, the reason is so no one else schedules a lunch meeting at that time!
– He talks a few times about what grizzled journalists would do if they were forced to do a stupid activity like a personality test – mock the whole exercise and everyone involved, and make some very NSFW suggestions. Regardless of the merits of the activity, that wouldn’t fly at any modern workplace, I think?
– He’s amazed that people come to work on Halloween dressed up in costumes. I’ve only worked at two places, but people did this at both of them, so I’m not sure what his deal is?

But for the most part, HubSpot sounds like a pretty crazy place to work, and not in a good way. At one point he gets an idea approved by the CEO, but the people who are supposed to work on it don’t want to, so…nothing happens. Also there is pretty blatant ageism but sadly that doesn’t surprise me based on what I’ve read :-/

Anyway, it’s a good read, and while I admit I see a few echoes of some of the things he complains about at my company, it makes me glad I work at a sane place!

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