Lab Rats by Dan Lyons

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.

lab ratsReady for my unbiased review?  I found this book fascinating!  I really did.  It is written in a style that is easy to understand and it holds your attention. There are citations throughout the book so that, in this world of “fake news”, you can check sources if you wish.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section talks about what is wrong with today’s workplace and why things have gone wrong.  Then the book moves into what the author calls “the four factors of workplace despair”. These two sections paint a bleak picture of how companies are being run today and it provides examples and statistics.  There are descriptions of management theories and how they have destroyed companies and how they are still being used despite that fact.

Being honest here, I have not worked in corporate America for a long time.  I am an entrepreneur. I have worked for myself for about 30 years. I found the information in the first two sections of the book interesting and disheartening.  It did not affect me but would and could affect my children and grandchildren.  (It does make you want to contact Jeff Bezos and ask how much money he really needs…) There are many tales of greed and complete disregard for employees.  Some of these were not a surprise. There have been stories for years about the working conditions at Amazon, Facebook, and many other tech companies.

But then we get to section three of the book where companies that are doing well and are good to their employees are highlighted.  So, just as you were ready to throw in the towel, you learn that there is hope.  That there are good companies/people out there. In this section we find out that “social enterprise” classes are doing well in management schools. This gives rise to hope for the future.

I found the book very interesting. There was a lot of information that was new to me and the author sited sources throughout.  So, if you are looking to read about business, how companies are being run and the changes that can be made to run companies better, this is the book for you.

Thanks for reading!

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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