Opinions are not facts. Perspectives are not reality (they’re personal).
I read Dan Lyons book, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, and really loved it. It’s a real page-turner. It was well-written. It was funny. It was fast-paced. It shed a ton of light on an industry (and the way that money is being spent). It is a book about unicorns, dragons and company’s that are worth billions of dollars with tons of revenue (but not enough profit). It is a book about a company that I know and respect (HubSpot). The read was all-the-more interesting, because I’ve known about HubSpot, since the company’s inception. I know many of the named (and secondary) characters described in the book. I’ve spoken for many years at HubSpot’s Inbound event. I even know many of the people that he briefly mentions/makes fun of. I can only imagine if this book was about me (or our team), how hard it would be to consume. Still, everyone must not forget that this is Dan’s opinion about the tech, marketing tech and startup world. Opinions are not facts. Dan provides a meta perspective about this book, which is not reality, but rather his own experiences (perspective is not reality). Many of the major issues he brings forward are real (the age, gender, and multi-cultural challenges that these tech startups struggle with). I’ve worked with many of the companies he also describes (and dissects), and have attended many of the other events that he lambasts in the book. I feel like Dan and I were at two completely different conferences (I’m talking about his description of Salesforce‘s big event, not HubSpot). I’m sure what he describes happens, but it sure wasn’t Caligula from my perspective (which is my reality). Plus, like Lyons, I’m a middle-aged white guy (so I can relate, on many levels).
It’s a sketchy situation from all sides.
When Dan Lyons lost his job at Newsweek, Lyons – who had long reported on Silicon Valley companies – accepted an offer from HubSpot, as a “marketing fellow”. It was clearly not the right fit and, because of who Dan Lyons is, non-hilarity ensued. He is a novelist, journalist, and screenwriter. He is currently a co-producer and writer for the HBO series, Silicon Valley. Previously, he was technology editor at Newsweek and the creator of the viral blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs (Fake Steve Jobs). He has written for the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Wired. Recently, he spoke about his book, Disrupted, at Google‘s Cambridge, MA office. Yes, the belly of the beast that he picks apart in Disrupted.
Here is his presentation: Talks At Google - Dan Lyons: “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble.”