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By Anita Felicelli

About this blog: I grew up in Palo Alto and now live in Mountain View with my husband, daughter and two corgis. After about a decade grappling with the law, first as a law student at UC Berkeley and then as a litigator around the Bay Area, I left ...  (More)

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Is HBO's Silicon Valley Any Good?

Uploaded: Apr 13, 2014
HBO's new show Silicon Valley opens with has-been Kid Rock playing for a badly attended corporate gala where nobody is listening to him. He finally gives up with an "F these people." The show goes on to focus on a group of guys?Richard, Dinesh, Big Head, Gilfoyle and Erlich? complaining about the mediocrity of a product that has achieved success and their own inability to secure a share of the money that's floating around the Valley. The guys are residents at Erlich's incubator where they can stay rent-free so long as Erlich gets 10% of what ever they create there.

After hours, Richard has coded something called Pied Piper, which he originally described as the "Google of music." Erlich complains that Pied Piper doesn't seem to be going anywhere. During the day Richard works for a company called Hooli, which seems to be modeled after Google and maybe Facebook as well.

The day after the party, Richard goes to a TED talk by billionaire Peter Gregory and listens to a talk about how Silicon Valley is a cradle of innovation because various brilliant visionaries dropped out of college. Afterward, Richard pitches the speaker on Pied Piper. The speaker leaves, but his assistant asks him to send her a link to the project.

Meanwhile, Hooli's CEO learns about the Pied Piper. The CEO realizes that the compression algorithm that is part of Pied Piper is gold. Soon Hooli's CEO Gavin Belson and Peter Gregory are engaged in a bidding war for the compression algorithm.

Unsure of which offer to accept, Richard develops a panic attack and goes to the doctor. In one of the funniest pieces of satire in the first episode, the doctor asks Richard to give him a call if he decides to accept the $10 million bid from the Hooli CEO. The doctor is developing an app, too.

The show is amusing the way that Mike Judge's Office Space was amusing. It also feels a little bit like something Po Bronson might have written a decade ago, even though the technology is current. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, made mention of how HBO's Silicon Valley misses the Burning Man vibe of the real Silicon Valley. He tweeted, "The ‪@MikeJudge show about Silicon Valley missed the mark in some ways, but I didn't hate it, as ‪@Recode reporter claimed."

When I read the reports on Musk's reaction, I was curious as to whether that Burning Man vibe was entirely missing or whether it was simply portrayed in a way that Musk didn't like. (I assumed the latter?most people who are satirized don't enjoy it and find something to complain about.) When I watched the show, however, I realized I agree with Musk that HBO's Silicon Valley misses the mark in the first episode.

What are missing from the show are the unusual and alternative viewpoints that are so common here. Plus?tech companies in Silicon Valley could certainly use more women, but the show is so wholly lacking in women characters it doesn't feel recognizable.

The show's pacing and humor are enjoyable. But it is not a satire of Silicon Valley as it actually exists. It feels like satire of tech as conceived by a college student (or Beavis and Butthead), rather than something truly original and biting. A first episode doesn't always signal the trajectory of a show, however, especially when the genre is comedy. We will have to see if this much-hyped show does anything more than satirize the surface perceptions outsiders?journalists and Hollywood?have of Silicon Valley culture.

If you saw it, what do you think of the show?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Steven F., a resident of Rex Manor,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Is 'Burning Man' a guy in khaki shorts who grew up in the suburbs, sent to prestigious university by affluent parents (which he's dropped out of) and now spends all his time trying to make several million dollars?

there's a vibe you want to project - and then there's the actual vibe - Judge is closer to the latter imo

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

Fair enough, but my point is that there's a ton you can do to satirize the desire to be affiliated with alternative subcultures like Burning Man (and actually being part of that culture in some cases). The failure to address that at all- whether to portray it as a phony aspiration away from nerd-dom or a genuine weirdness [I think it's both?is a deficiency in the pilot.

Posted by realism, a resident of Professorville,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I've worked for many Silicon Valley companies including startups and big name companies. None of them has ever been 80% white males. This show is unrealistic just from the promo photo and goes downhill from there. Is "Sex in the City" representative of New York? Is "Dirty Harry" representative of San Francisco? I think this new show is just as realistic and meaningful as either of those, i.e., few people will take it seriously. Is it funny enough to survive as a sitcom? I'm guessing the premise is not interesting enough for most viewers.

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

Thanks realism. Your second and third sentences made me laugh - so true. I decided not to include my similar observation in order to avoid attracting trolls, but I agree. In general, I think the goal of this show is satire, rather than realism, but in order to get sharp satire, a writer needs to have an understanding of the reality.

Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Reality is not important in TV, even when it's reality television.

