Antonio García Martínez has been an advisor to Twitter, a product manager for Facebook, the CEO/founder of AdGrok (a venture-backed startup acquired by Twitter), and a strategist for Goldman Sachs. In June 2016 Garcia Martinez’s first book, an instant New York Times bestseller, Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley (Harper) debuted.
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, will we survive?
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 García Martínez.
Currently Garcia Martinez lives on a forty-foot sailboat on the San Francisco Bay.
Praise for Chaos Monkeys:
“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
“[García Martínez] 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, García Martínez 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.... [García] 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 Martínez’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