Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

By Antonio García Martínez
Read by Dan John Miller

15.53 Hours 06/28/2016 unabridged
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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 adviser, Facebook product manager, and start-up 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 start-up, 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 start-ups 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? BONUS CONTENT: An exclusive interview featuring Antonio Garcia Martinez in conversation with journalist and author Steven Levy.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for July 2016

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 adviser, Facebook product manager, and start-up 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 start-up, 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 start-ups 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?

BONUS CONTENT: An exclusive interview featuring Antonio Garcia Martinez in conversation with journalist and author Steven Levy.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Martinez is brilliant at describing the relaxed yet self-centered attitudes of high-powered Californians.” Financial Times
“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.” New York Times
“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.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek
“Reckless and rollicking…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.” Washington Post
“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.” Atlantic
“This year’s best non-business book about business…A classic tale, well told.” Techcrunch
“This gossipy insider account…dishes dirt while also explaining the ins and outs of Silicon Valley.” Library Journal
“Narrator Dan John Miller plays [Martinez] as brash and cocky, which suits Martinez to a tee. On the basis of this performance, Miller can most assuredly add ‘humble brag’ to his resume of mastered deliveries.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Antonio García Martínez

Antonio García Martínez has been an adviser to Twitter, a product manager for Facebook, the CEO/founder of AdGrok (a venture-backed start-up acquired by Twitter), and a strategist for Goldman Sachs. He lives on a forty-foot sailboat on the San Francisco Bay.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Business & Economics
Runtime: 15.53
Audience: Adult
Language: English