Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley (Hardcover)

Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

By Antonio Garcia Martinez

Harper, 9780062458193, 528pp.

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

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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 expose of life inside the tech bubble, from industry provocateur Antonio Garcia Martinez, 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 Garcia Martinez.

After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, Garcia Martinez 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, Garcia Martinez 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," Garcia Martinez 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?

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