Antonio Garcia Martinez

Chaos Monkeys

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Imagine a chimpanzee rampaging through a data center 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 provocative chaos monkeys is Antonio García Martínez.
After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, 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, brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally
flooding Zuckerberg’s desk), lived on a sailboat, raced sports cars on the 101, and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley cad.
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,” 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, how will we survive?
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610 printed pages
Publication year
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    b1094545928has quotedlast year
    quote Theodor Herzl, “If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it will remain.” Willing dreams into existence was what being an entrepreneur and a product manager was about; for once, finally, they’d be my dreams, rather than purely corporate or mercenary ones.
    b1094545928has quotedlast year
    The key to understanding the somewhat tense Ads-Growth dialectic is this: What makes a user use the product does not necessarily make money, and the reverse is also true. In fact, they’re anticorrelated in general, and you can drive engagement or make money, but not both at once.
    Николай Райхельhas quotedlast year
    Whenever you face some stressful, time-consuming, and risky challenge, firewall the rest of the company away from the mess. They’ll likely add no value, and the attendant uncertainty will corrode their productivity when you likely need it most. No matter what happens in the outside world—lawsuit, money issues, the fucking zombie apocalypse—do not let it infect the company’s headspace and become the top item in the internal narrative.

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