Only one new book debuted on the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list, published on July 16-17, p. C10.
The book is entitled Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez (New York: Harper, 2016). The book was distributed on June 28, 2016, and debuted at # 5 in the list, which is incredibly high. It has also been on the New York Times best-seller list, thus qualifying the book as a potential selection at our First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.
One description of the book is “Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble.”
Here is a summary of the book, from Amazon.com:
“After stints on Wall Street and as CEO of his own startup, García Martínez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team, turning its users’ data into profit for COO Sheryl Sandberg and chairman and CEO Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. Forced out in the wake of an internal product war over the future of the company’s monetization strategy, García Martínez eventually landed at rival Twitter. He also fathered two children with a woman he barely knew, committed lewd acts and brewed illegal beer on the Facebook campus (accidentally flooding Zuckerberg’s desk), lived on a sailboat, raced sport cars on the 101, and enthusiastically pursued the life of an overpaid Silicon Valley wastrel.
“Now, this gleeful contrarian unravels the chaotic evolution of social media and online marketing and reveals how it is invading our lives and shaping our future. Weighing in on everything from startups and credit derivatives to Big Brother and data tracking, social media monetization and digital “privacy,” García Martínez shares his scathing observations and outrageous antics, taking us on a humorous, subversive tour of the fascinatingly insular tech industry. Chaos Monkeys lays bare the hijinks, trade secrets, and power plays of the visionaries, grunts, sociopaths, opportunists, accidental tourists, and money cowboys who are revolutionizing our world. The question is, will we survive?”
I haven’t read this book yet, and I don’t know if we will present it at the First Friday Book Synopsis. But, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that people love to buy books that are exposes. Also, books about scandals sell very well. Perhaps that is how this book vaulted all the way to # 5 in its debut on the best-selling list.
It’s not about abortion. It’s about the next 20 years. Twenties and thirties, it was the role of government. Fifties and sixties, it was civil rights. The next two decades, it’s gonna be privacy. I’m talking about the Internet. I’m talking about cellphones. I’m talking about health records, and who’s gay and who’s not. And moreover, in a country born on a will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?
The West Wing — “The Short List”
Story By: Aaron Sorkin & Dee Dee Myers (script here).
I keep thinking about business decisions, and how much impact they have on others.
And I keep thinking about personal decisions, and how much impact they have on others.
And I keep thinking about when to make what public. But, it may not be up to the company, or the individual, to say… Not anymore.
Technology keeps moving forward. What we can do, we seem to do. And, so, if I can put a message on Facebook, everybody has a chance of seeing it. And, if someone else has a message about me, a photo of me, a video of me, and if I am famous enough, or important enough, or silly enough, there is a pretty good chance it will spread far and wide.
In the first season of The West Wing, there is a “shoo-in” supreme court appointee who is rejected by President Bartlet because of his understanding of privacy.
The episode first aired in November, 1999, pretty much before any of us had high-speed for the internet, long before Twitter and MySpace were born, quite a few years before Facebook became so omnipresent. The script was written by Dee Dee Myers, and Aaron Sorkin, who recently wrote the screen-play for the movie The Social Network, about Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg.
In the news this week, Facebook’s security was breached, and a whole lot of information about actual people went tumbling out for many to see.
It’s being claimed that some of the most popular applications on Facebook have been transmitting information identifying users.
The company said that it would introduce new technology to limit the security breach.
Facebook developer Mike Vernal blogged: ” We take user privacy seriously. We are dedicated to protecting private user data.”
(Read the story here).
I do realize that I can choose what to post in my Facebook page, and in/on my Tweets.
But in a world where people secretly (and publicly) take pictures, and videos, and put them up for the world to see, it seems that this discussion of privacy from the first season of The West Wing is eerily prescient, and a still unsettled issue of our day.
“What could be more fundamental than this?” asked Sam Seaborn. It’s a good question.
Facebook owns its market, maybe the whole world! But it wasn’t first – it was just simpler to use, (and very, very, very, very competitive).
Here’s the key quote:
Campus Network figured it out first. Facebook just executed it better.
Read about this here: The Other Social Network: It launched first. It had cooler features. Why did Columbia’s Campus Network lose out to Harvard’s Facebook? by Christopher Beam.