Disrupted

  • by Dan Lyons
  • Narrated by Dan Lyons
  • 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For 25 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 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 tech explosion. 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 a better place...by selling email spam. The office vibe was frat house meets cult compound: The party began at 4:30 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 emails about employees who had "graduated" (read: been fired). In the middle of all this was Dan, exactly twice the age of the average HubSpot employee and literally old enough to be the father of most of his coworkers, sitting at his desk on his bouncy-ball "chair".
Mixed in with Lyons' uproarious tale 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 postcollegiate workforces, and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to reach an IPO and cash out.
With a cast of characters that includes devilish angel investors, fad-chasing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and "wantrapreneurs", bloggers and brogrammers, social climbers and sociopaths, Disrupted is a gripping and definitive account of life in the (second) tech bubble.

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What the Critics Say

"Wildly entertaining.... Lyons has injected a dose of sanity into a world gone mad." (Ashlee Vance, New York Times best-selling author of Elon Musk)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Don't drink the Kool Aid

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.
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- Margaret

Disrupted - - True Tales Inside The IT Bubble Too Little Too Late

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.
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- C. Hill

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-05-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio