Reviewed – Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble

Dan Lyons is 51 years old and the technology editor at Newsweek. In 2012 his twins are turning 7-years-old, his wife has just quit her teaching job, and the family is preparing for a three-week trip to Austria. Then he loses his job.

This book is about his employment at Hubspot, a company (used by several of my friends) that creates and sells marketing software. Lyons is hired as a “Marketing Fellow,” a position that never quite materializes. Instead he ends up writing blog posts with “eager beaver young white people.”

As you’d expect for someone used to the rigor of journalism, the cult-like atmosphere of Hubspot —combined with the dumbed-down articles he was writing – made the experience rather challenging. To make the job palatable, Lyons pretends he’s an anthropologist and records the behavior of his fellow Hubspotters.

This was an interesting look into youth-based company culture from the view of an “elderly” outsider. If firing Nerf guns and dressing up for Halloween at work don’t appeal to you, you’ll probably find Disrupted to be an enjoyable read.


Happy International Animation Day!

International Animation Day is celebrated on October 28. The day was proclaimed in 2002 by the International Animated Film Association to promote the art of animation. The date was chosen to commemorate the first public performance of French inventor Emile Reynaud, who first projected animated cartoons on a screen at the Grevin Museum in Paris in 1892.

In recent years, the event has been observed in more than 50 different countries with more than 1000 events, on every continent, all over the world. (Source)

How to write about International Animation Day:

  • Write about the first animation that you saw. I vaguely recall watching The Flinstones, which was aired from 1960 to 1966.
  • Write about your favorite animated film. Why do you like it so much?
  • Watch an animated film with friends or family. Describe the experience and whether everyone liked it.
  • Get out some art supplies and try drawing. Or use one of the online animating programs. Write about how the experience.

Post one

Lately I’ve become obsessed with reading memoirs. I think they’re fascinating because the stories are true (at least based to the author’s view of the truth) and because we are part of the author’s journey to resolve their experiences. I’ve also ghost written memoirs, so I understand the angst that is involved in telling your personal story.

The term “memoir” and “autobiography” are often used interchangeably, but they are different. An autobiography is the story of your life up to this point. It would include where you grew up, as well as information on your education, relationships and work history.

A memoir, on the other hand, is your personal experience about a specific part of your life.For me, this might be about the ten years spent homeschooling my (now adult) children, how I maintained a weight loss of 120 pounds, or what I learned from rescuing three miniature dachshunds. As memoir writers reflect on their experiences, they come to a new understanding of their past that we can all learn from.

Today, share a favorite memoir. If you were to write a memoir about a part of your life, what would you write about?

Reviewed: #GIRLBOSS

I heard the author interviewed and was eager to read her book. Her school years were unimpressive with poor grades, a worse attitude, and extracurricular activities that included shoplifting and dumpster diving. She elected not to attend college and only committed to a “real job” when she was 22-years-old because she needed health insurance to pay for a hernia operation.

So I was surprised to learn that, eight years later, Ms. Amoruso is CEO of Nasty Gal — a $100 million business with 350 employees.

This book is a combination of memoir and business lessons. The author talks about the difficulties of hiring, giving up control, and firing. There is also a section on pitching to venture capitalists. It’s fascinating to learn how she and her company mature, while still retaining the quirky “weirdness” that is part of her personality.

This books is an easy and inspiring read. I think it would be especially interesting to young women who want to build a career in the fashion industry.