An adrenaline-fuelled exposé of life inside the tech bubble, Chaos Monkeys lays bare the secrets, power plays and lifestyle excesses of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists and money cowboys who are revolutionising our world. Written by startup CEO and industry provocateur Antonio García Martínez, this is Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network.
Computer engineers use ‘chaos monkey’ software to wreak havoc and test system robustness. Similarly, tech entrepreneurs like Antonio García Martínez are society’s chaos monkeys – their innovations disrupt every aspect of our lives, from transportation (Uber) and holidays (Airbnb) to television (Netflix) and dating (Tinder) – all in search of the perfect business miracle.
Describing himself as ‘high strung, fast talking, and wired on a combination of caffeine, fear, and greed at all times’, García Martínez left Wall Street to make his fortune in Silicon Valley, becoming CEO of his own start-up before bailing and being poached by Facebook’s nascent advertising team. Here he turned users’ data into profit for COO Sheryl Sandberg and chairman and CEO Mark ‘Zuck’ Zuckerberg.
Forced out of Facebook in the wake of a bitter internal product war, García Martínez took his unique brand of entrepreneurial hyperactivity to rivals Twitter. Along the way he got into a lot of trouble with a lot of people, brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally flooding Zuckerberg’s desk), lived on a yacht, raced sport cars on the highway, and enthusiastically pursued the lifestyle of an overpaid Silicon Valley mercenary.
In Chaos Monkeys he tells you how – and how not – to make a fortune through start-ups and digital marketing. Highly entertaining and always offering genuine insight, García Martínez unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing. From start-ups and credit derivatives to Big Brother and data tracking, social media monetisation and digital ‘privacy’, he shares both his scathing observations and outrageous antics, taking us on a subversive and very funny tour of the fascinatingly insular and unbelievably wealthy tech industry.