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How To Destroy A Tech Startup In Three Easy Steps

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  18 reviews
From Lawrence Krubner:

"Self-sabotage is remarkably common. When inexperienced entrepreneurs ask my advice about their idea for a tech startup, they often worry "What if Google decides to compete with us? They will crush us!" I respond that far more startups die of suicide than homicide. If you can avoid hurting yourself, then you are already better off than most of your
Kindle Edition, 161 pages
Published October 31st 2017
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Michael Burnam-Fink
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Everybody wants to ride a unicorn, take their IPO to the moon, party on the Playa with Elon, and generally be lauded as a genius. But the fact is, most startups fail. And while studies of some notably fraudulent failures have had a great deal of success: Theranos, WeWork, FyreFest, most companies fail for more mundane reasons. In the summer of 2015, Krubner was a software developer working at a startup in New York. The startup had a clever idea to allow salespeople to interface with their Custom ...more
Jean Tessier
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: software
A somewhat funny story of a failed startup. Claims to be a true story taken from the life of the main author. I hear it resonates more with employees than with founders. At 172 pages, it was a quick read. When it first came to my attention, the startup was going to be about using NLP to talk to databases. I imagined NLP instead of SQL. Could be entertaining. A shorter, lighter fare than The Phoenix Project, maybe?

For the most part, the narrator simply recounts events as he saw them. His perspect
Fritz Kunze
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i read this recent book and liked it. it rang very true, i founded and was ceo of 2 startups - and . most of the patterns for failure the author identified i've personally encountered. this book is worth reading and studying. -fritz kunze ( ...more
Andrew Kearney
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Certainly an interesting view from the inside of a startup
Jo Anne
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you enjoyed Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder and the TV show Halt and Catch Fire, you will enjoy Lawrence Krubner very funny "work of fiction" in which he deals with bright eyed young folk who have come up with a creative idea and decide to grow a startup. Programmers and computer geeks will cringe in recognition at the horrors and madness that take place while trying to create a billion dollar earning-company. I lived through it in 2000 during the first dot com explosion. I laughed and ...more
Mohammad Al-ubaydli
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating details of pathological behaviour at work

I don’t know why the author persisted in working at such a bad company but I’m glad he did as he spelled out the consequences in tedious detail. It is tempting to read it and think “there but for the grade of God go I” but I found my self reflecting on recent conversations and thinking “am I doing what he is describing”? It was useful to reconstruct and reinterpret daily behaviour. We are all operating in the fog of war with incomplete informa
Hiren Patel
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved how relatable it was. It really made the interesting because I could see myself in the same situations the author was going through.

I also loved the structure of the book. No traditional chapters, more like a diary that tracked highlights during the author's time at the startup. The short "chapters" really made the book flow quickly.

I found the end a little hard to believe. It felt exaggerated but definitely made the ending more satisfying.
Peter Aronson
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book increasingly painful to read as it went on. I don't know if it is fiction (the copyright page claimed it as a work of fiction) or memoir or (most likely) a fictionalized memoir, but I could not understand why Lawrence put up with the degree of of bad management for so long. Maybe the technology was fun, but the situation was not. ...more
Susan Rossow
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing

5 stars because the way Lawrence told the story was captivating. I learned many things about start-ups and several things about human behavior I had not considered before. I recommend this book to everyone. I wonder one thing - why were John’s emails and Slack messages so typo-filled and misspelled? No one called him out on it. Seems odd.
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining read, although the perspective feels a bit one-sided many times, and you have to ask yourself why some people (especially the author) reacted the way they did. Still, a good page-turner and a cautionary tale for anyone joining a young startup.
Mark Polino
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be a better read than it has any right to be. My biggest complaint is that the cover holds it back. I’m not a programmer but worked at startups, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies and so much of this rings true.
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining read. It brought out emotions of anxiety, frustration, absurdity and hilarity of being in a tech startup.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved the first 80% of it... which is enough to give a positive opinion I guess. What I didn't like really is that the book is written from the perspective of startup employee, not the founder. So there's only part of the story. Only information that the writer assumes. He uses a lot of exaggerations as well that are fun to read and enjoyable but some dialogues are hard to believe to be true.
I would recommend it to people working in tech startups... to feel good about the environment that the
Kathryn Bertoni
Jul 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A hilarious and page-turning romp through the world of tech-startups. Krubner's cast of characters are both disturbingly entertaining and eerily familiar - certainly for anyone with any experience as an entrepreneur or in the tech world. Shady VCs, dishonest business partners, overworked programmers at the mercy of demanding (and possibly delusional) CEOs, Krubner keeps the laughs and groans rolling in this easy, fun read. ...more
Ranil Wijeyratne
May 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Not sure what to think of this book. It's like watching sensationalized documentaries, informative but somehow you feel a lot of things are left out. Not a fan of the "glorification" of working crazy long hours and also the proud mention of the clickbait blog post titled "object oriented code is an expensive disaster which must end" really threw me off. Still it's a quick and fun read. A bit like reading the tabloids ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book so much, but I couldn't help abandoning it around half time, even though its a thin one. There is no real twist or plot, its just downhill cringe, seasoned with the weird martyr / "I of course knew it" storytelling - sorry. ...more
Apr 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: post-college
Terse and lightly ornamented, the book's unhurried tour through the inevitable collapse of a startup is strongest as a kind of counterexample in form and function to the trite parables that plague business books. A similarly succinct moral can be drawn, though: reality always wins in the end. ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
A short, cautionary tale. Maybe Lawrence should have taken that corporate job!
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