Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez
Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

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Facebook has long been accused of being a sexist workplace and letting founder Mark Zuckerberg rule with an iron fist in a velvet perk-filled glove. But as far as one ex-employee is concerned, the glove is now definitely off.
-Mail Online

Synopsis

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

An NPR Best Book of the Year

“Incisive.... The most fun business book I have read this year.... Clearly there will be people who hate this book — which is probably one of the things that makes it such a great read.”
— Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

“Eye-popping.”
— Vanity Fair

Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble, from industry provocateur Antonio García Martínez, a former Twitter advisor, Facebook product manager and startup founder/CEO.

The reality is, Silicon Valley capitalism is very simple:

Investors are people with more money than time.

Employees are people with more time than money.

Entrepreneurs are the seductive go-between.

Marketing is like sex: only losers pay for it. 

Imagine a chimpanzee rampaging through a datacenter powering everything from Google to Facebook. Infrastructure engineers use a software version of this “chaos monkey” to test online services’ robustness—their ability to survive random failure and correct mistakes before they actually occur. Tech entrepreneurs are society’s chaos monkeys, disruptors testing and transforming every aspect of our lives, from transportation (Uber) and lodging (AirBnB) to television (Netflix) and dating (Tinder). One of Silicon Valley’s most audacious chaos monkeys is Antonio García Martínez.

After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, García Martínez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team, turning its users’ data into profit for COO Sheryl Sandberg and chairman and CEO Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. Forced out in the wake of an internal product war over the future of the company’s monetization strategy, García Martínez eventually landed at rival Twitter. He also fathered two children with a woman he barely knew, committed lewd acts and brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally flooding Zuckerberg's desk), lived on a sailboat, raced sport cars on the 101, and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley wastrel.

Now, this gleeful contrarian unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it is invading our lives and shaping our future. Weighing in on everything from startups and credit derivatives to Big Brother and data tracking, social media monetization and digital “privacy,” García Martínez shares his scathing observations and outrageous antics, taking us on a humorous, subversive tour of the fascinatingly insular tech industry. Chaos Monkeys lays bare the hijinks, trade secrets, and power plays of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists, accidental tourists, and money cowboys who are revolutionizing our world. The question is, will we survive?

 

About Antonio Garcia Martinez

See more books from this Author
Antonio García Martínez has been an advisor to Twitter, a product manager for Facebook, the CEO/founder of AdGrok (a venture-backed startup acquired by Twitter), and a strategist for Goldman Sachs. He lives on a forty-foot sailboat on the San Francisco Bay. Author Image 1
 
Published June 28, 2016 by Harper. 533 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 24 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Chaos Monkeys
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by David Streitfeld on Jul 05 2016

...a book whose bland all-purpose title belies the fact that this is a valley account like no other. The first hint that something is different here comes with the dedication: “To all my enemies: I could not have done it without you.”

Read Full Review of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortun... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JONATHAN A. KNEE on Jun 28 2016

...“Chaos Monkeys” is a must-read. It matters...The greatest danger of “Chaos Monkeys” is that it could suffer the same fate as many equally prescient cautionary tales: It is appreciated less as trenchant social criticism and more as a how-to manual.

Read Full Review of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortun... | See more reviews from NY Times

Mail Online

Above average
Reviewed by DANIEL BATES on Jun 30 2016

Facebook has long been accused of being a sexist workplace and letting founder Mark Zuckerberg rule with an iron fist in a velvet perk-filled glove. But as far as one ex-employee is concerned, the glove is now definitely off.

Read Full Review of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortun...

https://www.insidehighered.com

Good
Reviewed by Joshua Kim on Aug 21 2016

...Chaos Monkeys provides a good window into the life of a startup founder. Some of the best chapters in the book take place in around the orbit of the startup incubator Y Combinator.

Read Full Review of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortun...

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