Lab Rats by Dan Lyons

Lab Rats

At a time of soaring corporate profits and plenty of HR lip service about "wellness," millions of workers--in virtually every industry--are deeply unhappy. Why did work become so miserable? Who is responsible? And does any company have a model for doing it right?For two years, Lyons ventured in search of answers. From the innovation-crazed headquarters of the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, to a cult-like "Holocracy" workshop in San Francisco, and...

Details Lab Rats

TitleLab Rats
Release DateOct 23rd, 2018
PublisherHachette Books
GenreNonfiction, Business, Science, Technology

Reviews Lab Rats

  • Sharon
    This is a more important business book than most people realize. In its pages, Dan Lyons take apart the conventional wisdom of Milton Friedman's "burn out and churn out" style of shareholder-based business and shows why the model is completely non-sustainable.If you've wondered why you're feeling less valued at work, it's because you are. When human beings are treated like copy paper (human "resources"), it's easy to pretend we don't matter. Yet,...
  • David
    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 thin...
  • Rob Enderle
    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 depressi...
  • Bob Varettoni
    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 more 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 more gray, considering, for example, how even ...
  • Hải
    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 th...
  • Greg
    Dan Lyons is one of the more unlikely critics of Silicon Valley culture despite being a long time satirist, making his splash with his Fake Steve Jobs (FSJ) blog (and mediocre novelization). His irreverent portrayal of a smack-talking, faux new-age Steve, seems a bit short in retrospect. It was clever, candid and most of all funny, but never eclipsed the caricature of the on-the-spectrum, eccentric, once-hippie tech billionaire. In the end, in th...
  • Kent Winward
    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 more nuanced approach. The wonder of technology is that a...
  • David Churbuck
    From my blog at’m finishing Lab Rats by Dan Lyons and feeling thoroughly depressed but laughing about it. The feeling is like a go-to-bed-pull-the-shades-suck-my-thumb level of depressed while watching the Three Stooges. I was laughing before I finished the foreword.Lab Rats follows Lyons’ 2017 best-selling Disrupted, and as a bit of a sequel, it takes a horrifying look at the peculiar culture of cont...
  • Ron
    What is it like working for a VC funded startup or a large tech company? Well, with some perks, it may not be so great. Long hours and lousy health insurance. Lab Rats is about the human experiment on working people to the point of breaking and then replacing them. They can be fired for any reason, even if the boss is just having a bad day. Companies (big and small) jump from one new management system to another which requires training and more t...
  • Ann
    Dan Lyons had cracked me up with his book "Busted" and this follow-up didn't disappoint. Whereas "Busted" was a personal memoir of his own experiences in a marketing start-up, this book is more of a survey of the various management techniques that are currently in vogue. It's easy to laugh at some of the sillier philosophies described in the book, but underneath, there is the very serious question of how corporate culture has become so cut-throat...
  • Iurii
    "In order to impress an employee, first you need to impress the machine" That what I can call scary truth of current industry that is hiding behind very fancy office environments. You can have yoga rooms in the office, art rooms, whatever, but it doesn't mean that you are safe at work. Without even noticing this you can possibly under tiny stress every day, I really loved this quote:But to test an antidepressant you need a depressed test subject....
  • Ben Jakuben
    There was a point in the middle section of this book where I was feeling pretty depressed thinking about the four problems the author describes for modern employees: low pay, job insecurity, the stress of constant change, and dehumanization. Those are undeniably true for a lot of people in a lot of companies, and I hear and feel shades of those at different times. While these types of work environments are a real problem, I do think change is slo...
  • Carol
    Dear Fellow Reader,This week’s book is a bit different from my normal reading.  First of all, it is nonfiction, which while not completely out of my norm is still different.  It is also not biographical or history. The full title is Lab Rats – How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us. And to prove that I can remember to tell you (sometimes) I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.Ready for my unbi...
  • Max Metral