One of the producers of early reality television basically admitted that it was all scripted, from the moment the show was casted.

People seem to be happy associating what they watch on TV with reality, but unless you're watching a live sporting event, this is a dangerously inaccurate practice.

Posted by Member, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm

I think the author only said understanding of the reality is needed to do a good satire.

Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:15 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

I'd be astounded if any show like this FAILED to badly miss the mark in multiple ways.

In February, the peninsula's Daily Post reported on the pending show, including a character's quip that Steve Jobs was a poser because "he didn't even write code." That's the sort of glib-yet-deeply-clueless script writing that annoys knowledgeable locals, and in its small way it illustrates my comment to this blog some months ago about how entertainment media don't _want_ to portray silicon valley as it is, but rather a facile, stereotype-fulfilling fantasy of it that serves the objective: to entertain. Same thing happens routinely to other specialized worlds, from surfing to restaurants.

(Memo to anyone else unaware of Apple's origins: Even if "code" had been central to Apple's earliest products, which it wasn't, writing software would have had little relevance for Jobs, as for most business managers. When Jobs & Wozniak started Apple in the middle 70s -- I saw it, we were all Homebrew Computer Club regulars -- Wozniak, not Jobs, was the tech guy, mostly hardware anyway. How on earth could Jobs have been "posing?")

Despite publishing a letter citing that gaffe, a Post writer, after attending the show's recent advance screening, praised its "accuracy." (I think that told me more about the journalist than the show.) He also repeated another misconception (itself _previously_ pointed out by another reader's letter in the Post), a misconception entrenched among journalists despite repeated corrections. I'll elaborate, because your own article above repeats this error, Anita:

Tesla Motors was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning Web Link . Elon Musk was a subsequent venture-capital _investor,_ and is now, 10 years later, CEO. He did not "found" Tesla, but his recent high profile has led careless journalism to often make that assumption. (Much as careless journalism distorted public understanding of the niche term "hacker" in the early 1980s, and "web" in the early 1990s -- two past misusages so entrenched now, they're hard to explain to people who grew up hearing them.) Even though the "Musk" case is a tiny and trivial example, it illustrates how easily and naturally pop culture bends the message toward its own whims -- a process more fully realized in shows like "Silicon Valley."

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:59 am

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

All great points, Max. I agree with the thrust of your comment, but I think it's difficult to judge gaffes like the one you mention re: posing. Richard, the main character who says that, is not a Silicon Valley insider. Personally I have met young people who say things like that (someone made exactly that comment on Facebook to my earlier post on the horrific Jobs movie) - based on the cultural myth - I think plenty of newcomers to the Valley subscribe to cultural myths or say things they think will make them sound in-the-know.

The phrase, IMO, is meant to reveal Richard's perceptions and foreshadow further developments - Richard is someone with a behind-the-scenes personality, a nice guy like Woz. I suspect over the course of the show it will prove to be ironic that Richard once made this statement as he tries to become a frontman for his Pied Piper company. The thrust of the second episode is that he has a hard time being an asshole though another character Erlich tells him he has to be one to make his company successful. By the end of the season (or later in the show if it survives beyond a season), I predict he will grow into one. Kind of a typical Hollywood character arc, though I expected more from HBO.

I'll correct the error re: Musk. Thank you for reading.

Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

If the Steve-Jobs "poser" gaffe is part of some "cultural myth," then does the new show spotlight that situation, revealing the myth and therefore the character's pretentiousness?

That "newcomers to the Valley subscribe to cultural myths or say things they think will make them sound in-the-know" would be a great (and truly pioneering) message for a TV show or movie. In my experience, it's the shows, rather, that make such myths.

I agree too with "realism" above that a promo photo with 5 of 6 characters being white guys is a wretched start -- looking nothing like silicon valley demographics, past or present.

After wincing at mainstream media's mythMAKING about silicon valley since the 1970s (when a typical glib NYC national-newsmagazine writer, who clearly had just recently heard the phrase, breezily mentioned silicon valley as being in "southern California"), I find little appeal in any of these entertainment efforts, the recent Jobs movie and this HBO TV series being just the latest.

Again these phenomena are hardly limited to silicon valley, but characterize the appropriation of specialized worlds for entertainment value. Another example is the world of wine and its enthusiasts. Many rolled their eyes a few years ago at the movie "Sideways," whose main actors had spent time in wine bars to acquire jargon and behavior; the movie still had gaffes that wine geeks cringe at, though their non-wine friends are sure "it's a movie you'd like." (US pinot-noir producers, on the other hand, were avowedly grateful for the movie for successfully telling the public it's hip to enjoy wines from that grape -- which, almost overnight, transformed the US bulk market in that particular wine from glut to demand.)

