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Disrupted summary

Dan Lyons

My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble

4.5 (33 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

'Disrupted' by Dan Lyons is a memoir about his experience working at a tech start-up in his 50s. He describes the quirky culture, the struggles of older workers, and how the start-up bubble may be doing more harm than good to the tech industry.

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    Disrupted
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    Traditional journalists like the author have been forced to reinvent themselves in the modern media industry.

    In 2012, journalist Dan Lyons, who’d previously been employed as the technology editor at Newsweek magazine, was in his 50s and desperately looking for work. He’d just been fired and was now facing a radically different job market.

    He wasn’t alone. The internet-technology boom of the 2000s was causing many older professionals to reevaluate their positions in the media industry.

    During the early 2000s, new internet-based tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Zynga and Groupon, were on the rise. Meanwhile, traditional media industries, such as newspapers and magazines, were struggling to survive and adapt.

    These newly ascendant companies were offering products and services that were changing central human activities – how we shop and socialize, how we get our news and information.

    Instead of relying on newspapers and magazines, readers could now get all the information they needed with a simple click. Print magazines like Newsweek were in free-fall as advertisers began moving to online platforms and people began canceling their subscriptions.

    All of this led to Lyons being let go, just after Newsweek – the very company he was working for – published an article entitled “The Beached White Male.” Ironically, it was about a generation of experienced, older professionals who were suddenly finding themselves bereft of work due to company cutbacks.

    To find a new job, Lyons needed to reinvent himself – and his attempt at transformation led him to the new world of start-ups.

    Lyons was married, had two young kids and was the sole breadwinner, all of which made a steady job and good health insurance imperative.

    His first new job took him to San Francisco, where he worked for a tech-news website called ReadWrite.

    It was okay, but not ideal, since his family was rooted on the other side of the country, in Boston. However, while in San Francisco, he also got a first-hand look at the booming start-up businesses of Silicon Valley.

    This got him thinking: Maybe he could reinvent himself as a writer in the marketing department of a start-up?

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    What is Disrupted about?

    Disrupted (2016) demystifies the culture and practices of tech start-ups by taking a revealing, behind-the-scenes look at Boston’s HubSpot software company. After 25 years as a technology journalist, Dan Lyons was fired from Newsweek and accepted a new job at a start-up. These blinks follow Lyons’s bumpy and humorous journey as he tries to navigate a weird new world filled with candy walls and other bizarre instances of HubSpottiness.

    Disrupted Review

    Disrupted (2016) is an eye-opening memoir that unveils the bizarre and sometimes comical world of the tech startup industry. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It offers a raw and honest portrayal of Silicon Valley, exposing the dark side of the tech culture and the realities of working in a hypergrowth startup.
    • With humor and wit, Lyons exposes the absurdities of the tech industry, tackling ageism, work-life balance, and the cult-like atmosphere of certain companies.
    • The book raises important questions about the impact of limitless ambition, corporate culture, and the pursuit of profit at any cost, making it a thought-provoking read.

    Best quote from Disrupted

    I want to tell Zack that they all need to STFU because WTF does any of this have to do with how ordinary human beings actually speak...

    —Dan Lyons
    example alt text

    Who should read Disrupted?

    • Anyone curious about how technology start-ups operate
    • Potential investors in any start-up
    • People who work for a small business or start-up

    About the Author

    Dan Lyons is a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He was a technology editor at Newsweek for many years and is currently on staff at the HBO series Silicon Valley. His blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, was a tremendous success.

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    Disrupted FAQs 

    What is the main message of Disrupted?

    The main message of Disrupted is a humorous and critical take on the tech startup culture.

    How long does it take to read Disrupted?

    The reading time for Disrupted varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Disrupted a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Disrupted is a must-read for anyone interested in the tech industry. It offers a fascinating insider's perspective and sparks important conversations about work culture.

    Who is the author of Disrupted?

    Dan Lyons is the author of Disrupted.

    What to read after Disrupted?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Disrupted, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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