PDF or EBOOK Disrupted My Misadventure in the Start Up Bubble
That Hubspot has hired him for a marketing position when he s got no marketing xperience Then he loses his mind that his boss is only 5 years out of college Um how are you surprised This guy has 5 years xperience then you do of course you report to himFrom that point on you never hear about someone without also hearing about how old they are He complains that veryone makes him feel old while he s busy writing a book about how young and dumb they all are Pot Meet kettleHe also seems pretty out of touch for a guy who was a Newsweek tech reporter If you reported on these companies so much how did you not know what you were getting intoHe complains that there s no diversity in tech but then gets xcited when he s in an LA writers room with all dudes where he can make jokes about huge cocks and dry vaginas He openly mocks his company on Facebook and wonders why he gets in troubleNow do I think he had some legitimate gripes about Hubspot Sure But I xpected an xperienced journalist to be able to frame it in a way that didn t make me hate him Instead he came across like a grumpy old man who had an axe to grind If you re looking for insight into the current state of the tech industry this isn t your book You want to hear a guy talk about how great he is and complain about his coworkers for 250 pages This is your book The author is so deeply unlikeable and the narrative so unreliable that it s hard to get any wisdom out of it like trying to understand the ravings of a resentful teenager More to this point He sounds like a nightmare to work with He calls people bozos graspers and self promoters shameless resume padders for nothing than setting up a personal website working in tech joining Toastmasters clubs to improve public speaking skills and organizing kayaking outingsHe doesn t like how his coworkers over use xclamation points so he sends out sarcastic company wide The Accidental Beauty Queen emails roasting people Jan is the best Her can do attitude and big smile cheer me upvery morning Jan is the grumpy woman who runs the blog she scowls a lot Poor Jan He has no problem with running a scam as long as he gets his Even if I stay only one year I will get five thousand options and if the IPO goes well those options could be worth some money He xpounds on this crashingly boring and uease inducing point multiple times making it seem like he s a complete toolHe characterizes veryone at Apple as brainwashed corporate zombies who all truly believe they are doing incredibly important work If you re the average decent hard working person trying to do nice things and not scam anyone Lyons response to this is haha sucker His greatest admiration is saved for people who sold worthless startups like Netscape at the high point of a boom or joined months before an IPO and got rewarded out of proportion to their work I generally think that reading books is preferable to not reading books but in this case you probably don t want to spend any time in the author s mind I get it I m an old guy working in high tech but I ve always been here and in Canada we re at a slight remove from the unicorn madness infecting some other tech centres I can understand Dan s snark and I ve seen vidence of ruthless backstabbing hi tech mean girling hare brained revelations from gotistical narcissists Kool aid slurping wage slaves frat boy brogrammers and his just goes to Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, eleven But calling out the bro coders out for their frat boy antics then gleefully recounting the dick fart and shit jokes you live on in the writers room seems disingenuous I understand you calling out the 20 somethings for their lack ofxperience but can you please not mention you were kind of a big deal at Newsweek againI m not sure what I wanted from this story Maybe snark or some sort of narrative so that it didn t just feel like a book length bitch session Dan manages to be at a complete remove from veryone involved in the story so that it feels like he s just lobbing spitballs at the tech industry now that he s safely hidden behind the protective apron of Hollywood Maybe if you work in hi tech and still can t xplain what it is you do to your folks you can send them this so they get a feel for how far removed from reality the crazy farm can get This book gets five stars for its sheer importance It is a long overdue takedown of the worst aspects of Silicon Valley culture mploying time tested weapons for challenging hegemonic wisdom sarcasm ridicule and satire No sacred cow goes unslaughtered and the result is one of the funniest books I have ver read The book is not perfect Lyons has an obvious axe to