If this book doesn’t make you ill, nothing will. As someone who has been transitioning in and out of San Francisco on a monthly basis for over ten years, I can say with certainty that the tech world has ushered in some of the greediest, evilest people the world has ever seen. I work on the fringes of tech and that is close enough to see it, hear it and experience it. (But we love gadgets so we act like this isn’t true.)
This book is both sad and informational. The inner workings of startups, the inner workings of Facebook and the numbers throughout actually are quite fascinating. What’s not so fascinating? The reasons behind the tech world and why people do what they do. After reading this book you can safely say most of these people are entirely full of shit. Intelligent? Sure. Focused? Certainly. Our best interest at heart? Ah, no. Not even close. This is about profit, information, and control.
Antonio García Martínez brings us Chaos Monkeys and with it an uncomfortable ride through his life in the tech madness that is “The Valley.” What I like about this book is the author names specific people and doesn’t pull punches. Nor does he soften his technique or soften his navigation of this world regardless of how callous, insensitive or arrogant it may seem. You could choose to say the author is a jerk. Or you could say “How refreshing, a bit of honesty in a world where we take pains to avoid confronting the truth.” Either way, you can learn something from this book.