51 (More) Thoughts I had while reading Disrupted

I’m writing this at 7 AM on a flight to a marketing conference in Atlanta. I’ve been awake since 3:45 am, so this is obviously the best time for writing a coherent blog post. This is my third blog post in the last week, which is kind of weird considering I had previously written approximately three posts in the last 6 months. Part of Disrupted talks about Hubspot’s business model around content marketing, and it triggered kind of a “Oh yeah, I have a blog. And I actually do like writing when I have something I want to write about” feeling. So here we are. 

Anyway, I finished reading the epilogue of Disrupted this morning at 5:30 at the airport. A few days ago, I wrote some of my thoughts about chapters 1-14. So here’s a continuation of that, starting with chapter 15.

  1. Wow. That must have been frustrating. They must have really hated him to not let him coach Halligan for that interview.  I thought that they were all about doing what’s best for the team/company.
  2. I majored in PR in college (it was part of the journalism program at my school, so I took a ton of journalism classes). I’m really glad I didn’t go into it as a career. I’d rather be what is being pitched than be the one doing the pitching, you know?
  3. I’ve read about (and, um, perhaps worked at) startups that prefer to hire younger people because they “have fresh ideas” when really it’s because “they’re cheaper and younger than the CEO.” But the ones I worked with, for the most part, were excellent, smart people and good co-workers.
  4. Why is he Facebook friends with his co-workers, especially given the relationships they have? I LIKE my co-workers but generally don’t friend them on Facebook if we’re currently working together. At least hide the post from them if you’re posting stuff about work. Or, if you know that you have that many people reading your page, maybe don’t post ANYTHING about a job you kind of want to keep? Jeez.
  5. When I was in college, taking PR classes, we had some annoying homework assignment that no one wanted to do. Everyone complained about it. The professor said, “You know how in A League of their Own, Tom Hanks says ‘There’s no crying in baseball?’ Well, there’s no WHINING in PR.” Hey Spinner – get a thicker skin. There’s no WHINING in PR. My professor said so.
  6. His co-workers sound like morons when he’s trying to explain his point of view.
  7. Ah, yes, a technicality. I think being treated horribly at work would be worse than being fired, no?
  8. This is kind of blowing my mind though. I’ve quit LOTS of jobs over way less than any of this.
  9. I remember reading that Buzzfeed article about the “old” guy who worked there. And I remember relating to a lot of it… as a 29 year old at a startup. Yeah.
  10. At a startup I worked at, cultural fit was a huge part of getting hired. It’s likely changed a bit since then, but when I was hired, if you made it to the interview, it was assumed that you were perfectly qualified to do the job, and the interview was just to determine cultural fit, and that carried as much weight as anything else. We were asked about things likes “What websites do you read for fun?” and “What was your best Halloween costume?” Cultural fit there also included caring about the social good aspect of the company, and caring about the product. (As a glasses wearing do-gooder who loves Halloween costumes, I got in, even though I was nowhere near as cool as my coworkers). 
  11. Re: Groupthink + Culture: At my old job, we had an unofficial uniform. In 2012/2013 when I was there, everyone seemed to own a chambray shirt and black pants, and every day, at least a few people would be wearing that outfit. We had a whole section on our internal wiki for “twinning,” with pictures of people unintentionally wearing the same outfits.
  12. Yeah, aside from clothing – when I first started there, it wasn’t very diverse (but, by the time I left, it got a lot better). I remember my first few months there, there were 5 white women who all had long brown hair, who I couldn’t tell apart. (And the weird thing is, I am a white women who had long brown hair at the time…)
  13. I wonder if ageism will still be a problem in the tech world by the time I’m old enough for it to affect me. Maybe not. I’m the same age as Zuckerberg.
  14. Ugh, this is disgusting. But I’m glad he names names with companies. I don’t really have any intentions of ever going back to a startup, but thanks for the list of places to avoid. 
  15. The politics at Hubspot are mindboggling. But, that being said – not completely uncommon. I remember once when I had a performance review that said I needed to schedule a lunch with a co-worker to become friends with him, because we should work together more. (Why did I have to schedule it?) We had already worked together for a year, butted heads about a few idealogical concepts around lead gen. Anyway, we didn’t really want to have lunch, and our boss made us. We didn’t become friends afterwards.