grind his vulgarity is off putting and his mean spirited TAKEDOWNS OF SPECIFIC COLLEAGUES MADE ME SUIRM NONETHELESS THIS of specific colleagues made me suirm Nonetheless this a book the world needs and Lyons acerbic humor is what allows him to take on the juggernaut of Silicon Valley startup culture Absurd and humorous anecdotes aside the book is at its best when Lyons steps back from his own situation to reflect on the broader dynamics of the start up bubble nonsensical business culture and practices This Forsaken Earth exploitation of naive workers rampant inexperience discrimination particularly ageism the substitution of marketing for uality the grow or die mentality and incoherent business strategies that succeed only innriching a handful of founders and investors Whatever one thinks of Lyons style I hope the book ignites a much needed conversation about the start up bubble And if the bubble does burst I suspect many will look back on Lyons as a prophet At the height of his Fake Steve Jobs fame Dan Lyons gave a talk at Google s Mountain View campus I was unable to go due to travel or likely some stupid meeting but several friends went One of them was The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) excited to report that Mr Lyons was just like meven down to the acne scars all over our necksWhile I m a fan of Mr Lyons and I really The Garden of Happy Endings enjoyed the book I m not sure how I feel about him taking the job at Hubspot in the first place If you are taking a job with a purposely vague title like marketing fellow and oh how the tech industry loves to lift titles from other industries like that then it s reasonable to assume that flexibility will be reuired in the responsibilities of that roleSo this was not a culture fit and not in the age discrimination way though there was plenty of that if someone takes a vaguely defined role and thenssentially complains about the lack of structure while asking permission to do stuff Perhaps this came from working in structured newsrooms I have no idea because my idea of what newsrooms are like comes from Mencken s Newspaper Days and the Daily Bugle in Spiderman comicsHaving gotten that unpleasantness out of the way I still greatly admire the little tech carpetbagger for his determination to leave no bridge unburned and for his sharp observational skills I was so captivated by the book that I read it straight through in one sitting I started a list of all the things that I felt Mr Lyons got right about startup culture along with my own thoughts Being managed out I ve only seen it happen to other people natch but the part with Trotsky is about as good of a description of being managed out as you are going to read Early Campfire employeeFriend of CEOffect The book perfectly captures the way that My Little Blue Dress earlymployees and they are loaded up with stock so when the company goes public they will make oh so much than you will can hunker in to the company and make life miserable for Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars everyonelse Boiler room approach to tech Basically anything that can t be automated outbound calling approving ads or websites turning pages in a book at tech companies are done with rooms full of recent grads The bottom 5 10% are culled very so often and replacements are brought in There are buildings full of these people in and
around Mountain View BS creation myths for start ups It has always annoyed me how most Mountain View BS creation myths for start ups It has always annoyed me how most need a creation myth YouTube has this story about the founders being at a dinner party and wanting to share videos that they made blah blah blah But you can go on archiveorg and see very clearly that it was set up to be a dating site sort of a video Hot Or Not I am certainly guilty of repeating these false narratives at countless sales calls though Age discrimination I was being called old man and similar ven back when I joined Google at 35 I Crazy Love even rem. Better place by sellingmail spam The office vibe was frat house meets cult compound The party began at four thirty on Friday and lasted well into the night; shower pods became hook up dens; a push up club met at noon in the lobby while nearby in the content factory Nerf gun fights raged Groups went on walking meetings and Dan's absentee boss sent cryptic Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society emails aboutmployees who had graduated read been fired In the middle of all this was Dan xactly twice the age of the average HubSpot mployee and literally old nough to be the father of most of his co workers sitting at his desk on his bouncy ball chairMixed in with Lyons's uproarious ta.
