Dan Lyons, age 53, took a job in a technology startup and dishes out about his experience in Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. The descriptions of the frenzied atmosphere of startups, the hungry investors, the overwhelmed, alternatively naive and greedy founders, the lightweight managers are right on. What’s just a little disturbing is the author’s attitude: he hates it, he hates everything about his job, and especially the whippersnappers who dare want to manage him. Since his past, cushy job (at Newsweek) is gone, perhaps he could condescend to speak to his colleagues as equals and not some lower life form, smile about the push-up club rather than denounce it as a millennial folly, and realize that going over his boss’s head may not be the best way to make friends or even influence people. Above all, he seems shocked, really shocked that the startup has to make money (how uncivilized) by selling what he considers to be a spam-creating horror (it’s a marketing platform, hello!)
To top it off, he leaves the company for what he considers to be much more respectable employment at… Gawker! How wonderful is that?
The whole thing would have worked much better as a fictionalized satire. The Orwellian underpinnings of would-be unicorns do make for rich pickings!