Disrupted - Misadventures in Startup Land - Review
Few months ago, I read Chaos Monkeys, a scathing but a hilarious insider account on Facebook. It was written by a product manager, Antonio García Martínez. As a fellow product manager and as a snacker on content everything related to Facebook & Mark Zuckerberg, I thoroughly loved the witty at same time an optimistic critique on ad-tech companies and social media companies by Antonio.
I chanced upon, Disrupted by Dan Lyons, in a Kara Swisher's podcast. I loved this book. It is rip-roaringly hilarious, acerbic and brings down all the holy cows of the SaaS startup world. Yes, the tone of the writer is pessimistic and sometimes it borders lament. But it so very well written and an awesome experience to listen to the book in author's voice.
The book is about Dan's experience in working for HubSpot. It is a company that is revered in my work circle. I laughed out so loud during my commute on many instances on his snarky sarcastic comments. No one is spared. Dan makes fun of HubSpot's CEO and its CTO. He takes huge dig at Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff and my hero, Marc Andreessen. His take on HubSpot's CMO (Cranium - Mike Volpe), Mike's report (Wingman) and Dan's boss (Trotsky) are extremely funny and very enjoyable.
The chapter were he describes on how he gets fired from Newsweek was so moving and so scary. The travails he endured in dealing with Trotsky, his boss was also very gut-wrenching in many aspects. It was very, very well written and I could really empathise with him.
Sure, he really criticizes the Silicon Valley's ethos and ways of building things. I get a feeling that sometimes its a world view problem of people coming from a different (media, journalism) world and not getting the basic understand (insistence of make profit as a key and sound parameter for a business and many other such quirks). He dresses down and harshly criticizes Marc Andreessen and a16z's media content. I am not here to judge and pass comments on his opinions. But its damn interesting and funny to read his views. It is really good.
Highly recommend it for people interested in hearing an outsider's view into the startup world.