download Disrupted My Misadventure in the Start Up BubbleEmber in my arly 30s the son of the CEO where I worked scrunched up his face and asked me What are you Like 40 I m still not sure what he meant by that I still get a comment Black Heart, Red Ruby every few weeks or so that I m not crazy about so I close my laptop and stop working for the day in response I don t think my age affects my ability to get hired because I ve always felt smarter andmployable then just about veryone around me I went to a conference a few weeks ago and half a dozen companies were interested in hiring me though I m very happy where I am now thankyouverymuch Can t step in the same river twice Mr Lyons paints this as a bad thing but he captures the chaos and change at a fast growing start up It means there will be wasted ffort which isn t great but it also creates great opportunities And when I feel like uitting a start up job I remind myself or someone New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood else does thatverything will change in about 3 months anyway so I put a tickler in my calendar to reconsider until then The weird linking of personal and work life This has only gotten worse over the past decade or so I have noticed The way he almost gets fired for a FB joke is worse than anything I ve seen but I don t doubt it It was really common for co workers to date Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey early in my career but now I know of apartment buildings where the majority of the apartments are taken by people from one company The norm today seems to be for co workers to live and play together in a huddle like puppies This is something obviously not possible for middle aged workersxcept maybe as the premise of a sitcom Discrimination against funny people In Silicon Valley genuine humor is always frowned upon and turned against you mainly because humor always has an God's Pocket element of truth to it and shows a clarity of perception two things that are never tolerated in tech In almostvery review I have had my sense of humor has shown up in the negative or needs work column ЯED even when managers are friends So if your humor idols are Wilde Thurber Benchley Mencken Lynde think twice before saying anything and don t drink too much at companyvents If you think Friends and Big Bang Theory are hilarious you will go far They may ven put you on the April Fools Day joke committee VC industry level view The the book zooms out the it becomes truly great This is where Reporter Lyons takes over from Tech Carpetbagger Lyons and I learn a whole bunch of stuff about how this current boom is being funded and how the wealth is being transferred These parts are worth the price of the book alone BS review methodology Google used to do this too They had this big long Drake uation thingie where they plugged in your performance your department s performance Google s performance The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs etc The upshotvery year was 1 you are average 2 the company is spectacular 3 here is a bunch of money 4 shut up and go Moreno eat some free food It felt like a sad Christmasach time It always came out to just over my Monsieur Pain expected bonus anyway so I never understood the psychology of messing with my head No one understanding pop culture references This always trips me up being a generation ahead of most co workers There was a time when a Caddyshack reference always got a laugh in sales situations Hey Lama how about a little something for theffort I was talking about a recent vacation and I mentioned that my Spalding Gray Swimming to Cambodia moment finally happened when Jethro Tull came on the radio in my bitchin Camaro The conversation uickly ground to a halt I realized it would take at least 20 minutes to unpack all of the dated cultural references I made so I softly said never mind and saved it for people closer to my own age I try to stick to Classical Greek and Roman references because they are the foundation of our culture and it s not my fault if people don t get them You d be surprised how often you can work in a reference to the Thirty Tyrants or Xenophon s Anabasis Asymmetric loyalty s My career spans three recessions so I m always ready to bug out like a MASH unit I don t keep any on my desk than I can fit in my backpack I ve seen layoffs blamed on A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author everything from 911 to California s Governor Davis Everythingxcept poor management Open offices The next logical step in the modern office is to have organ grinders walk around while monkeys jump on desks knocking things over If I didn t know better I d think that our backs are What If exposed tomphasize that we workers are low status primatesWhat was missed or what I d like to read in the seuel I m available to speak on deep background McKinsey colonization If Mr Lyons had stuck around a few years he would witness the stage where the The Exhaustion Breakthrough ex McKinsey and a fewx Bain consultants come in to form a biz ops department and start rationalizing the business processes I am usually long gone by then This was dramatized in Office Space when the Bobs come in The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good except these Bobs are way smarter than me way betterducated than me and super super Supplemental Book evil God help anyone who doesn t fit neatly into one of their spreadsheets People staying too long at companies In myxperience people stop learning useful skills around 5 years at a company unless they change positions or radically change what they are working on After those 5 years they just learn company politics how to hire friends how to fly 1st class what VP to schmooze for what So when someone leaves or likely is laid off after 10 years they will Hark! The Herald Angels Scream expect to be paid for 10 yearsxperience when they really only have 5 years of relevant Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners experience Push down of risk and upside There was some mention ofgregious rounds like Groupon s last round but a discussion of investor preference and conversions and cram downs would have been great too Also I m pretty sure that Mr Lyons had to wait 6 months to sell his stock This