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Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random…

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

by Antonio García Martínez

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218584,317 (3.48)5
"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.… (more)



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Chaos Monkey is about Silicon Valley which is one of the most interesting places in the world. First, chaos monkey is a metaphor for Silicon Valley which resembles a monkey running crazy through a server farm literally punching boxes, pulling on cables etc. So like Travis Kalanick at Uber once have said – you know what, we are not going to have taxis anymore. We’re just going to have a mobile app and anybody can be a taxi driver. You’re just going to hail a taxi through your phone.

Another example is Brian Chesky who once have said – you know what. We’re not going to hotels anymore. We’re just going to have an app and monetise an underutilised asset which is your spare bedroom and everyone would be a hotel keeper. So Silicon Valley is like the Zoo where the chaos monkeys are kept and there’s a lot of bananas, a lot of money to chase after.

Anyway, Antonio Garcia Martinez, the author of the book, tells the honest story of working in Silicon Valley the way it really looks like. He goes into great details about meetings, planning and everything else that goes on in Silicon. He takes the reader from Goldman Sachs all the way to his stint at Facebook where he focuses in the middle of the book. It was really interesting to read his opinion that Facebook didn’t have any vision and still doesn’t have the idea where it should be heading. The thing which the company is really great at is a combination of the agile approach, a quick response towards customer needs, marketing trends and luck. You might treat his story as a kind of revenge on his former employees as he writes in a bit ranty way. Nevertheless, I believe there is much truth in his stories and reflections.

The reader would see what it is like to work in the tech start-up environment. How challenging it is and how downright vicious people you could meet there. The book hits the status quo and describes certain companies in very high regard as the gold standard for corporate culture. However, the truth is... (if you like to read my full review please visit my blog https://leadersarereaders.blog/chaos-monkeys/) ( )
  LeadersAreReaders | May 18, 2019 |
A rambling bore of a book written by someone who comes across at best, an egomaniac and at worst, a downright fool.
( )
  kallai7 | Mar 23, 2017 |
A book about some interesting career choices. Martinez started off at Goldman Sachs on the East Coast. He moved West and worked in Silicon Valley. Most of the drama in his book centered around his efforts with two other men to start up a software business. He offered some interesting anecdotes about various venture capitalists and investors including Chris Sacca. it was a long book – – I skipped around sections that did not interest me. Martinez's personal life was a bit interesting – – he had two children with a woman nicknamed BritishTrader. He also offered some interesting insights into his stint at Facebook – – especially as it relates to its culture.

I've read a couple books on working in Silicon Valley. My personality and energies would never fit in with a Silicon Valley business--- sounds like working within a slave camp. I also would never have had the balls to try to start a business and beg for money. I give Martinez a lot of credit for how he pulled off starting his company.

I agree with some reviewers who thought the book could have been shorter and more condensed. Like I said, I skipped a lot of the book. ( )
  writemoves | Jan 30, 2017 |
A Michael Lewis- style look at Silicon Valley startup culture and of Facebook, in particular.

Fun, smart and sometimes shocking.

( )
  itime2 | Dec 26, 2016 |
Really good example of the insiders view of Silicon Valley genre. Garcia Martinez is whip smart and unsparing of himself and others in story about a startup that's aquired partly by Facebook and partly by Twitter. Hugely readable and very entertaining portrayal of the medieval dynamic in these most competitive Silicon Valley companies, where despite an enormous emphasis on competence over appearances, there is nevertheless a medieval court thing going on, with your clout and access to resources depending on your closeness to the throne. ( )
  Matt_B | Sep 21, 2016 |
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