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“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit” seems like the motto not just for Chopra but for the entire conference. Benioff and his philanthropy, the dry ice and fog machines, the concerts and comedians: None of this has anything to do with software or technology. It’s a show, created to entertain people, boost sales, and fluff a stock price.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Grow fast, lose money, go public, get rich. That’s the model.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“There’s an adage in Silicon Valley that people who use online services are not the customers. We’re the product. As”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“These are the bozos. They are graspers and self-promoters, shameless resume padders, people who describe themselves as “product marketing professionals,” “growth hackers,” “creative rockstar interns,” and “public speakers.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“You tell them that you’re doing this not because you want to save money on office space but because this is how their generation likes to work.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“You don’t get rewarded for creating great technology, not anymore,” says a friend of mine who has worked in tech since the 1980s, a former investment banker who now advises start-ups. “It’s all about the business model. The market pays you to have a company that scales quickly. It’s all about getting big fast. Don’t be profitable, just get big.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“I’m worried,” I tell him. “This place seems out of control.” Harvey says everything I’m describing about HubSpot is absolutely normal. “You know what the big secret of all these start-ups is?” he tells me. “The big secret is that nobody knows what they’re doing. When it comes to management, it’s amateur hour. They just make it up as they go along.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“At Newsweek, I get paid to meet amazing people and write about subjects that fascinate me: fusion energy, education reform, supercomputing, artificial intelligence, robotics, the rising competitiveness of China, the global threat of state-sponsored hacking.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“One day Spinner, the woman who runs PR tells me, “I like that idea, but I’m not sure that it’s one-plus-one-equals-three enough.” What does any of this nutty horseshit actually mean? I have no idea. I’m just amazed that hundreds of people can gobble up this malarkey and repeat it, with straight faces. I’m equally amazed by the high regard in which HubSpot people hold themselves. They use the word awesome incessantly, usually to describe themselves or each other. That’s awesome! You’re awesome! No, you’re awesome for saying that I’m awesome! They pepper their communication with exclamation points, often in clusters, like this!!! They are constantly sending around emails praising someone who is totally crushing it and doing something awesome and being a total team player!!! These emails are cc’d to everyone in the department. The protocol seems to be for every recipient to issue his or her own reply-to-all email joining in on the cheer, writing things like “You go, girl!!” and “Go, HubSpot, go!!!!” and “Ashley for president!!!” Every day my inbox fills up with these little orgasmic spasms of praise. At first I ignore them, but then I feel like a grump and decide I should join in the fun. I start writing things like, “Jan is the best!!! Her can-do attitude and big smile cheer me up every morning!!!!!!!” (Jan is the grumpy woman who runs the blog; she scowls a lot.) Sometimes I just write something with lots of exclamation points, like, “Woo-hoo!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!! You totally rock!!!!!!!!!!!!” Eventually someone suspects that I am taking the piss, and I am told to cut that shit out.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Try to imagine the calamity of that: Zack, age twenty-eight, with no management experience, gets training from Dave, a weekend rock guitarist, on how to apply a set of fundamentally unsound psychological principles as a way to manipulate the people who report to him. If you put a room full of journalists into this situation they would immediately begin ripping on each other, taking the piss out of the instructors, asking intentionally stupid questions. If the boss wants us to waste half a day on Romper Room bullshit, we could at least have some fun. My HubSpot colleagues, however, seem to take the DISC personality assessment seriously. The”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Training takes place in a tiny room, where for two weeks I sit shoulder to shoulder with twenty other new recruits, listening to pep talks that start to sound like the brainwashing you get when you join a cult. It’s amazing, and hilarious. It’s everything I ever imagined might take place inside a tech company, only even better.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“The advertisement challenges potential candidates: “Think you can get HubSpot on the cover of Time magazine or featured on 60 Minutes?” Take it from someone who worked at Time’s primary competitor—the only way a company like HubSpot will ever merit that kind of coverage is if an employee brings in a bag of guns and shoots the place up.