FREE PDF ☳ Lab Rats ⚖

I was not a fan of Disrupted, but Lab Rats really impressed me Lyons uses concise, accessible language to describe complex concepts without straying into oversimplification territory I particularly liked his four point summary in the introduction it frames the rest of the book beautifully, and helps the reader keep all the details straight The way he observes that Silicon Valley is interested in what works for machines than in what works for humans is especially apt, and that comparison helps explain why management styles of today prioritize efficiency over employee retention, making us all miserable for no good reason.The only criticism I have is the way Lyons paints the 1980 s tech scene with rose coloured nostalgia Visions of tech CEOs lounging casually in hot tubs, drinking and making deals might seem ideal to some, but Lyons erases women in his recounting, failing to mention that the old tech scene was hostile to women and minorities I nitpick here not just because I think a nuanced summary of the past is important, but also because this hostile, inner circle business style kept so many talented people from averting later disasters and steering Silicon Valley and by extension, the entire western workforce into a better direction.Overall, the book is easy to follow and hard to put down Lyons clear eyed assessments of the way management has been twisted over the years is valuable for any employee, whether they work in the heart of Silicon Valley or on a factory floor I hope that the people with the power to make real change happen read this book and come to understand that without strong teams and a healthy culture, we re not headed anywhere good. Working as a software engineer for 30 years, I can relate to some of the new management concepts covered in this book I agree with the author that many are fads that companies follow that really don t have any lasting benefit to their organizations, and that continual change for the sake of change results in unhappy employees which in turn hurts organizations.I have long thought that for public companies that have three tiers of constituents to satisfy employees, customers, shareholders , that the best structure is to put employees first, and in doing so you will then have satisfied customers, and in turn have a successful organization that then benefits shareholders Unfortunately, as depicted in the earlier sections of the book, there are too many organizations that put a heavy focus first on shareholders, and as a result, hurt their organizations.I was glad to see some companies covered in the last third of the book that are pushing back against the current culture, and putting employee satisfaction first instead of last, and as a result are doing well. FREE PDF ⚖ Lab Rats ☨ Personality Tests Team Building Exercises Forced Fun Desktop Surveillance Open Plan Offices Acronyms Diminishing Job Security Hot Desking Pointless Perks HackathonsIf Any Of The Above Sound Familiar, Welcome To The Modern Economy In This Hilarious, But Deadly Serious Book, Bestselling Author Dan Lyons Looks At How The World Of Work Has Slowly Morphed From One Of Unions And Steady Career Progression To A Dystopia Made Of Bean Bags And Unpaid Internships And That S The Good JobsWith The Same Wit That Made Disrupted An International Bestseller, Lyons Shows How The Hypocrisy Of Silicon Valley Has Now Been Exported Globally To A Job Near You Even Low Grade Employees Are Now Expected To View Their Jobs With A Cult Like Fervour, Despite Diminishing Prospects Of Promotion From The Gig Economy To The New Digital Oligarchs, Lyons Deliciously Roasts The New Work Climate, While Asking What Can Be Done To Recoup Some Sanity And Dignity For The Expanding Class Of Middle Class Serfs The author is a writer and business journalist He wrote a book Disrupted two years ago which chronicled his time spent with an Internet startup he joined after being laid off at Newsweek I enjoyed the book and thought it an insightful and humorous memoir of changes in the workplace in light of the spread of the Internet economy There are, of course, lots of these books around but Lyons provided a look at a much hyped development as someone who both knew how to write and who was familiar with older styles of workplace management My major issue with the book had been sorting out the general aspects of what Mr Lyons was reporting from the particular aspects of his experience as a participant in his own story.After reading his new book, I should not have worried about that.Lab Rats is an extended reflection on the deterioration of the workplace in recent years, based on reactions to Lyons first book His premise this time around is that life at work has been getting much worse for workers in recent years and in his new book, he sets out to do some explaining about this and offer some responses and alternatives.The central intuition behind the book goes back to shareholder capitalism as expounded by Milton Friedman and others in the 1970s, namely that the purpose of corporate management is to enrich shareholders period and that as a result, managers have no obligation to treat workers well, pay them any than necessary, or attend to their career or life aspirations At its extreme, this suggests that workers are employed at will and are lucky to get whatever paychecks they can When managers no longer need them, they can be dispensed with quickly and without consideration This basic relationship is a major change from how workers had been treated in American Capitalism in the late 20th century and the change to it goes a long way to explain why modern workplaces, especially in high tech businesses, seem