Chaos Monkeys (Hardcover)

Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

By Antonio Garcia Martinez

Harper, 9780062458193, 528pp.

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

List Price: 29.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

An NPR Best Book of the Year • A Business Insider Top 20 Business Book of the Year • An Inc. Best Book of the Year for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

“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?



Praise For Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

“An irresistible and indispensable 360-degree guide to the new technology establishment.... A must-read.”

“Reckless and rollicking... perceptive and funny and brave.... The resulting view of the Valley’s craziness, self-importance and greed isn’t pretty. But it’s one that most of us have never seen before and aren’t likely to forget.”

“Michael Lewis was never a top Wall Street bond salesman, but in Liar’s Poker he captured an era. Chaos Monkeys aims to do the same for Silicon Valley, and bracingly succeeds.”

“Brilliant.”

“This year’s best non-business book about business.... Garcia Martinez is a real writer.... A classic tale, well told.”

“There are some books that are just too good to miss.... In his insider-tells-all book, García Martínez discusses everything from goofy stories to cultural secrets about some of the country’s most powerful and influential businesses.”

“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.”

“[García Martínez] is, by his own account, a dissolute character.... He is nonetheless, by the end of his account, a winning antihero, a rebel against Silicon Valley’s culture of nonconformist conformity.... The reader can’t help rooting for him.”

“Unlike most founding narratives that flow out of the Valley, Chaos Monkeys dives into the unburnished, day-to-day realities: the frantic pivots, the enthusiastic ass-kissing, the excruciating internal politics.... [García] can be rude, but he’s shrewd, too.”

“An unvarnished account… of Silicon Valley.”

“Romps through Martínez’s wild trajectory from Wall Streeter to pre-IPO Facebook employee, with the dramatic sale of his Y Combinator-backed ad-tech startup (to Twitter) in between.”

“Traces the evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it’s become a part of our daily lives and how it will affect our future.”

“If you’re in a startup or even plan to sue one, Chaos Monkeys is the book to read.”

“This gossipy insider account from the former Twitter adviser, Facebook product manager, and start-up CEO dishes dirt while also explaining the ins and outs of Silicon Valley.”

“[Garcia Martinez] reads like a philosopher and historian, the exact travel guide you’d want to walk you through the inner workings of Facebook. His tell-all memoir is the best writing out there on one of the world’s most powerful companies. And he even manages to make the ins and outs of online advertising fascinating.”

An NPR Best Book of the Year • A Business Insider Top 20 Business Book of the Year • An Inc. Best Book of the Year for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners