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Chaos Monkeys


Jurgis
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I thought it was a good read, can recommend it. Liar's poker meets Silicon Valley. Maybe a bit on the technical side for alpha people. The writer is witty but he's also a cynical asshole. The FT wrote a decent review: https://www.ft.com/content/47d1cd50-4aa5-11e6-b387-64ab0a67014c . I mailed a few quotes to a friend of mine after reading it:

 

In October 2010, a mother in Florida had shaken her baby to death, as the baby would interrupt her FarmVille games with crying. Products that cause mothers to murder their infants in order to use them more ... simply cannot fail in the world.

 

As I observed more than once at Facebook, and as I imagine is the case in all organizations from business to government, high-level decisions that affected thousands of people and billions in revenue would be made on gut feel, the residue of whatever historical politics were in play, and the ability to cater persuasive messages to people either busy, impatient, or uninterested (or all three).

 

If you like stuff like this: read the book. Otherwise I wouldn't recommend it :) .

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It is an excellent book.  It is a must read especially if you want to know about the start-up culture in Silicon Valley and how advertising works.  I give high marks to the author as he is quite introspective and did not spare himself in his portrayal of what happened.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm almost half way through, and really dig it so far.

 

There's a wide range of things to get from the book.  I think it's better than Liar's Poker - Chaos Monkeys speaks also to the drive to succeed and useful industry information, in addition to the name dropping, tell-all aspect.

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Started to read this on the flight.

 

It's not bad, but couple observations:

- Part of the saltiness is that the authors of these books (I've also just skimmed through "How I lost 170 million dollars" - crappy book, don't bother; and read the article based on the upcoming/released book by the guy who did Silly Valley TV series) is that the authors are losers. ;) OK, maybe this is harsh, but the critique of SV from a position of "I'm an English/Business major who got into startup, had no clue, thrashed a while, got fired later" sounds a bit like sour grapes. "Chaos Monkeys" author is way more professional than the "How I lost 170 million dollars" though.

- Most of these pretend to be geeks writing about geeks. But they aren't. They are English/Business majors and their observation about programmer culture is still an outsider perspective even if they have worked in tech companies for a while. They may have a good business observations and they may have a good writing style, but they don't necessarily have a great understanding of what the programmer side of SV is like. Yeah, they have some very astute observations... and some of their observations are still not understanding the geek side.

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The chaos monkeys author was a physics major. I would think he would be in touch with the geeky part of tech. Maybe physics guys are still outsiders when it comes to programming/software engineering, but I'm guessing all have been exposed to code. He did f#&* up in his decision making though. Should have learned how to bite his tongue.

 

Started to read this on the flight.

 

It's not bad, but couple observations:

- Part of the saltiness is that the authors of these books (I've also just skimmed through "How I lost 170 million dollars" - crappy book, don't bother; and read the article based on the upcoming/released book by the guy who did Silly Valley TV series) is that the authors are losers. ;) OK, maybe this is harsh, but the critique of SV from a position of "I'm an English/Business major who got into startup, had no clue, thrashed a while, got fired later" sounds a bit like sour grapes. "Chaos Monkeys" author is way more professional than the "How I lost 170 million dollars" though.

- Most of these pretend to be geeks writing about geeks. But they aren't. They are English/Business majors and their observation about programmer culture is still an outsider perspective even if they have worked in tech companies for a while. They may have a good business observations and they may have a good writing style, but they don't necessarily have a great understanding of what the programmer side of SV is like. Yeah, they have some very astute observations... and some of their observations are still not understanding the geek side.

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Started to read this on the flight.

 

It's not bad, but couple observations:

- Part of the saltiness is that the authors of these books (I've also just skimmed through "How I lost 170 million dollars" - crappy book, don't bother; and read the article based on the upcoming/released book by the guy who did Silly Valley TV series) is that the authors are losers. ;) OK, maybe this is harsh, but the critique of SV from a position of "I'm an English/Business major who got into startup, had no clue, thrashed a while, got fired later" sounds a bit like sour grapes. "Chaos Monkeys" author is way more professional than the "How I lost 170 million dollars" though.

- Most of these pretend to be geeks writing about geeks. But they aren't. They are English/Business majors and their observation about programmer culture is still an outsider perspective even if they have worked in tech companies for a while. They may have a good business observations and they may have a good writing style, but they don't necessarily have a great understanding of what the programmer side of SV is like. Yeah, they have some very astute observations... and some of their observations are still not understanding the geek side.

 

Sounds like you have insight please elaborate.

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Sounds like you have insight please elaborate.

 

What do you want to know?  ;)

 

I don't have a one or couple paragraph summary of my insights. Maybe if I thought for a while, I could come up with something. Perhaps I should write a book... ;)

 

Of course, my perception is gonna be colored by mostly-East-Coast, quite-a-bit-of-research-side, a-bit-of-large-company, a-bit-of-failed-startup (yeah, me loser too  8) ) perspective.

 

The chaos monkeys author was a physics major. I would think he would be in touch with the geeky part of tech. Maybe physics guys are still outsiders when it comes to programming/software engineering, but I'm guessing all have been exposed to code. He did f#&* up in his decision making though. Should have learned how to bite his tongue.

 

Right. I guess I discarded his geek cred by his career progression and by his whining in the beginning chapters about his GS trader overlords. ;) Maybe I was too harsh. He makes some good points about certain things. And I haven't finished the book yet.

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