to have become so toxic on such a large scale It also fits in nicely with related trends, such as the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and their movement overseas, the shift to contract and temporary labor without benefits or career potential, and the rampant growth of income inequality in the West since the 1970s.This may sound a bit harsh, but Mr Lyons is onto something and is on fairly solid ground He provides a series of examples, short cases, and profiles of representative individuals in the rest of the book The examples are well chosen and the writing is effective There is some overlap with the examples covered in other recent books, but not that much and certainly not a problem.After outlining the problem, Lyons provides some effective discussion of some alternatives, primarily of two sorts One is how the new workplace just comes across as crazy when compared with traditional management approaches This whole discussion is good but also makes clear the role of fads and fancy in management practice something that has been around for at least a century The second line of discussion was to go into detail regarding impact investing and social entrepreneurship This was very well done and while these developments are still at a fairly small scale, they are important and worth learning about.It would have been good if Mr Lyons had deconstructed the premises of Friedman s perspective, but that has been done in detail elsewhere The book is well worth reading and provides ample guidance for readers who wish to follow up and learn. Kinda depressing You already knew it happened out there in the real technology and startup world, but still, reading about it was uneasy.About the book, I would rate it somewhere between 3 and 4 I was hesitant for a while but then put 4 for it My problem with it, and the way author Dan Lyons expressed his ideas was there was so much negative energy Looked like the author exaggerated lots of things and was angry with everything Not only in these recent days, at some big unicorn tech companies that CEOs bosses investors treat workers like shit, it has been happened since, maybe forever And blaming Silicon Valley for being the one who started it was just unfair and absurd.The last part of the book is better It provides and suggests some ways companies can do to make workers and employees life better It would be good if and follow that culture. To be sure a phrase that introduces many paragraphs in this book , I never expected Dan Lyons latest to be as good as Disrupted which was based on first person stories, and devastating humor and satire This book is of a research project, with hyperbolic claims made about the impact of certain blog posts, published opinion pieces and Powerpoint presentations I think the truth is gray, considering, for example, how even best places to work rankings are influenced by PR and pay to play considerations I think Lyons is a wonderful writer and a thoughtful critic In this book, he addresses important topics It s a worthwhile read but, to be sure, it s no Disrupted or Options. I read three books in succession and each did well for what their authors set out as their goals Augmented Life in the Smart Lane is the Utopian version of where technology is taking us Lab Rats How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us provides the Dystopian view While Humans Need Not Apply A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence contains the nuanced approach The wonder of technology is that all three versions are probably correct. I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Lyons He used to work for Newsweek but tried to work for a tech company when he was retrenched There was so much positive feedback from people for his first book Disrupted that he realised his experience is not unique Why are we lab rats of Silicon Valley Lyons laid out the villains 1 Frederick Taylor, who proposed scientific management So he timed every action in the pig iron factory Unfortunately the story is a fraud, a fabrication So workers become a process that are managed 2 Milton Friedman, who said that the duty of a corporation is only to maximise shareholder profit 3 The internetAdding all 3 together, profit is most important, and workers should be treated as badly as possible to minimise cost, and technology is used to monitor workers so that they would be penalised for less than perfect performance So life is already bad for workers Then came the Venture capitalists and stock market IPOs The new modus operandi provide some minimally viable product, charge low and undercut others to gain market share, and then IPO, and then cash out The unicorns need not even make money, so the business needs not be sustainable and workers need not be valued Best to treat them as independent contractors to skim on healthcare and pension Workers can therefore be forced to be treated like lab rats and forced to do lego under observation etc Workers cannot expect loyalty and can be sacked any time even when doing a good job Stock options are sometimes taken away for no reason Last come the management fads such as Startup if You no employees but contractors Agile nobody knows what it is except for the meetings holacracy nobody in charge and tons of meetings Endless suffering ensues The solution, is for a different kind of company, preferably the private type A new breed of entrepreneurs such as Managed by Q where they actually employ their workers Also a new breed of Venture Capitalists such as the Kapor couple who had tried to advise Uber to change, to no avail The Kapors now fund socially impactful endeavours Studies are new emerging that