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Have you ever quit a job and wanted to trash the company and everyone you worked with?  Problem is that you’re likely not a great writer and you know the danger of burning bridges.Book review of "Disrupted" by Dan Lyons

Well, fortunately Dan Lyons, who is the author of Disrupted, didn’t need to worry about either of those points!  He’s a great writer, and went into a completely different industry in a different state!

To set the stage, Disrupted is about Dan Lyons’ experience as an employee of Hubspot.   Hubspot is a relatively young technology company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  They have the stereotypical startup culture of rah-rah speeches and beer on tap.  They are also a very successful company with revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

There’s a couple of different things you can take away from Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. What you take away depends on how cynical you are, and how well you’re able to read into what you’re reading.

On the surface, Disrupted is a “let’s bash Hubspot” book, or “let’s bash startups” book, or even a “let’s bash the idiots that give these startups money” book. It can even be all three of those things!  And it’s fun and easy to be cynical about it.

Or you can peel back the onion to get something a little different. It’s also a book about working with different types of personalities, or in new environments that you’re not used to.  Without accepting responsibility or admitting it, Dan Lyons proved that he failed at this. Hubspot is a successful company.  I have met many people who work there that love it.  Sure, he explains the reason these people must like it, and alludes to them not having the mental capacity to look past the management’s cheap strategies.  For example, beer on tap is a lot less expensive than paying people well.  But who really cares, because people should be happy at a place where they spend 2000 hours each year.

Depending on how you read it, Dan Lyons comes off in one of two ways.  Either as an experienced professional who is exposing a corporate system that encourages employees to be lemmings.  Or as a self-righteous know it all, who couldn’t adapt or handle working in an environment that was new to him.

Either way, Disrupted is an extremely entertaining read that provides a glimpse behind the doors of the inner workings one of the most successful startups in recent years.