Vivek Haldar

Review of Chaos Monkeys

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

People outside Silicon Valley may think of this book as entertaining and illuminating, but if you’re part of it (even if not geographically but within it’s extended mind sphere), this book will mostly read as real.

Every industry needs a metaphorical gaslamp to draw moths. That is the only way it can sustain itself from generation to generation. Actors have LA. Techies have Silicon Valley. Or more specifically, the Silicon Valley startup.

This book even taught me a lot about the ins and outs of the byzantine world of online advertising and targeting. The narrative of Twitter and early Facebook fumbling their way through trying to stay solvent by digging into various crevices of the online ads world is not just entertaining but also has some very pedagogically instructive passages.

The author makes a page turner out of his startup experience. He even makes a page turner out of his post-startup big-company experience. Because truth is stranger than fiction.

The biggest compliment I can pay the author is that he made me finish a book, something I hadn’t done in months. Kudos!