My Year in Startup Hell

Have you seen Dan Lyons’ article My Year in Startup Hell in Fortune Magazine? He’s promoting his new book and it’s a fun read. I was looking forward to some perspective on the more absurd elements of Startup culture. There is certainly plenty of material I would like to see addressed: Should we be melding work and play? Does flexibility mean we are never free? Is ‘growth’ is the new reality? VCs love ‘pattern matching’ so start ups have to follow the  ‘play book’ repeating the same actions to achieve ‘growth’ (Hire a sales team, hire loads of millennials, create a culture of tense ‘fun’ with a background of looking over your shoulder). What about taking another path?

The article is disappointing because it’s so obvious that Lyons found only what he was expecting to find. The company that Lyons, a journalist, joins is Hubspot. Hubspot is an innovator in online marketing, focusing on the concept of ‘inbound marketing’. You will understand this from the first minute on their website. Lyons was joining an online marketing company, but half-way through this article, we discover that this is what he thinks: ‘Online marketing is not quite as sleazy as Internet porn, but it’s not much better either.’.

I wonder what Hubspot thinks of all this? Perhaps it is, in fact, a brilliant example of ‘inbound marketing’. After all, Lyons was employed by Hubspot. I have been impressed with the volume of content production from Hubspot, they have produced thousands of articles and blog posts on B2B marketing and Digital marketing. Perhaps they are testing the boundaries and exploring how negative content might drive leads….