  16. The person I was supposed to have lunch with was def. the “Wingman” of the company. 
  17. I was the Zack. (Only, you know, competent. And I didn’t get fired.) :/
  18. Like, seriously. This blog team. WTF. 
  19. This is what happens when you have kindergartners babysitting toddlers.
  20. Oh no, a coworker is actually having productive conversations with his boss. Yes, blog team, ostracize him.
  21. These people really need to not be friends with each other on Facebook. This is a ridiculous amount of drama. 
  22. Oooh, you’re almost at IPO time! Hang in there, Dan!
  23. Oh, JK.
  24. Okay, so I have questions….  How much did the Silicon Valley writing gig pay? I thought writing jobs on hit shows paid really well…. shouldn’t he have quit Hubspot at that point? Would a leave of absence be worth it?
  25. Ugh, Spinner. This isn’t about you. And your ideas are dumb. And now I kind of hope he writes a caricature of you into the show.
  26. Aw, his family seems so much happier in LA.
  27. I can’t imagine the minds behind Beavis & Butthead having a non-hostile work environment, tbh.
  28. Aw, he found a workplace that’s an appropriate cultural fit for him. 
  29. Even though I’m sure that writers’ room was fun… I don’t know that I would be comfortable in a workplace like that. I’m assuming this show doesn’t have any women writers (just as someone who has watched the show). Let’s save sexism in Hollywood for a different discussion, but I’m not sure that it’s any better than sexism in tech. 
  30. Does he really NEED anyone to “help him understand he’d be happier leaving Hubspot”? He’s a smart guy.
  31. Ugh, this whole “Glassholes” chapter was kind of boring. But, story time again: When people thought Google Glass was going to be a cool thing, there were a ton of rumors going around that WP was going to design the glasses. It was…interesting to work there when that leaked. (Never ended up happening…)
  32. Next chapter. Kind of weird that it’s taking several pages to explain a dumb Facebook post. Again, why are these people friends with each other on Facebook? I love purging my list at the slightest hint of any content I find unsavory.
  33. That’s gotta be unsafe for his children if he’s having an insane work conversation while trying to drive them through LA traffic.
  34. Hmm. Around this time, I got orange branded headphones at an email marketing conference. They broke immediately.
  35. This work environment sounds unbelievably stressful. I’d be gobbling Tums like they’re M&Ms if I had to deal with these people, and I’d probably have a very cracked phone screen from throwing my phone across the room every time I looked at any emails from them. 
  36. There are only three podcasts I’ve ever listened to with any regularity: Savage Love, This American Life, and Gilmore Guys. Work gets enough of my headspace. I don’t need marketing podcasts ever, no matter how interesting.
  37. Seems like a great opportunity for him to sabotage Cranium and go out with a bang.
  38. Trotsky sounds so needy and insecure. Or as the kids (and likely most Hubspot employees) say, “OMG no chill”
  39. Status: writing this from my hotel at Connections, a digital marketing conference. Inbound sounds… fairly comparable?
  40. So much petty drama. 
  41. Seriously, Trotsky sucks.
  42. Dude, you know you’re a grownup and you can leave this abusive relationship with your boss/company, right? I’m glad you got the eventual payoff of content for your books and show, but this is no way to live. 
  43. I’m kind of loving all these ridiculously insane marketing ideas he’s pitching. I wonder if “Mary” is reading his book and will try them.
  44. Seriously, the startup world is so messed up. How are these companies having these IPOs when they’re doing so poorly???
  45. Okay, the “Get back to work” thing was pretty good. 
  46. Oooh, Gawker. That’s about right. 
  47. I would have either done a table flip or cried through that entire performance review (secret: I may have done one of those things during more than one meeting at a startup I worked at.)
  48. It seems pretty clear that this kind of company hasn’t earned the right to proper notice when someone plans on leaving. 
  49. What’s wrong with Trotsky?? Did he treat anyone else like this?
  50. Uh, good call on not signing that nondisparagement agreement. Pretty sure this book would have violated all of it.
  51. I’m really glad he got out of all that. Yikes.

Okay, I may need to do the Epilogue in one final post. It’s 11 PM now (um, I had to put this away when my plane landed around #76, then had 14 hours of conference stuff, then wrote this, and now my brain is done). 

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