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This book was fascinating for those of us who watch Silicon Valley and its cycles of boom and bust. Dan Lyons, a fifty-something journalist whose last job was Tech Editor at Newsweek, finds himself suddenly unemployed and goes to work for HubSpot, a pre-IPO, cloud based business with a very young, tech-y culture.
He immediately experiences culture shock. His first desk has an exercise ball to sit on instead of a chair. He's given an orange wristband instead of a name badge. The CEO of HubSpot tells the NY Times that grey-hair and experience aren't valuable to the company. Dan, more than twice the age of the average HubSpot employee, starts to push back, because, he reports candidly, "I needed the paycheck."
I enjoyed learning about how venture capital works and what the risk and rewards are for those who speculate in tech start ups. His business writing skills are put to good use as he explores the numbers and the industry from the inside. I didn't enjoy his sense of humor as much. It came across to me as vulgar.
By the end of the book, I suspected Dan brought some of the problems on himself. He seemed to not understand that the status of his last position was his no longer. On the other hand, what kind of hubris must HubSpot be suffering from to hire a journalist with decades of connections in the NYC publishing world and tick him off without a non-discloursaure agreement of some kind?
The book has a happy-ish ending with Dan leaving HubSpot after making a bit of money on his options. Not for everyone, to be sure, but kept me hooked through the last pages.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
What a great story. I am 60 plus and worked in IT since 1985 and aged out at 59 ..worked in the first Internet bubble 1999 for a Startup Software company had the IPO so traveled the same road and I love this work. This is accurate and funny, the devil is in the details and Dan gets these perfectly. Dan Lyons provides a more important act by putting a spotlight on the 'Disruptive' results of the culture where
internal bias's in employment practices are harmful. With a confident voice and a sense of humor Dan relates the situation from his experience POV in such an interesting and intelligent way that I am recommending this and highly rated it.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful