Instaread Summary of Chaos Monkeys Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez
Five out of five stars
While Antonio Garcia Martinez has worked for some time in Silicon Valley, his experience is not limited to the businesses associated with that area. His first job after college was at the financial firm of Goldman Sachs, where he worked as a quant. That is industry slang for a person that creates models for pricing credit derivatives. Which is essentially determining the probabilities of success or failure of companies and industries.
After leaving that job, he worked at a startup called Adchemy and was co-creator of the startup company AdGrok. He then became a project manager at Facebook, starting there in 2011. He has also worked as a consultant for Twitter. Therefore, Martinez has inside experience in several different companies and from several perspectives.
This summary describes what has clearly been a hectic life, admittedly one where work and related achievement took precedence over the development of personal relationships. From the summary, “He has no interest in work-life balance and prefers the all-consuming work of Facebook.” Martinez has fathered children but declines to act the part. From the summary, “He claims that not living with his children or their mother is a good choice because of his demanding schedule, his belief he would be a poor father, and his dislike of the way the mother ran the household.”
The author of the summary spares little in the analysis of Martinez as a person, from the summary. “He is untroubled by his own moral and legal violations and defends them as reasonable. He does not acknowledge the harm he admits to doing to his co-workers or co-founders.” People that pay attention to the way things are done in Silicon Valley will recognize Martinez in many of the other people that have taken companies from nothing to powerhouses.
While the book is a personal history, it is much more than that. As the author of the summary makes clear, in many ways it is a profile of how business is done in Silicon Valley and the personality characteristics of the people that conduct it.