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Publisher's Summary

The shocking and hilarious New York Times best-selling exposé of a new age of excess in Silicon Valley.

Dan Lyons was technology editor at Newsweek for years, a magazine writer at the top of his profession. One Friday morning he received a phone call: his job no longer existed. Fifty years old, and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was unemployed and facing financial oblivion.

Then an idea hit. Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the nebulous role of 'marketing fellow'. What could possibly go wrong?

What follows is a hilarious and excoriating account of Dan's time at the start-up and a revealing window onto the dysfunctional culture that prevails in a world flush with cash and devoid of experience. Filled with stories of meaningless jargon, teddy bears at meetings, push-up competitions and all-night parties, this uproarious tale is also a trenchant analysis of the dysfunctional start-up world, a de facto conspiracy between those who start companies and those who fund them. It is a world where bad ideas are rewarded with hefty investments, where companies blow money lavishing perks on their postcollegiate workforces, and where everybody is trying to hang on just long enough to cash out with a fortune.

©2016 Dan Lyons (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

''The best book about Silicon Valley today.'' ( The Los Angeles Times)
''Cooly observant.... Splendidly weird...[Lyons] couldn't have written a tastier ending, even for HBO'' ( The New York Times)
''Wildly entertaining.... Lyons has injected a dose of sanity into a world gone mad.'' ( The Sunday Times)

What members say

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  • mr ajw freeman
  • 05-23-18

Just great

Finished this in a few days. Well written, very insight full, this IS what it’s like!?

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  • William
  • 05-18-18

Beyond brilliant!

Really insightful view into the Silicon Valley machine and how it operates. Fully recommend to any entrepreneur or anyone interested in business and tech.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-18

Excellent but slightly spoiled by whining

Overall a fantastic listen, really great story and narrator, a fantastic insight into the valley and all its seedy and somewhat creepy undertones. I couldn't stop listening to it, its one of those books that actually makes you look forward to work the next day so you can hear the end of it!

However, the whole thing is slightly ruined by the authors whining. Obviously this is a personal complaint, and not an issue with the story itself, but it got on my nerves quite a bit. Ageism in the valley is a huge issue, but the authors approach to this just comes across as a big whine. He essentially makes the point (intentional or not, and maybe its just what I heard) that the ageism should be reversed, not that it shouldn't be there at all. He pines about the good old days where he could just ignore or disregard a 20-something as if they're nothing, but now he has to work for them, the gall! Maybe I'm just taking it wrongly, but that in particular struck me the wrong way.

However, even despite that its an excellent audiobook and I wouldnt recommend it to anyone, even a 20-something.

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  • The Understudy
  • 03-21-18

Great fun

Really enjoyed Dan’s tale, couldnt put it down. Office cliques, politics and culture are not just confined to tech company’s so can relate to a lot of this, but its a great story. Not sure the value of the vested stock warranted the agony, but the anecdotes will play out in HBO’s Silicon Valley for our enjoyment so thank you!

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  • Matt Lewis
  • 02-22-18

raucous read in a mad bubble world

brilliant and entertaining story. certainly rang true for some of my work history. Dan tells a good exaggerated tale that has some laughs included

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  • Mael Dujardin
  • 02-17-18

a real hoot

I couldn't put it down! listened to the whole of it in 24 hrs. kafkian, horrifying and very funny.

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  • oluwaseyi oni
  • 02-05-18

fantastic story.

I also work for a tech startup, and I felt like he was talking a bit about my company.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-18-18

Funny, frightening and some fascinating figures.

A fascinating insight into the world of high profile online business. As an old grey marketer myself, I laughed out loud at some of the scenarios outlined in the hip Hubspot culture.

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  • mr bob
  • 10-13-17

Sobering listening

Very interesting story but at times it was a tough to listen and actually quite depressing.

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  • Andrzej
  • 09-26-17

Great read

Great story, well written and presented in this reading. The Dan's story higlits the problems of most of tech startups where retaining talent, exeperience and profit is replaced by hiring and replacing cheap inexperience, and fousing on growth and revenue without a look on spending sheet.

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  • Xcursion
  • 04-24-17

A Great Insight to A Juvenile & Toxic World

A really interesting and insightful dive into a murky world filled with incompetent idiots. I found it fascinating, disturbing and madding all at the same time. How can anyone invest in these hairbrained Ponzi schemes? So many of these startups are just built on nothing but hot air with the immoral aim of building up the value and escaping before it all implodes.

One of the best books I've listened to this year!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-18

Funny and insightful

Dan paints and interesting and exciting look at what it’s like to work inside a unicorn. Certainly think twice about using hubspot!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cam
  • 11-12-17

Tech startup from critical viewpoint

A perspective of a tech startup from an ex-journalist with a quick dry wit. The story sheds light on the culture of age-ism, disorganisation and the excruciating harassment of the author from one executive. The story ends with the question of whether we can trust tech companies with our personal information.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 10-11-17

Thoroughly enjoyable

Loved the delivery and the use of the English language which would be lost on most hub spotter's. Very entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-11-17

Entertaining but naive

As someone approaching 50 the themes in this book were worrying, thought provoking and often entertaining. My only criticism was the author sometimes very naive and put often put himself in difficult positions. However would definitely recommend as his insights into Silicon Valley were excellent and definitely ludicrous!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-23-17

Great story, highly negative

Engaging author and story - I'd recommend it.

The author is sometimes hypocritical and overly negative but he gives the reader much to take away.

People working in inbound marketing or tech will disagree with him on many points but it's an interesting look inside Hubspot.

Dan writes a great story that packs alot of bite but also offers plenty of value.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • cr3studio
  • 06-16-17

Could not stop listening

Do yourself a favor and listen to this one of the best tech insights I've read so far

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joash
  • 06-15-17

this book opened my eyes! must read! author is 🙂

amazing!
author is entertaining and smart do not skip this! read it now! top read of 2017!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brett
  • 04-14-17

thoroughly enjoyed this book

Being an ex Hubspot customer this book explains a lot about the company and service we experienced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-18

You have to read this

Thought it would be one of the business self improvement books but it's not, however really interesting story about tech startups & plenty to learn from this guys experience.