Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
Date Finished: August 3rd, 2016
Reading Time: Two days
If the bubble bursts in the next few years, this will be shelved in the hall of fame. Since it’s seeming more and more like a bubble doesn’t exist, the book isn’t aging well. It’s hard to truly sympathize with the author, a guy who seems set on satirizing the entire experience from day one. I don’t think Dan could have found a more ridiculous company than Hubspot, and this book is an important one–whether you see it as a cautionary tale or just an old guy making fun of hopes, dreams, and borderline personality disorders.
The discussion revolving around the type of value “new economy” tech companies provide while operating at a massive financial loss is one that is long in the tooth and one that Dan engages in rather poorly. Aside from Google Glass, we’re not talking about novelty technologies and Pets.com anymore. To me, it makes perfect sense that Tesla or Amazon operates at a loss. They drastically improve quality of life for humankind. Even Zillow, which Dan picks on several times, can’t be placed in the same category as Hubspot.
Another thing that bothers me about this book is how liberally he makes comparisons to “frat boys” and fraternities. A popular scapegoat in these times, to be sure, but in this book, these labels are, over and over again, used to get you thinking about Animal House and lawless savagery when neither explicitly exists.
Overall a good book that I would never re-read. I felt kind of jealous of Dan by the end. Though I’m not looking forward to aging.