Dan Lyons On His 'Misadventure' In Tech At Cambridge-Based HubSpot

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Dan Lyons' new book "Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble" chronicles his time as an employee at the Cambridge-based startup Hubspot from April 2013 to December 2014.

Hubspot was No. 1 in the Boston Globe's 2015 best places to work.

But what does Lyons think?

"Hubspot's leaders were not heroes," he writes in his new book, "but rather a pack of sales and marketing charlatans who spun a good story about magical transformation technology and got rich by selling shares in a company that still has never turned a profit."

He argues that the culture of Hubspot and other startup companies is not as idyllic as it appears.


Dan Lyons, novelist, journalist, and screenwriter. Author of the new book, "Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble." He tweets @realdanlyons.


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  • "But 'Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble' doesn’t offer up any bombshells about employees’ personal lives or corporate dirty tricks. And that’s sure to raise even more questions about why company officials allegedly went to extreme lengths to pursue a draft before the book was published."

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  • "The truth is that we’re selling software that lets companies, most of them small businesses like pool installers and flower shops, sell more stuff. The world of online marketing, where HubSpot operates, though, has a reputation for being kind of grubby. Our customers include people who make a living bombarding people with email offers, or gaming Google’s search algorithm, or figuring out which kind of misleading subject line is most likely to trick someone into opening a message. Online marketing is not quite as sleazy as Internet porn, but it’s not much better either."

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  • "Lyons would do well to heed the lessons of content marketing in his own life. Instead of mocking HubSpot and startup culture, he should instead stop being so limited by convention. Instead of publishing his next book through a traditional publisher, he should buy HubSpot, start a blog, and go direct to consumers. If he pulled this off, and he clearly has the writing talent to do so, he would make so much more money than his piddly little royalty.  And he would have created real wealth, an enduring connection to an audience."

This segment aired on April 4, 2016.


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