the Start-Up Bubble

Disrupted – My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble By Lyons, Dan Book – 2016

Lyons was a technology journalist at the top of his career when the news industry imploded, leaving him screwed (in his words). He stumbled around, eventually getting work at HubSpot, the marketing support company. The job fit was so bad! When it ended about a year later, Lyons had a perfect chance to exercise his well practised skills in satirical writing and ‘take the piss out’ of Hubspot.

There are a few themes here:

  • ageism: Lyons was twice the age of the average Hubspotter, and he delights in detailing how green they were
  • VC start-up bubble: Hubspot and similar businesses make their founders millionaires while being unprofitable. The VC investors loose millions.
  • marketing: Hubspot’s ‘awesome’ capability was in spammy email campaigns.
  • culture: The company culture was laughable, and Lyons has a great time satirizing it.

The book is infamous at the moment. See Lyon’s Linkedin post, and Hubspot’s riposte. See also Lyons’ article in the NY Times.
Lyons’ Linkedin profile describes his experience at Hubspot succinctly as ‘Veni, vidi, scripsi’. Lyons may never again get a chance to work in a technology company, but he has revenues from a best seller, and I suspect he has a comfortable future as an author.

Software Craftsman

Software Craftsman : Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride
By Mancuso, Sandro
Book – 2014

This book is for the working software developer. Do you see yourself as a professional? Or do you have pride in your skills a craftsman? Or is your work just a job, driven by a non-technical micro-manager?

Mancuso discusses the Craftmanship movement, which became strong around 2008, and compares it with the Agile and XP movements. This book will comfort you when deadlines are pressing. Better still, if you read it while in the early stages of planning a software project, you will plan and design quality code from the start.

Mancuso discusses this in the context of his own career progression from a green, cocky youngster through to a mature leader, showing considerable wisdom.

Here is the author‘s site.