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Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley Hardcover – 28 Jun 2016

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (28 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062458191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062458193
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Eye-popping. --"Vanity Fair""

An unvarnished account of Silicon Valley. --"CBS This Morning""

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. --Leonard Lopate, WNYC"

If you re in a startup or even plan to sue one, "Chaos Monkeys" is the book to read. --John Biggs, "TechCrunch""

Feels darkly true.... Garcia Martinez is brilliant at describing the relaxed yet self-centered attitudes of high-powered Californians. --Financial Times"

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. --Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post"

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. --David Streitfeld, New York Times Book Review"

This year s best non-business book about business.... Garcia Martinez is a real writer.... A classic tale, well told. --John Biggs, Techcrunch"

There are some books that are just too good to miss.... In his insider-tells-all book, Garc?a Mart?nez discusses everything from goofy stories to cultural secrets about some of the country s most powerful and influential businesses. --The Atlantic"

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.... [Garc?a] can be rude, but he s shrewd, too. --Bloomberg Businessweek"

An irresistible and indispensable 360-degree guide to the new technology establishment.... A must-read. --Jonathan A. Knee, New York Times"

An unvarnished account of Silicon Valley. --CBS This Morning"

Romps through Mart?nez 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. --Jillian D'Onfirio Business Insider"

If you re in a startup or even plan to sue one, Chaos Monkeys is the book to read. --John Biggs, TechCrunch"

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. --Neal Wyatt, Library Journal"

[Garc?a Mart?nez] 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. --Jacob Weisberg, New York Review of Books"

[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. --Aarti Shahanti, npr.org"

"Feels darkly true.... Garcia Martinez is brilliant at describing the relaxed yet self-centered attitudes of high-powered Californians."--Financial Times

"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."--Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post

"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."--David Streitfeld, New York Times Book Review

"This year's best non-business book about business.... Garcia Martinez is a real writer.... A classic tale, well told."--John Biggs, Techcrunch

"[Garc?a Mart?nez] 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."--Jacob Weisberg, New York Review of Books

"There are some books that are just too good to miss.... In his insider-tells-all book, Garc?a Mart?nez discusses everything from goofy stories to cultural secrets about some of the country's most powerful and influential businesses."--The Atlantic

"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.... [Garc?a] can be rude, but he's shrewd, too."--Bloomberg Businessweek

"An irresistible and indispensable 360-degree guide to the new technology establishment.... A must-read."--Jonathan A. Knee, New York Times

"An unvarnished account... of Silicon Valley."--CBS This Morning

"Romps through Mart?nez'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."--Jillian D'Onfirio Business Insider

"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."--Leonard Lopate, WNYC

"If you're in a startup or even plan to sue one, Chaos Monkeys is the book to read."--John Biggs, TechCrunch

"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."--Neal Wyatt, Library Journal

"[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."--Aarti Shahanti, npr.org

Book Description

An adrenaline-fuelled exposé of life and business inside Silicon Valley --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An odd one this. The initial Facebook meeting setup is tantalising but the following 400 pages to get back to the meeting are pretty exhausting. The book's consequences on his relationship with his kids and their mother will be one to be expressed around the Christmas dinner table for years to come. Didn't come across as a likeable figure but then that's almost the theme of the book. Everyone is a greedy bastard.
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Antonio Garcia Martinez provides a great insight on the Silicon Valley's state in the beginning of the decade. A great read for anyone interested in this topic and willing to go to Silicon Valley, although nowadays it might all be different in the world's best tech village.
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I work in these places and can relate well to this. The culture of IT and tech is well abstracted away making it a great read for anyone.
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Great
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This book is refreshing, despite the dubious morality.

The technical details about targeting adverts on Facebook? I dodn't really understand it. His private life? Not sure I approve of it (but who cares what I think, right?).

What is so fun though is his description of the characters. His bosses at Goldman Sachs? My goodness. They are caricatures and they are awful people. And he gives us his opinion of them (little pricks, basically). He gives their full names and his opinions are quite colorful on the subject - great fun to read.

Silicon Valley might be a little better, and the pricks less arrogant (but that is not saying much).

What is nice is the no holds barred way he describes what he did, how he himself behaved and how the system works. It is all very entertaining and a good read.
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Chaos Monkeys starts off well, but I don't like the sexism, and it doesn't have the thrill of Hatching Twitter, nor the derision of Disrupted (a ridicule of Hubspot, with sinister echoes of Dave Eggers' The Circle.) Truth be told, I'm a bit bored by the author's failed ad exchange and I'm disappointed I won't learn more about FB's real meteoric ad ascendancy, but the G+ threat to MZ was an interesting insight.
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Well... I liked the beginning and the sort of enjoyed the end but all the diatribe about Facebook, which I utterly despise, bored me to tears and I found myself skipping over pages and pages. I guess I'm not your typical reader for a book like this as I'm A) 71 years old, B) worked in silicon valley from it's inception, C) have created several startups of my own and D) evolved from the first computers (even before Atari) to web applications. Unfortunately, the entire of tone of Antonio's book is very true... the whole landscape of high technology is rotten beyond expression. His book was too familiar in it's laborious account of life in the frenetic but painfully unrewarding business of high tech politics. It takes years to detox from that ignominious bubble. I live in Ireland now overlooking the ocean and perhaps I'll see Antonio sail by someday. I'll add he is a good writer but I think he will be much more effective writing about his adventures at sea.
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I loved this - a presumably accurate portrayal of life in a startup and at Facebook - the author pulling no punches about his experiences and his sometimes less than gentlemanly behaviour.
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