    I don't agree with a great deal of this book, but I feel it was important to read it. I've been reading lots of heavily researched books lately, like American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road and Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, and the truth is Lab Rats isn't in the same galaxy of research quality. BUT, the perspective it offers is very important in tr...
  • Yunis Esa
    Dan Lyons, a former journalist, wrote about his experience working in a Start up that turned into a bestselling book. The bestselling book was a self reflection that received an audience bigger than Lyons anticipated. The reaction from his bestselling book was a connection to communicate of people that suffer under the same or worst type work environment. This book gave spoke about the horrific environment in general tone. This book give look at ...
  • Luke
    Funny, especially when he's bashing management techniques. A very thorough look at what's happening in Silicon Valley based on firsthand experience and news reporting. What isn't explored is capitalisms effect on other countries, and how outsourcing labor or continuing to exacerbate a consumerist form of capitalism hurts them. Microloans and other social entrepreneur anecdotes are as far as Lyons goes. This book will scare you; get it from the lo...
  • Hogan Gibson
    As a current employee of a Silicon Valley based company, this book resonates with me. In a time and age where speaking out and being stronger in numbers is paving the way for people to not be afraid to use their collective voices I sure hope that this book helps nudge companies in the right direction. Mental health and stresses related to over working and job dissatisfaction are important issues that shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Michael Norwitz
    A chatty and somewhat historical examination of the trend which has existed since the 80s of companies restructuring workplaces to make them increasingly hostile environments for their employees, largely under the advice of 'management experts' who are basically hucksters with no sound science behind their claims. A few chapters at the end, of some companies offering a more positive path, keep the book from being completely depressing.
  • Randy
    Good readDan Lyons has written an informative book about how tech companies have changed the nature of work and how we live in a nefarious way. Mr. Lyons expresses numerous examples of how businesses are mistreating workers for gaining short term profits. hHe does show how some businesses are treating workers better. To be fair, his book focuses more on what Republican administrations have done wrong than in what Democratic administrations. He is...
  • Sudhir Bharadhwaj
    Interesting contrarian view about the work places and what companies should do to improve it. Dan comes hard on everyone including Milton Friedman and draws a persuasive argument against shareholder activism. Argument gets repetitive towards the last section of the book and he appears to hammer out the merits of stakeholder activism vis-a-vis shareholder activism. Insightful and engaging though it still borders on being a dreamy one.
  • Kathleen
    An important study of how new management fads have contributed to the misery and stress of workers. The book concludes with a helpful discussion of companies that do it right.Having suffered through the application of new business methods to public education, I was especially receptive to the analysis.
  • James McGlynn
    Excellent follow-up to Disrupted. I loved the first 75% of the book describing the hellish management waste of time. I didn't enjoy the solutions which seemed a little holier than thou. I highly recommend this book to ANYONE who thinks more meetings are productive-they are not.
  • Joseph
    I laughed and then cried out of shared frustration. Highly recommended for anyone who has worked in the tech industry, as well as anyone sick and tired of neoliberalism. Lyons can sometimes be a little to stuck in the 1950’s, but if you can let that slide there’s some great analysis here.
  • Kristine
    I enjoyed this book and think it is valuable for anyone who has a job, the job doesn’t have to be tech related. Dan is funny and brutally honest. It really made me think about the way my current business runs things and the way I would want to run a business if it were my own.
  • Claire
    I enjoyed this a lot more than other book a I've read. It takes a holistic look at how business impacts workers, society, culture. Much much better than the business book a I read last year on how to maximise profit and productivity, to an extreme I find really scary.
  • Miha Rekar
    A very different book from Disrupted. Much more serious. It showcases the real bad sides of the Silicon Valley as some of the good ones. Like Basecamp and Patagonia.Enjoyed it a lot!
  • Maria Cardona
    Brutally honest take/research on the modern day (aka tech) industry.Couldn't stop listening to it. "Disrupted" made me laugh a ton, "Lab Rats" made me fear for my future at work.
  • Karen
    Interesting read, but depressing.
  • Tim Swift
    Great book describes the greed that ruined software development