is the standard these days so that preferred stock has plenty of time to bail out first if necessary The other trend is that companies go public at a way higher valuation these days which reduces upside for rank and file mployees Netscape went public at a valuation of 1B for xample barely a unicorn Not that there is no upside at all any just that the fabled stories from the MSFT and dot com Bidadari yang Mengembara era don t necessarily apply And the tax laws still suck so I m pretty sure Mr Lyons was taxed as if it were cashing in a lottery ticket instead of collecting something he hadarned over a period of a year and a half Apology for the section on Bozos Bozo is a the maiden name of my step grandmother and it happens to be a common Hungarian surname Using it as a term of abuse is insulting to Hungarian Americans My step great grandmother was a very kind woman who also happened to receive a tremendous amount of crank phone calls This is the kind of discrimination that we have had to face as long as I can rememberEven though Baby Boomers are the people that said Don t trust anyone over 30 and pretty much invented age discrimination it turns out that age discrimination is bad now that it s happening to themAnd not only did the Baby Boomers not save the world they didn t Red River Girl even manage to savenough for retirement so we need to un age discriminate them into high paying jobs right away We Gen Xers understand so we ll step aside for a decade or twoAs long
as we get hilarious and insightful books out of the dealwe get hilarious and insightful books out of the deal this one I guess it s a fair off Highly books out of the deal like this one I guess it s a fair trade off La strada delle croci especially if you are working in tech or a tech adjacent company Ugh The cluelessness The lack of awareness and growth on the part of the author was a hoot And horrifying to read It s a fish out of water tale A journalist in his 50 s gets fired and needs newmployment fast His wife is unemployed He has two young children He begrudgingly takes a job at a tech startup called Hubspot hoping to stick it out for a year or so in the hopes of striking it rich in their upcoming IPO It s all naked greed for him Although he has covered the tech beat for decades he is shocked SHOCKED to discover that ageism racism and sexism are real phenomena in the tech industry How could this be happening To other people sure but to him He s white And a male What happened to his privilege Why is life so suddenly unfairAs a journalist he says he never arned much money but he got to party on the Forbes yacht with celebrities He hob nobbed with the wealthy He jet sets all over the wor. Le of his rise and fall at Hubspot is a trenchant analysis of the start up world a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments where companies blow money lavishing perks on their post collegiate workforces and where verybody is trying to hang on just long The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth enough to reach an IPO and cash out With a cast of characters that includes devilish angel investors fad chasing venture capitalistsntrepreneurs and wantrapreneurs bloggers and brogrammers social climbers and sociopaths Disrupted is a gripping and definitive account of life in the second tech bubb. First up HubSpot garners zero sympathy from this girl for being xposed in this fashion I know these places xist because I worked for a lite version of them in a different industry As a woman and 38 years old at the time I felt very out of place in a company that Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, encouraged alcohol infused fraternization with my coworkers both on and off the clock Mind you I didn t feel out of place because I didn t drink I love beer but because I wasn t partial to making myself vulnerable to people who had zero vested interest in my personal or professional well being My disinterest in partaking naturally made me feel disconnected sad and ancient and so I left after a year for greener pastures as they saySo yes the HubSpot culture is deplorable however Lyons doesn t do himself any favors here In fact I was sincerely amused that someone who had the opportunity to write a book and shed himself in the best light possible would paint himself as such an arrogant tool But therein lies the problem Lyons doesn t recognize his own haughtiness Instead he believes that contrary to what he s actually written all of his actions at HubSpot were perfectly thoughtful rational and reasonable and all of HubSpot s responses to his actions were grossly inappropriate or blown way out of proportionThe truth of the matter is HubSpot is a terrible place to work AND Lyons is a terriblemployee and coworkerFor instance if you re going to cry foul over age discrimination maybe it s best not to belabor the point that all of your coworkers are numbskulls walking around waiting for their brains to finish forming because they re too young and stupid to be in the positions they re in you seeOr maybe it s not ntirely unreasonable for your boss to ask that you coordinate podcast schedules and guests with the blog and marketing teams so they can promote it being that you work for a company that shills marketing tools Lyons reasoning is that since one of the idiot xecutives is hosting the show instead of himself the podcast is doomed for failure and no one will listen to it so why would anyone bother putting any The West Transformed effort into promoting itOr maybe it s not wrong that your female coworkers think it s inappropriate to discuss at work with another male colleague how you had to fire your 19 year old German au pair because your wife was uncomfortable with her presence the nudge nudge wink implication being your wife was obviously jealous because another woman in near proximity threatened her sexuality Nope that s not offensive at allor at least not to anyone who matters in your world amirite ol chapThere are dozens of these types ofncounters which Lyons documents in his book many of which find him begrudgingly and insincerely apologizing to some person or another because they ve overreacted to his completely rational behavior Yeah I don t buy it and the fact that this isn t fiction and Lyons put