companies that treat their employees well actually perform better They can get the B Corp Certification that proves that they treat their employees well So we have hope yet Boy if there was ever a book every kid planning a career in tech should read this is it, and for a lot of folks in tech, this book suggests you are all idiots for putting up with the amount of abuse a bunch of rich dot com losers are handing out This book will piss you off because it is well researched, points out that way too many tech leaders are flim flam artists and way too many of us are the suckers The result isn t trivial either depression, suicides, divorces all avoidable are the result If there is a book that you should read this fall, Lab Rats is it. What use is outrage Outrage is motivating It can be unifying It can even be inspiring With a little discipline, it can power you enough to produce a first draft of a book After the first draft, the outrage must be controlled, limited, and shaped if you wish to address anyone other than people you agree with already, or motivate people to participate in a constructive response.This book has an outrage issues.It disappointed me because the things that the author is outraged about are, well, outrageous Some examples Hard won improvements to the quality of life of the average person like health insurance, pensions, and weekends , wrestled from the clutches of the greedy rich a generation or two ago at the cost of life and freedom for many, are now being surrendered back to same with hardly a murmur Old school corporations who tried at least sometimes to treat employees like family are being driven out of business by a culture that glorifies exploiting people we re a team, not a family before throwing them aside Work caused nervous breakdowns and suicides barely raise an eyebrow Tech companies using perfectly legal methods avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes to the jurisdictions tending the infrastructure that helps them profit It is a very small consolation that many of the people who benefit most from this newly enhanced war of all against all are themselves too insecure about their own futures to twirl the pointy ends of their villainous mustaches and cackle maniacally nearly as often as they might like This fear that you and your company will be soon under the wheel of the next juggernaut of creative disruption drove and continues to drive the creation of a large assortment of lunatic management theories, each promising to put you in the best position to deal with the scary mysterious future Like many forms of spectacular idiocy, many of these lunatic management theories started off in the distant past as a method that worked somewhere, under some particular set of circumstances However, after the method is filtered through a score of mass market paperbacks, management gurus, and desperately oleaginous management consultants, whatever resemblance the original idea had to sanity has been completely bleached out The author reserves an especially red hot level of loathing for these vendors of snake oil management theories, their Powerpoint presentations, and their particular ability to inspire anxiety in the mid and low level corporate employees whose ability to stay barely ahead of massive student loan and mortgage debt often hinges on their capacity for faking enthusiasm for absurd theory generated tasks The book begins with the author taking a red hot poker figuratively speaking to some poor woman who agreed to meet him to demonstrate apparently free of charge how asking groups of educated grown ups to make a duck out of Legos will somehow improve corporate culture Further examples come at a furious pace throughout the book.To repeat, all of the above is worthy of outrage However, if your outrage causes you to write a book full of outrage plus occasional sarcasm , then you have failed as a writer, because those whose minds you are attempting to change will use your emotional in print outbursts as evidence of unreliability You will seen to be yet another screamer in an age of screaming, and will be disregarded by many people who may otherwise be sympathetic to your argument Have confidence in your readers they can recognize idiocy and injustice when plainly presented.As a result, although I knew the ideas in this book were worthy of attention, I frequently put it aside and it lingered a long time on my Goodreads currently reading shelf as I enjoyed books, some on serious topics, written by authors who did not seem like they were shouting at me off the screen of my ebook reader Part III of this book starts off unpromisingly, with yet another appearance of a conference full of tech bros , who are the author s favorite punching bag throughout the book However, it takes a turn for the better about the time Kindle location 2363 the following quotation appears It turns out that a quiet movement has been taking shape, led by people who see how things have gone wrong and believe that business might be the solution From there, the book quiets down and talks sense starting about location 2415 about what people need from work Trust, pride, and camaraderie and how to get it You get the best work out of people when you treat them with respect From there on, the book is easier reading, because the people and ideas that appear are not worthy of ridicule, so the author can settle down with occasional backsliding to actually telling you interesting things that you don t know, like how companies can be profitable without driving its employees to the verge of suicide or beyond.I received a free electronic advance review copy of this book via Netgalley and Hachette Books.