02 April 2016

Fortune: “My Year in Startup Hell”

The offices bear a striking resemblance to the Montessori preschool that my kids attended: lots of bright basic colors, plenty of toys, and a nap room with a hammock and soothing palm tree murals on the wall. The office-as-playground trend was made famous by Google and has spread like an infection across the tech industry. Work can’t just be work; work has to be fun. HubSpot is divided into “neighborhoods”, each named after a section of Boston: North End, South End, Charlestown. One neighborhood has a set of musical instruments, in case people want to have an impromptu jam session, which Zack says never happens. Every neighborhood has little kitchens, with automatic espresso machines, and lounge areas with couches and chalkboard walls where people have written things like “HubSpot = cool” alongside inspirational messages like There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. So that we listen twice as much as we speak.

Dan Lyons

Dan Lyons is one of the writers for the HBO series Silicon Valley and, with his extensive experience in ‘startup hell’, it’s no wonder the show hits the spot so many times. Also, this might explain why tech startups (like Google) grow up to be so out of touch with the world outside their walls.

HubSpot startup hell
Illustration by Jan Feindt

Update: Continued here: ‘Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired’.

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