The last few weeks have been crazy and a bit surreal. “Disrupted” came out, and after that everything went into a blur. In the past month I’ve been in LA for 10 days, New York for media around the book, Boston for parties and readings, then a week of events in San Francisco. I thought when I got home things would slow down, and they have, a little bit, but life is still pretty crazy. Along the way, the book hit the New York Times best sellers list, something I had not expected. Since then it has made best sellers lists at the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
I’ve decided to post some links to articles about the book, if only so I’ll be able to remember them and refer to them later. For the past few weeks my inbox has been filling up every day with people writing to me to say that they’ve read the book and can relate to it, or that they saw one of the articles I’ve published recently and want to share their own bad experiences confronting age bias or dealing with crazy “culture” at tech companies. It’s immensely gratifying to know that I have written something that connected with so many people and maybe even helped them out a little bit.
On April 4, the day before launch, I did an interview with Terry Gross for Fresh Air. We talked for 90 minutes, and I was thrilled to “meet” her as she is one of my longtime heroes, and a masterful interviewer. NPR titled the piece, “Laid-Off Tech Journalist Joins A Startup, Finds It’s Part Frat, Part Cult.” (That link takes you to a page where you can hear the whole interview.)
The next few days were a blur: a podcast with Recode, an appearance on CNBC, an interview with WBUR in Boston, a visit to WGBH to tape an interview with Barbara Howard for All Things Considered, a corporate event at Google, a Harvard bookstore event in Cambridge, an event at Bookends in Winchester, and a spectacular big book party at Empire in Boston, hosted by Maura Fitzgerald and Version 2.0 Communications. The Boston Globe ran a story about the party.
San Francisco events went well. One, hosted by Litquake at the Alamo Draft House movie theater, sold out. Another, at Kepler’s in Mountain View, drew more than 200 people. A third, at Book Passage in Marin County, drew a great turnout and went over well.
Here’s a chronicle of write-ups. I’ll add more as I think of them or as they come out.
A few days before the book came out, Fortune ran a big excerpt which now, a few weeks later, has drawn about 280,000 unique views. They made some great artwork:
On April 3, the Sunday before launch, the New York Post (aka the world’s greatest newspaper) ran a two-page spread about the book, headlined, “Millennials are being dot.conned by cult-like tech companies.”
On April 5, launch day, I published an article on LinkedIn, headlined, “When It Comes to Age Bias, Tech Companies Don’t Even Bother to Lie.” That article has drawn more than 700,000 views and 2,500 comments, and was republished in the New York Observer. When the LinkedIn article started taking off I began to think that “Disrupted” might strike a nerve.
That sense was confirmed five days later, on Sunday, April 9, when I published an op-ed in the New York Times, headlined, “Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired.” That article was at or near the top of the Times list of most-read stories for several days, and a week later the Times published an entire column of letters to the editor about what I’d written.
On April 5, Dwight Garner of the New York Times published a great review of the book done in second person — an allusion to one of my favorite books of all time, and a book that influenced every writer of my generation: “Bright Lights, Big City,” by Jay McInerney. Cooler still, McInerney saw the review and called it out on Twitter. Garner’s review is really funny and worth reading. He really got into it.
Nancy Franklin, former TV writer for the New Yorker, wrote a review for the New York Times Book Review, which was mixed, but did include a fantastic piece of art:
Tom Peters, legendary author of “In Search of Excellence,” somehow discovered “Disrupted” and started tweeting about it, calling it a “fine and important work.” Then he invited me to lunch. Pinch me.
Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s GPS, named “Disrupted” his “Book of the Week” and called it a “must read” on his Sunday show.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, another management legend and professor at Stanford Business School, wrote an essay in Fortune about “Disrupted,” headlined, “Why `Modern’ Work Culture Makes People So Miserable.”
The Financial Times ran a glowing review, which is unfortunately behind a paywall. Therese Poletti at Marketwatch wrote that the book “shows tech hasn’t learned from the dot-com bust.” Ilan Mochari at Inc. magazine appreciated that the book was trying to make some larger points about the tech industry.
Josh Bernoff, a former Forrester analyst, liked the book. Rick Chapman of Softletter did not. David Meerman Scott, a HubSpot advisor, was not a fan. Nor was Dan Woods, a marketing consultant. My favorite negative response came from Lauren Holliday, a former HubSpot employee, who published an article in Fortune headlined, “Working For This Startup Wasn’t Hell — You’re Just Old.” Nice! That last one kind of made my point for me.
In late April, an artist in Boston, Iris Amelia Febres, created an “illustrated interview” with me, and dubbed me “Diversity Advocate Man.”
On Monday, April 25, I did a live Twitter conversation with Harvard Business School professor and best-selling author Amy Cuddy.
Emmett Rensin, book editor of Vox, raved that “The lunacy of Silicon Valley is no secret. But Disrupted goes deeper than foosball tables and free beer.” Quote from Rensin:
Disrupted begins to chip away, a bit, at the superficial gawking I’d grown bored with and to argue that the trouble with Silicon Valley isn’t the excesses of companies-as-adult-frat-houses — not really. It’s the excess of capitalism, shredding a century of labor security and calling it a cutting-edge disruption…. It is the funniest and most relentless iteration of the form, madcap and darker than I’d expected.
Pulitzer-winning LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote that Disrupted “is the best book about Silicon Valley today.”
Mashable named Disrupted its “Geek book of the week.”
Metro, an alt weekly in Silicon Valley, ran an excerpt and put Disrupted on its cover, with the headline: Hoodiewinked.