Chaos Monkeys

Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

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Antonio García Martínez: Chaos Monkeys (2016, HarperCollins Publishers)

English language

Published May 2, 2016 by HarperCollins Publishers.

ISBN:
978-0-06-245821-6
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3 stars (16 reviews)

"The industry provocateur behind such companies as Twitter and a nascent Facebook presents an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble that traces his hedonist lifestyle against a backdrop of early social media and online marketing, sharing critical insights into how they are shaping today's world."--NoveList.

2 editions

Review of 'Chaos monkeys' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

El autor cuenta, con salero y prosa a veces demasiado florida, sus años en una startup del Silicon Valley y luego en Facebook. Hay capítulos muy divertidos, pero en otros pierde el distanciamiento irónico y se toma el vital trabajo (plataformas de intermediación de anuncios, aparta Pasteur que viene Antonio) demasiado en serio. Entretenido, un poco largo.

Review of 'Chaos Monkeys' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This book tells the autobiographical story of a Goldman & Sachs worker bee who headed to the shores of California, looking for some entrepreneurial gold. After working for a small startup, he founded his own, then sold it to Twitter and went to work for Facebook fairly early on (like around 2011). In Chaos Monkeys, he tells the story of getting involved in Y Combinator, how to work a startup, and how crazy Facebook is. All in all, a pretty entertaining read, with 2 major caveats:

1] The macho factor is set to stun. While he is candid about his shortcomings, he still tends to objectify women too much. Which, sadly, makes it even more accurate.

2] My distaste for working for giant companies remains intact. As a developer, I just don't know how you can do it. Towards the end of the book, he mentions how a big tech …

Review of 'Chaos monkeys' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Well written insider's account. In 2018, some of the things you read about have an unintended double meaning, in light of Facebook's complete takeover by hostile interests in the 2016 election. "Move Fast and Break Things" is fine when we are talking about some unimportant ads from a Fortune 500 advertiser; it has a totally different implication when we realize how Martinez's technology was used to subvert an election.

One of the saddest quotes was when, talking about some product decision at Facebook, he intoned (something like) "you can either be someone, or do something", and his version of taking a stand was about ... some new way of selling advertising.

Perhaps that is why he now lives on a houseboat in the Pacific Northwest. Exploring his transition out of Silicon Valley would be a more interesting, not too mention open and honest book; instead we have thrown-off remarks about …

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Subjects

  • Businesspeople, biography
  • Social media
  • Online social networks
  • Internet industry
  • Internet marketing
  • Marketing, management
  • Digital media
  • Technological innovations
  • Success in business