Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
By Antonio García Martínez
Harper

Just as there are innumerable apps to fill up your phone and gadgets to fill out your life, there seems to be no end to the books on the geniuses, innovations and companies that put them there. Antonio García Martínez gives us something more challenging and revealing, spearing the old (new?) boys’ network of Silicon Valley, spilling the details of dirty deeds and naming and shaming as he goes. Nor does he spare himself, admit­ting to falling into a morality vacuum while trying to make big money from digital advertising. Martínez had arrived at that point – chief executive of an unglamorous start-up operating from a pungent apart­ment and “a ruthless little s*** when it counted” – after a career as a Wall Street analyst. His start-up was ultimately sold to Twitter (but not before some book cooking to fool investors) and he then spent two years at Facebook, whose facade he dismantles. Palo Alto may be enjoying an extended winning streak in the current edition of the California gold rush, but one wonders how long that will last when other warts-and-all memoirs appear, as they will. Especially when they’re mostly warts.