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  • Hardcover
  • 528
  • Chaos Monkeys Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
  • Antonio García Martínez
  • English
  • 24 September 2020
  • 9780062458193

Antonio García Martínez ✓ 8 FREE READ

FREE READ ´ Chaos Monkeys Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley Sailboat raced sport cars on the 101 and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley wastrelNow 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 uestion is will we survi. An otherwise interesting insider account of the intrigue and machinations of Silicon Valley it s unfortunate that the author comes across as possibly the most insufferable personality I ve yet to come across in Silicone Valley lit which is saying something At nearly every unfortunate instance he turned the book away from SV and towards his own loathsome self I rolled my eyes to heaven and reminded myself why fundamentally speaking I have never pursued a similar career no amount of millions in vested stock options could compensate for the torture that would be working alongside egos like Antonio Garc a Mart nezIn his smug off hand manner he manages to disparage women who are consistently given the Trump treatment people of color one maligned Indian man is likened to a bored Delhi rickshaw driver the unsavory flavor of San Jose neighborhood s dangerous character is evoked by mentioning that its two public high schools are named after venerated persons of color and anyone with any minimal sense of decency he takes care to distance himself from his own children whom he treats as mere distractions and this fact is a recurring joke His assumed reader is a frat boy like himself this is made explicit every time he annoyingly addresses you dear reader directly and between his descriptions of women as if they were nothing than the spoils of successful entrepreneurship he attacks Silicon Valley s system of values purely a case of sour grapes in his case and within the same pages mentions that even uttering the word privilege makes him want to throw upEvery time this man feels under compensated for his shining brilliance 1 million a year is barely cutting middle class in San Francisco he takes a moment to harangue us on the evils of capitalism how it robs us of meaning etc This from the man who prides himself effusively page after page on the genius of his advertising strategies and the tragedy of his visionary ideas not being taken seriously enough by the evil evil Facebook capitalists who employ himHe refers to the cofounders of his startup almost exclusively as the boys to hammer home just how superior he finds himself to them and everyone else in comparison No opportunity to take credit for a clever idea is lost on this man nor is any opportunity to exculpate himself from a bad one There is an entire chapter dedicated to his borrowing a Tesla and racing down a hill with zero regard to the fact that it would have resulted in a severe head on collision had another car been working its way up this disregard for the safety of anyone else is touted as a character trait of successful visionaries like himself I m reminded of a uote from Miranda July s novel He drove like he lived with entitlement I can t say enough bad things about this person I suspect he masturbates to visions of this masterpiece being adapted for the big screen starring Leonardo DiCaprio as himself What an unpleasant narcissistic tool He brags about the cuh razy drunken nights in the Mission with his friends and his in office beer brewing operation I m such a radical dude meanwhile claiming to have been too busy reading Michel Houllebec eg to have known who Lady Gaga or Alicia Keys is rolls eyesI give this two stars because at the very least this book is informative in its technodrivel you will learn about the farce that is social media monetization than you ll know what to do with and in the grim picture it paints of the SV milieu in general this is a culture where people like Mart nez are given the reigns in the building of our technological infrastructure Essentially our new social lives are being engineered and monetized by antisocial narcissistic sexist entitled pricks

