Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

by Antonio Garcia Martinez


An Amazon Best Book of July 2016: If you think you know the back-story of the founding of Facebook because you saw The Social Network, think again: Antonio Garcia Martinez’s Chaos Monkeys tells a more complete and sometimes darker story about the founding and development of Mark Zuckerberg’s multi-billion-dollar invention. This is not a whodunit (we know who did – Zuckerberg, those rowing twins, and assorted Harvard frenemies) so much as a procedural, a chronicle by the data-guru who was eventually forced out of Facebook (he went to Twitter) – but not before gathering some pretty interesting social data of his own: about Zuckerberg, about other Silicon valley “chaos monkeys,” and about the culture that spawned all of them. Others who have toiled in tech will recognize some universal truths: for example, that despite the great wealth, most are not in it for the money so much as the mission; Facebook, Garcia Martinez asserts, was a “church of a new religion,” its practitioners true believers. While there may be a little TMI for the casual reader, there are enough specific scenes and characters – Sheryl Sandberg included, of course -- that, geek or not, you can’t help but be fascinated. Me, I can’t help but wonder how many “likes” you’d get if you posted about it on your FB page… --Sara Nelson, The Amazon Book Review

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