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Book Review: Chaos in the Valley

Deception, lies, and betrayal in the “tech whorehouse.”
Bloomberg business news

Truth About Silicon Valley, According to Tell-All Book

Antonio García Martínez’s memoir, Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, begins as the author is leaving his job as a number cruncher at Goldman Sachs in New York to head west. He joins an ad startup, leaves it to launch another, sells that one to Twitter 10 months later, then goes to work in the feverish cult of pre-initial public offering Facebook. And that’s just the first half of the book.

Unlike most founding narratives that flow out of the Valley, Chaos Monkeys (Harper; 528 pages) dives into the unburnished, day-to-day realities: the frantic pivots, the enthusiastic ass-kissing, the excruciating internal politics. The monkeys in his title are actually software programs designed to wreak havoc on a computer system to test its resilience. But García uses the term as a metaphor to illustrate how successful disruption often comes as much from luck as from skill.