Ludicrous Misadventures in the Tech Start-Up Bubble

Dan Lyons

Publisher: Atlantic, 2016, 259 pages

ISBN: 978-1-7864910-2-2

Keywords: Biography

Last modified: July 16, 2020, 3:42 p.m.

Dan Lyons was a tech journalist at the top of his profession. But one morning, he heard that his job at Newsweek magazine no longer existed. At the age of fifty, Dan was unemployed and facing financial oblivion. Then the idea hit. Why not join the world he reported on?

What follows is an excoriating and hilarious account of Dan's time at tech start-up HubSpot, and a revealing window onto a dysfunctional culture 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 is a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments; where sexism and ageism is rife; and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to cash out with a fortune.

  • Prologue: Welcome to the Content Factory
  1. Beached White Male
  2. When the Ducks Quack
  3. What's a HubSpot?
  4. The Happy!! Awesome!! Start-Up Cult
  5. HubSpeak
  6. Our Cult Leader Has a Really Awesome Teddy Bear
  7. We Need to Make the Blog a Lot More Dumberer
  8. The Bozo Explosion
  9. In Which I Make a Very Big Mistake
  10. Life in the Boiler Room
  11. OMG the Halloween Party!!!
  12. The New Work: Employees as Widgets
  13. The Ron Burgundy of Tech
  14. Meet the New Boss
  15. Grandpa Buzz
  16. Ritual Humiliation as Rehabilitation
  17. A Disturbance in the Farce
  18. A House of Cards?
  19. Go West, Old Man
  20. Glassholes
  21. Excuse Me, but Would You Please Get the Fuck Out of Our Company?
  22. Inbound and Down
  23. Escape Velocity
  24. If I Only Had a HEART
  25. Graduation Day
  • Epilogue



Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: July 16, 2020, 3:41 p.m.

This is supposed to be an experienced journalist deep dive into an Internet startup.

The destructive nature of the startup is described in sufficient detail and the journalists bewilderment is obvious.

It is supposed to be funny, but was mostly a lot of words stringed together to make a book.

Not bad. but nothing I should recommend.


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