For 25 years Dan Lyons was a leading tech journalist. But all that ended one Friday morning when his Newsweek boss called and told him that his job no longer existed. Fifty years old with two young kids, Lyons found himself in a tough spot. Then an idea hit. For years he’d seen people strike gold by working for tech startups. Now it could be his turn to cash in. HubSpot, a software developer in Cambridge, Mass., flush with $100 million in venture funding, offered him a nice salary and a pile of stock options to work in its marketing department. What could possibly go wrong?
Pretty much everything, as it turned out. His new employer made the world a better place … by selling software used to create email spam. The office vibe was frat house meets cult compound. Shower pods became hook-up dens; Nerf gun fights broke out at lunch; one of the co-founders brought a teddy bear to meetings; absent bosses specialized in cryptic, jargon-laden email; people were fired suddenly, and their departures were described as “graduations.” In the middle of this sat Lyons, twice the age of the average HubSpot employee, imagining himself to be an anthropologist studying a strange new culture, feeling repulsed by this world and yet, at the same time, fascinated by it.
With portraits of devilish angel investors, fad-chasing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and wantrapreneurs, bloggers and brogrammers, DISRUPTED is a hilarious story of self-reinvention, as well as a sharp critique of life in the tech bubble, exposing what Lyons calls “the dark side of Silicon Valley.”