Chaos Monkeys

chaosmonkeys

Chaos Monkeys : Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
By Garcia Martinez, Antonio

Book – 2016

This book takes you into the life of Silicon Valley startups, beneath the veneer of respectability, complete with lying, cheating, and double-crossing co-founders. Get ready for a wild, coarse ride. The reward: you get insight into the challenges that a startup founder faces, including financial, legal, and personal. There are great contrasts between west and east coasts business culture. There are also great contrasts between Facebook and other silicon valley companies.

The author’s experiences include leading a startup through the Y-Combinator boot camp program. He has great respect for Paul Graham, Y-Combinator’s founder. The experiences continue, with VC funding, then acquisition by Twitter and Facebook at a time when they wanted to “monetize” ads. He reported to Cheryl Sandberg, and a chapter of the book tells what happens in a meeting with Zuck.

The book is a quick read at times, then at other times it expands my vocabulary. Without getting too serious, there are appropriate and memorable quotes from Churchill, Hunter S. Thompson, Shakespeare, Adam Smith, Fidel Castro, the bible, and Machiavelli. The book is a quick read at times, then at other times it expands my vocabulary.

At 500 pages, it is a large book. It is fascinating, so make sure you do not have commitments for a few days!