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Inside the ape cage with Antonio Garcia Martinez, author of Chaos Monkeys


If you’re in a startup or even plan to sue one, Chaos Monkeys is the book to read. Antonio Garcia Martinez is a former physics major turned Wall Street quant turned startupper and he’s an amazing writer, able to encapsulate in a few words an era of greed, avarice, and ridiculous button-down-shirt/sweater vest combos.

The world in which Garcia Martinez operated wasn’t pretty. His startup, AdGrok, grew out of YC and was sold to Twitter but, along the way, visited the stations of the startup cross: VC offices where he was summarily ignored, a small, stinking apartment with his co-founders, and in law offices where he fought a former boss. When he moved to Facebook his true troubles began.

He learned a lot and wanted to share some of his insight. “The harsh reality is this: to have influence in the world, you need to be willing and able to reward your friends and punish your enemies,” he wrote.

His vision of the future is a little dark, to be sure, but he’s found the perfect solution to a surveillance society. He’s pulled up stakes and now lives on a boat on Orcas Island. No one, he said, can spy on him there. They barely have Internet.

You can download the episode here and subscribe here.

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