Chaos Monkeys

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley (2016) by Antonio Garcia Martinez is a fun memoir of working in Silicon Valley.

The first part of the book is about Martinez starting a company and getting funding and then getting acquired by Twitter, the next part is about Martinez working at Facebook.

The book is far from perfect, Martinez is a very smart guy but is a bit prone to humblebrags, anyone who tells you they were in the bottom third of their PhD Physics program at Berkeley is really pushing it. Martinez also injects a few banal aphorisms and little theories of his into the book which it would be better off without.

However, the book is a lot of fun and has a lot of really interesting information about startups, advertising and Facebook. Having worked at a few small but unsuccessful companies that wanted to get bought out or make it big it’s also worth saying that Martinez captures the feeling of working at a start up really well. The discussion of how web advertising works was really fascinating. It’s a fun book that is worth reading for anyone interested in what’s going on Silicon Valley now.




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