Free food, sleep pods and graffiti walls. Few places are so enshrined in urban myth as Facebook, Google and other companies of their ilk. Silicon Valley has long been considered the Neverland of corporate life – a place where office slides and oversized Lego figures are as ubiquitous as water coolers. But what’s it really like to work at one of these tech behemoths?
‘Everyone freaked out when they found out I’d written this’
One person should know – Antonio Garcia Martínez. His CV includes Facebook product manager, Twitter advisor and start-up CEO. Today, however, the 40-year old is casting himself as lowly writer, soon-to-be “unemployable in tech”, thanks to Chaos Monkeys, his newly released exposé of life inside Silicon Valley. Martinez joined Facebook’s nascent advertising team in 2011, but as a vocal critic of the company’s strategy, he was pushed out after just two years.
Dubbed“Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network”, the book is his sweet revenge – a sneering critique of the swelling wealth and influence of Silicon Valley. Charting the evolution of social media through Martínez’s career, from Wall Street quant to tech entrepreneur, he says: “everyone freaked out when they found out I’d written this”.