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Any place with a founder who brings a teddy bear to meetings,” he writes, “is a step away from Jonestown.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Reporters are trained to hate corporate jargon and to eliminate it, not to engage in it. We’re expected to be cynical and skeptical, not to be cheerleaders.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“At HubSpot, VORP means evaluating the difference between what you are paid and the least amount the company could pay someone else to do your job. It’s a vicious metric, with only one goal, which is to drive the price of labor as low as possible.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“come-to-Jesus meeting in”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“They’re getting all these young kids who work cheap and don’t stick around long enough to vest, and even if they do vest, they don’t have much equity to begin with. When you look at it that way, the perks seem pretty cheap.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Try to imagine the calamity of that: Zack, age twenty-eight, with no management experience, gets training from Dave, a weekend rock guitarist, on how to apply a set of fundamentally unsound psychological principles as a way to manipulate the people who report to him.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“In a room full of journalists someone would already be doing an impersonation of the Robot Man. We’d also make fun of the smarmy host, who is a bit like Tom Bergeron, host of Hollywood Squares, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and Dancing with the Stars, only cheesier, which is remarkable because Tom Bergeron is already the gold standard of cheesiness, and yet here is this total amateur, this complete unknown, blowing Bergeron away.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Civilians is one term journalists use to describe non-journalists. Another is laypeople. Or normals.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Another, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, suggests I need to change my Facebook photo to something that makes me look younger. I scan an old photo from my First Communion and make it my profile photo. There I am, age eight, wearing my First Communion robe, hands folded in prayer in front of me, looking angelic. “I’m trying to get a promotion at HubSpot,” I write. “The 8-year-old version of me has lots of ideas about how to expand geographically while also driving up MRR by pushing into the enterprise.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“DISC is based on concepts created in 1928 by a psychologist named William Marston, who also created the comic book character Wonder Woman. That tells you pretty much all you need to know about DISC. Other”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“On the Internet, ginning up fake grassroots support is called astroturfing, and the tactic is generally frowned upon. I’m”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Every morning, walking to work, I dodge a river of hipsters in skinny jeans and chunky eyewear riding skateboards—grown men! riding skateboards!—while carrying five-dollar cups of coffee to their jobs at companies with names that sound like characters from a TV show for little kids: Kaggle and Clinkle, Vungle and Gangaroo.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“One day, Aaron Levie, the twenty-six-year-old CEO of Box, a well-funded new tech company, tells me it’s really important to learn from what happened in the 1990s—which is why he has read a bunch of books about that era.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“A lot of these new start-up founders are somewhat unsavory people. The old tech industry was run by engineers and MBAs; the new tech industry is populated by young, amoral hustlers, the kind of young guys (and they are almost all guys) who watched The Social Network and its depiction of Mark Zuckerberg as a lying, thieving, backstabbing prick—and left the theater wanting to be just like that guy.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Apple CEO Steve Jobs used to talk about a phenomenon called a “bozo explosion,” by which a company’s mediocre early hires rise up through the ranks and end up running departments. The bozos now must hire other people, and of course they prefer to hire bozos.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“I rationalize this by telling myself that while the work might be ignoble, it's not necessarily evil. We're not Hitler - we're just annoying people.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“I ask my young, white, male colleague to imagine that instead of saying that older people (gray hair and experience) are overrated, Halligan said that gay people are overrated, or women, or African-Americans, or Jews. Imagine Halligan saying, “We’re trying to build a culture specifically to attract and retain white people, because when it comes to technology, white people do a much better job than black people.” “But he didn’t say that!” my colleague responds. “He didn’t say anything about gays, or women, or black people!” As the Bible says: Jesus wept.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
“Our spam is not spam. In fact it is the opposite of spam. It's anti-spam. It's a shield against spam -a spam condom.”
Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble

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