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Summary

The shocking and hilarious New York Times best-selling exposé of a new age of excess in Silicon Valley.

Dan Lyons was technology editor at Newsweek for years, a magazine writer at the top of his profession. One Friday morning he received a phone call: his job no longer existed. Fifty years old, and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was unemployed and facing financial oblivion.

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 nebulous role of 'marketing fellow'. What could possibly go wrong?

What follows is a hilarious and excoriating account of Dan's time at the start-up and a revealing window onto the dysfunctional culture that prevails in a world flush with cash and devoid of experience. Filled with stories of meaningless jargon, teddy bears at meetings, push-up competitions and all-night parties, this uproarious tale is also a trenchant analysis of the dysfunctional start-up world, a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them. It is 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 cash out with a fortune.

©2016 Dan Lyons (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

''The best book about Silicon Valley today.'' ( The Los Angeles Times)
''Cooly observant.... Splendidly weird...[Lyons] couldn't have written a tastier ending, even for HBO'' ( The New York Times)
''Wildly entertaining.... Lyons has injected a dose of sanity into a world gone mad.'' ( The Sunday Times)

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If you work in tech and are over the age of 35

I've worked in tech for the past 20 years and this book does a fantastic job of showing up just how silly it all is. While we all initially drink the kool-aid, over time the mandatory fun, ethos-embracing brand statements, senseless busy-work and expected work/life imbalance reveal themselves as the Emperor's new clothes.

Genuinely laughed my ass off with all references to over-entitled hipster kids who know nothing and yet somehow rule the roost.

Just a marvelous read, splendidly delivered by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I laughed out loud in public on many occasions.

The narrator does a fantastic job of capturing the nuances of the thoughts to self.

I did kind of think Dan was being snooty and negative which may have been part of the cultural misfit however I learned a lot during toss audiobook and am very grateful to Dan for writing it.

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Brutally honest and insightful

Great to hear the truth about the startup world. Its incredible what a big company can get away with it. Definitely worth the read!

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Just great

Finished this in a few days. Well written, very insight full, this IS what it’s like!?

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Beyond brilliant!

Really insightful view into the Silicon Valley machine and how it operates. Fully recommend to any entrepreneur or anyone interested in business and tech.

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Excellent but slightly spoiled by whining

Overall a fantastic listen, really great story and narrator, a fantastic insight into the valley and all its seedy and somewhat creepy undertones. I couldn't stop listening to it, its one of those books that actually makes you look forward to work the next day so you can hear the end of it!

However, the whole thing is slightly ruined by the authors whining. Obviously this is a personal complaint, and not an issue with the story itself, but it got on my nerves quite a bit. Ageism in the valley is a huge issue, but the authors approach to this just comes across as a big whine. He essentially makes the point (intentional or not, and maybe its just what I heard) that the ageism should be reversed, not that it shouldn't be there at all. He pines about the good old days where he could just ignore or disregard a 20-something as if they're nothing, but now he has to work for them, the gall! Maybe I'm just taking it wrongly, but that in particular struck me the wrong way.

However, even despite that its an excellent audiobook and I wouldnt recommend it to anyone, even a 20-something.

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Great fun

Really enjoyed Dan’s tale, couldnt put it down. Office cliques, politics and culture are not just confined to tech company’s so can relate to a lot of this, but its a great story. Not sure the value of the vested stock warranted the agony, but the anecdotes will play out in HBO’s Silicon Valley for our enjoyment so thank you!

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raucous read in a mad bubble world

brilliant and entertaining story. certainly rang true for some of my work history. Dan tells a good exaggerated tale that has some laughs included

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a real hoot

I couldn't put it down! listened to the whole of it in 24 hrs. kafkian, horrifying and very funny.

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fantastic story.

I also work for a tech startup, and I felt like he was talking a bit about my company.