Why I picked up this book: I was curious: what is it like to be a 50-ish journalist working in a culture run by young tecchies? This had to be good. It was.

What it’s about: Dan Lyons wrote for Newsweek for twenty-five years, and upon being fired, went to work for Hubspot, a start-up located in Boston, where he lived.

Stuff I learned:

  • His style is snarky, yet his internal challenge of being a provider for his wife and child and the struggle to fit into an alien working culture comes through loud and clear.
  • That start-ups aren’t designed to be profitable, yet through the magic of creative accounting, the founders and investors can make a ton of money.

What I thought about when I read it: I could have predicted that this endeavor would not go well, but it was an entertaining read. It’s a good example of what it’s like to be a minority in a majority culture where you not only don’t know the rules, but think the rules are ridiculous.

I was also amazed at the financial structure of how start-ups are designed to throw off money. It just upends what I know about traditional business models.


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