From the outside, Silicon Valley tech startups seem like a fantasyland of ping pong tables, standing desks, and free snacks and beer on tap. But on the inside, employees experience life beyond the shiny veneer. Long hours, excessive workload, toxic cultures, and poor leadership and management create environments that are burning people out at alarming rates.
No Free Lunch examines the literature from management and psychology to explore why people burn out, what happens to people when they burn out, and how burnout is more than an individual work/life balance problem. It unpacks startup management ideology to uncover the structural practices that are essentially designed to burn people out, the parts of startup culture worth keeping, and what we can do as individuals, managers, and company leaders to build a better way of working.
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