An adrenaline-fuelled expose 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 Garcia Martinez, 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 Garcia Martinez 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’, Garcia Martinez left Wall Street to make his fortune in Silicon Valley, becoming CEO of his own startup, 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, Garcia Martinez 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.