this out there for the world to critiue is indicative of his obtusenessI really hate to be so hard on this guy but I have a weak spot filled with distaste for all forms of hubris A little humility goes a long way bro I read Dan Lyon s LinkedIn post about his book two years back and have been curious to read his book specially since some people in Hubspot actually tried to obtain a copy and indulged in coercion to stop the book I also read co founder Dharmesh Shah s mature response on behalf of him as well as Brian Halligan also on LinkedIn though he does not address all the issues in Dan s bookSomehow got to reading it only now This is an specially interesting read on Tech Startups and does offer lessons such companies would be better off considering And yet some of Dan s criticism does also come across as whining and bitterness as a result of his personal xperienceAt over 50 years of age Dan decides to nter the world of Tech Startup by joining Hubspot a Boston based company with a product for Inbound marketing He has been in the media industry for long and realizes it will take some Paper Chasers effort to fit in to a new industry He has kids and his wife recently left her job which adds to the pressure to get back to work as uickly as possible His initial days and weeks are frustrating with no direction on what isxpected of him very little dialogue with seniors and a frat house culture gone berserk His work assignments are mostly around writing lame blogs Most of the Hubspot The Complete Polly and the Wolf employees are fresh out of college and have little or no real coaching In order to keep them motivated they are offered a fun place to work bright colors bean bags beer on the jobtc At times such as Halloween and Freaky Fridays VOYAGES DE GRANDE CROISIERE employees can come in wearing costumes of their choice Employees are told that they are actually making the world a better place Employees who leave or are fired which happens uite often are announced as graduating with an informally worded mail doing the rounds The culture code presentation with the HEART acronym comes across as full of fluff Dan sticks out as an odd person struggling to fit in and also makes detractors with his frankness Here Dan s criticism is on solid ground and this is certainly a culture where oldermployees as also many personality types and those who value authenticity would struggle to fit in As part of his narrative Dan also suggests that Hubspot has a poor product and has to spend a lot on marketing to sell it as also to retain customers While it is difficult to know if that is case Hubspot has seen very strong growth and indicates that this cannot be A Riesling to Die entirely true He also takes aim at startups in general and the trends they back Eg he takes aim at Software as a Service companies which is completely off the mark Even going by his own account there is an indication that Dan did not try very hard to fit inither nor did he offer suggestions constructively Brian Halligan was once uoted as saying that xperience was largely overvalued prompting a bitter Facebook post by Dan which he acknowledges might not have been the best approachWhile he uses pseudo names for a few people in the book he names Chief Marketing Officer Mike Volpe and Head of Content Joe Chernov his supervisor for part of the duration in the Epilogue who had To Leave As A Result leave as a result the FBI investigation though no charges were pressed After he gets another job Dan resigns giving a 6 week notice but is asked to leave the another job Dan resigns giving a 6 week notice but is asked to leave the next day There are good lessons from the book on the need for diversity valuing xperience promoting time tested values of respect openness trust transparency authenticity fairness rather than a cult like behavior and make believe A book I certainly recommend readingMy rating 35 5 I was torn between a 1 star and a 5 star review The 5 stars because I can t remember the last time I read a book that made me so angry I was initially really xcited to read this like the author I am a 50 guy who jumped into the much y This was a fun read that anyone in the tech industry can relate toOne reason I knocked my rating down is the aw shucks tone the author takes He makes it sound like he found the job worked there a few months and then realized he would write a book about it I call bullshit he went in to the job knowing
"full well he "well he going to write about it I mean he was a tech writer for Newsweek beforehand so it s not xactly a stretchI also felt that the author really downplayed how much of an a hole he was at work In several places he feigns surprise that people at HubSpot got mad when he said shitty things He also talks about how people are just like that in newsrooms so how could you blame him rightNewsflash Dan if you come in to a new nvironment and start making sarcastic public remarks all the time about people you work with nobody is going to like you or want to work with youBut anyway the story was ntertaining and Lyons raised some good points about ageism in the tech industry Wow I hated this book First of all let s get something out of the way this book is not funny It s I dunno petty And a bit vindictiveBut what s the most disappointing is the author makes some good points about how tech companies are de valuing labor about how the funding and IPO model is broken But he wraps it in such self aggrandizing ageist bullshit that it s impossible to take seriously In the first 15 pages he talks about how astounded he is. For twenty five years Dan Lyons was a magazine writer at the top of his profession until one Friday morning when he received a phone call Poof His job no longer A Warlocks Dance (The Cursed Princes, existed I think they just want to hire younger people his boss at Newsweek told him Fifty years old and with a wife and two young kids Dan was in a word screwed Then an idea hit Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the techxplosion Why not join it HubSpot a Boston start up was flush with 100 million in venture capital They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the vague role of marketing fellow What could go wrong HubSpotters were true believers They were making the world