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FREE READ ´ Chaos Monkeys Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble from industry provocateur Antonio García Martínez a former Twitter advisor Facebook product manager and startup founderCEOThe reality is Silicon Valley capitalism is very simpleInvestors are people with money than timeEmployees are people with time than moneyEntrepreneurs are the seductive go betweenMarketing is like sex only losers pay for it 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 di. technology entrepreneurs are society s chaos monkeys pulling the plug on everything from taxi medallions Uber to traditional hotels AirBnB to dating Tinder One industry after another is simply knocked out via venture backed entrepreneurial daring and hastily shipped software Silicon Valley is the zoo where the chaos monkeys are kept and their numbers only grow in time With the explosion of venture capital there is no shortage of bananas to feed them The uestion for society is whether it can survive these entrepreneurial chaos monkeys intact and at what human cost If you want to learn about sex you will get a lot useful intel from a hooker than you would from a nun hopefully If you want to learn about what life is like in Silicon Valley you would do well to let to someone who has done the deed and lived the life show you the way Antonio Garcia Martinez is our Virgil through a dark landscape where every great fortune is founded on a great crime where morality is not only violated but where its very existence is not recognized where millionaires are a dime a dozen and where any sort of social consciousness is kept nicely sedated a place where greed is king fast is worshipped to the exclusion of better and death is always at the door Antonio Garcia Martinez from MoneycnncomMartinez has the cred to offer the tour Having toiled as a uant at that paragon of virtue Goldman Sachs he eventually found life on The Street less than fully rewarding He says that uants at Goldman were mostly failed scientists like me who had sold out to the man and suddenly found themselves after making it through years of advanced relativity and uantum mechanics with a golf club wielding gorilla called a trader peering over their shoulder asking them where their risk report was We were uantitative enablers offering the new and shiny blessings of modern computation to the old business of buying and selling uants were the eunuchs at the orgy The fluffers on the porn set of high finance We were the ever present British guy in every Hollywood World War II film there to add a touch of class and exotic sophistication but not really conseuential to the plot except perhaps to conveniently take some bad guy s bullet As someone with pretty high end analytical and programming skills he saw or says he saw who knows the impending meltdown in the 2007 financial world and opportunities in the new frontier out west so traded The Street for The Valley taking a chance on a job on the other coast The book follows Garcia s chronological trail from startup to finish from employee to entrepreneur to buy out target to middle manager at a monster Valley corporation towell you ll see if you read the book or just Google the guy It is a well worn trail but not for you or me most likely So a tour guide is definitely called for And Martinez is nothing if not an informative and eager cicerone through what can be a very dark and sulphurous place Of course there is plenty of that brimstone stench emanating from the author an indication of just how well he fit in anyone who claims the Valley is meritocratic is someone who has profited vastly from it via nonmeritocratic means like happenstance membership in a privileged cohort or some concealed act of skullduggery Since fortune had never been on my side and I had no privileged cohort to fall back on skullduggery it would have to be It does not seem like it was out of character for AGM to engage in a bit of back stabbing double dealing and multiple instances of self serving justification for his various dark deeds When he talks about his income and net worth for instance which would be a pretty sweet take for most of us yet regarding it as subsistence level one might be forgiven for gleefully imagining Martinez in his thirty seven foot sailboat having a very unfriendly encounter with a pod of large angry breaching sperm whalesHe offers an entertaining if sometimes off putting alarming even rage inducing account of his experiences offering many a word to the wise or at least the ambitious on how deals are made how organizations are structured and how to interpret some of the observables you might see He is incisive and funny and has a wicked way with words I have added a selection of uotes as part of the EXTRA STUFF bit at the bottom of the review You will definitely see what I mean And he demonstrates uite a gift for selecting absolutely fabulous uotes to introduce most chapters Martinez covers the highs and lows of the struggle to rise up in The Valley This includes the ABCs of doing a startup getting funding how to divide your euity for the most efficient operation handling media to get the most buzz for your launch researching the people you will be dealing with and if things go well negotiating with the bigger blobs that want to absorb your company One revelation was that acuisition of startups by the big players is just a higher ticket form of HR recruiting There are worse ways of monetizing sociopathy than startups If you know any better ways I m listening For policy wonks you will learn about the H 1B sort of immigration program that brings thousand of foreign workers to American jobs in a form of high end indentured servitude Martinez offers a peek inside the operations of Twitter and Facebook which is either entertaining or depressing depending But every company has its own culture and AGM has a keen eye for the differences and an analyst s talent for examining structure His take on