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Disrupted

Ludicrous Misadventures into the Tech Start-Up Bubble
By: Dan Lyons
Narrated by: Dan Lyons
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (788 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

9 people found this helpful

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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.

18 people found this helpful

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A good read on the whole and a good insight

I enjoyed the book on the whole but have to say, I spent most of my time thinking "I wholly agree with Hubspot that this guy is not a team player and is completely at odds with the business for which he is working!" His attitude was highly argumentative and his approach to working in a team was strange! Not a person I would ever hire! he came across as arrogant and self righteous!

A good read in which I sided 100% with the business he spends the whole book slagging off!

6 people found this helpful

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interesting and annoying

The story is interesting but a lot of hypocrisy from the author. The book centres it's content around discrimination based on age and it's made clear that the author feels his experience and previous engagements in a different field grant him a right to respect and responsibility. However, he's very quick to discriminate against the 20 something's in the company. When the content strays away from the author feeling sorry for himself (despite doing incredibly well out of the situation) it does provide interesting information about how VC companies operate!

5 people found this helpful

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Witty, Sarcastic, Asinine - Loved it

Imagine a man in his 50s trapped in a vapid self righteous universe of genuine snowflakes, his every day is painful and the schadenfreude is just delicious.

3 people found this helpful

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Histerical yet serious

loved it. laughed out loud repeatedly. does this actually happen. Excellent listen. highly recommended. well done.

2 people found this helpful

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Best audio book I've listened to in a long time

Entertaining, informative and made me laugh out loud. Loved this audio book, definitely worth a listen

2 people found this helpful

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loved it

the best book I have listened in a while. in places very funny. highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant book - well worth a listen

Having listened to a number of great books around how to start, grow, manage and work in a startup environment, this book served as some light relief. It is still very much focussed in the startup world (HubSpot specifically) and gives an alternate, but very interesting insight into life there. The behaviour of the people in the company, and the last section that explains what happened when the release of the book was announced is particularly concerning.

All in all a very enjoyable book. One where I found myself sitting in my car after arriving at my destination to hear more of before getting out.

As a tech geek I've taken it as an entertaining story rather than a call to get out of the industry, but it does make you question certain decisions and I absolutely won't put any money as a customer or otherwise into HubSpot anytime soon!

1 person found this helpful

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Objectionable character

I couldn’t endure another minute in the company of this moaning, superior old fart (and I’m the same age as him!).
Wow!!!
I got up to chapter 9. Here, the author repeats the word “dog sh*t” maybe 25 times (in his usual supercilious tone) to make a point about somebody else’s editorial standards - and I thought “do I really need this negative a-hole in my life?”...
The answer is “no thanks”.
I didn’t laugh once at the satire. Instead, I felt my brow lowering along with my mood.
Enough. I can take no more.