large corporations functioning like nation states to the point of exchanging what are essentially diplomats adds definite texture to the notion of corporations as the trans national entities they truly are Worse he points out not only how corporations are like religion but how in that they are very like the cult world of some communist nations There are a few things that made this less than an entirely effervescent read First while part of his story line was how he worked towards installing a particular form of ad revenue generation at FB the details tended to get in the way of the overall picture Office politics are nothing new even in this bubbly narrative Second while AGM is obviously an uber bright guy with a keen mind for some things and a talent for writing he comes across as and probably is someone with the soul of a slave trader If you can hold your nose at his unnecessary tales of sexual adventure his willingness to endanger the lives of regular folks with childish antics and his casual acuaintance with ethical standards there is much to be gleaned in Chaos Monkeys It is a look at the sausage factory a peep show of how a bill becomes a law software grows from an idea to a tool a walk through The Valley and its shadows Slap on a gas mask to block the stench and take in the sights You may not care for the aroma but I guarantee that in terms of gaining insight into one of the major economic engines of the planet this book is smokin Review Posted August 19 2016Publication date June 28 2016EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal Twitter and FB pagesAugust 24 2016 A really interesting NY Times Magazine article on how FB has become a very large kahuna in the delivery of political ads Inside Facebook s Totally Insane Unintentionally Gigantic Hyperpartisan Political Media Machine by John HermannUOTES 196 humans even at the rarified heights of the economic elite are in truth scared needy children playing at dress up and pretending to be grown ups 324 Here s what people don t understand about advertising Facebook is simply a routing system almost like an old time telephone exchange that delivers a message for money The address on that message can be approximate eg males aged thirty five in Ohio or it can be specific eg the person who just shopped for a specific pair of shoes on Zappos But either way Facebook didn t make the match of user and messenger and at most decides secondary things like how often the ad is seen in general or which of two ads addressed to you is seen that particular instant In this sense ads on Facebook are no different from phone calls or emails 355 At their extremes capitalism and communism become euivalent Endless toil motivated by lapidary ideals handed down by a revered and unuestioned leader and put into practice by a leadership caste selected for its adherence to aforementioned principles and richly rewarded for its willingness to grind whatever human grist the mill reuired Same in both A mostly pliant media that flatters the existing system of production framing it as the only such system possible Check Foot soldiers who sacrifice their families and personal lives for the efficient running of the system and who view their sole human value through the prism of advancement within that system Welcome to the People s Republic of Facebook But one can simply uit a job in capitalism while from communism there is no escape you ll protest As for the actual ability to opt out under capitalism look at Seattle or SF real estate prices and the cost of a decent US education and consider whether or Facebook employees could really opt out of their treadmill I ve never known one who did and I ve known many Ask your average family providers even those in a two income family whether they felt they could simply uit when they liked They could barely get a few weeks off when they had a child much less opt out Switching jobs would amount to nothing than changing the color of the shackles The reality is that capitalism communism and every other sweeping ideology feed off the same human drives the founder s or revolutionary s narcissistic will to power and the mass man s desire to be part of something bigger than himself even if with very different outcomesyoking together the monomaniac s twitchy urge and the follower s hunger for a role in some captivating story 359 What was intriguing was how the unwealthy embraced the system even if they weren t the beneficiaries of this new social order we d all joined The junior hire was sucked along by enthusiasm and cluelessness but the senior employees at the middle manager level knew the score They knew that they lived one lifestyle but their old timer supervisor who wasn t necessarily talented lived very much another This was a textbook case of the Marxist argument that capitalists instill the values of the property owners into their managerial classes while still keeping most of the fruits of labor in order to make common cause against the exploited proletariat even though manager and worker have in common than either does with the senior leadership

CHARACTERS Chaos Monkeys Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

FREE READ ´ Chaos Monkeys Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley Sruptors 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 Antonio García MartínezAfter 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 committed lewd acts and brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus accidentally flooding Zuckerberg's desk lived on a. Pretentious pseudo intellectual misogynist pontificates about his theories on tech business society and capitalism while sneering at every other human with Olympian contempt and making unacceptable sexist comments about women for about 500 pagesHad he not insisted on cultivating such an insufferable persona for the narrative the book would have been better as he does give some interesting information on the tech world and the people and companies involved in it