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

Hi Max- I don't know yet if the writers room is making these decisions consciously or not (we're only 2 episodes in), but I'll probably post again on this at the end of the season. I'm positioning myself as devil's advocate with respect to that phrase only because I can tell the writers are satirizing Silicon Valley - trying to get at various absurd elements for comical effect-rather than providing a reasonable realistic portrait. The show is more in line with Dave Eggers' The Circle than a documentary like "Something Ventured," apt to sacrifice accuracy to make a bigger point. To that end, all the characters, including Richard, are pretentious thus far. There's not a likable one in the bunch, but Richard is the closest. My issue with the show so far is that if you sacrifice accuracy, your bigger point should be well worth making. I don't know if it is in this case yet.

I do have sympathy for your position. I can't tell you how often I have winced over the years while watching shows about lawyers or movies about writers or anything about India/Indian-Americans with only a few exceptions. There is entertainment for "insiders" and entertainment for "outsiders." The best shows manage both - I find The Good Wife hits the mark pretty often, whereas The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal were made for outsiders. I suspect this is entertainment for "outsiders" but hopes to be entertainment for insiders. Therefore many elements of HBO's Silicon Valley may be glib observations without a deep understanding of the culture.

I like your Sideways comment - yes - that phenomenon applies here. In Sideways, I was never sure about how to read the characters. Were they being made fun of? I thought so - in my view, we were never supposed to regard them as experts, rather they were positioned as people who had taken on various amateurish affectations. But many people took their portrayal as a realistic depiction and yes, would think that they were getting an "insider" view on wine culture. Also a valid interpretation. I think we are given a little more direction in viewing the Silicon Valley characters as windbags - but there's a possibility that outsiders will think they are getting an insider's view. Richard might be written as a young guy in Silicon Valley because the writers room is aware it may not get the history right etc. Common device: to make a newcomer to the culture or an amateur the lens through which the story is told. Often as a safety net for the writer.

Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of another community,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:16 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

My curiosity (as I think you realize) is what do writers tacitly, unwittingly, assume about a reality even before they decide how to "position" a character within their fictionalization of that reality.

An example from "sideways" whose irony wasn't clearly conscious (unless it was a bizarre private joke) is when a character bad-mouths "merlot" wines, in favor of a famous French Bordeaux. Not revealing to the audience that it too was merlot-based.

I value your insights in this blog because I lack your taste for mainstream US entertainments. I watch TV rarely and randomly, mostly less-fictional programming such as history. So I get to return blank looks when people drop pop-culture references du jour -- in exchange for the blank looks they themselves give when I mention, say, events or persons that shaped today's world, but that many people today somehow never heard of. I resonated with recent comments by the prolific novelist Philip Roth in the NY-Times Book Review (March 16). Excerpt:

"The power in any society is with those who get to impose the fantasy. It is no longer, as it was for centuries throughout Europe, the church that imposes its fantasy on the populace, nor is it the totalitarian superstate that imposes the fantasy, as it did [in various places in the 20th century]. Now the fantasy that prevails is the all-consuming, voraciously consumed popular culture, seemingly spawned by, of all things, freedom. The young especially live according to beliefs that are thought up for them by the society's most unthinking people and by the businesses least impeded by innocent ends. Ingeniously as their parents and teachers may attempt to protect the young from being drawn, to their detriment, into the moronic amusement park that is now universal, the preponderance of the power is not with them."

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

I agree - writers do make inaccurate assumptions about cultures and places before they create characters. Your note about the error in Sideways shows how that danger is magnified in comedy, satire or attempted satire - you can try to target something, but if you don't get it quite right somebody will notice and it completely disrupts the trance that good fiction can put you into. I believe that with regard to film/television, sometimes a writer may have a clear idea, but during the collaborative process with others who may be more focused on making something enjoyable, marketable, commercial etc., that idea is modified. We then cannot tell if that's a writing error or an editing error in the context of a movie. These errors are usually easier to interpret in books, where we assume editors have less impact on content.

I like the quote by Roth. Taken out of context, his words actually provide an explanation for why I so enjoy pop culture analysis and why I write about it in multiple venues. Pop culture is incredibly powerful - it's why, when readers have been annoyed by my writings about ethnic representation of Indians in television, books, film, I find their response shortsighted. What viewers see of characters on screen often determines the bias displayed towards people who resemble those characters in real life. I think there's probably a neuroscience/cog-sci/evolutionary explanation for why we have that kind of perceptual apparatus - favoring the most vivid images and stories over textual information. I try to cultivate a critical stance towards pop culture in this blog, but I feel strongly there's no "right" answer, only evidence for various interpretations.

I also write about literary and nonfiction books because those are more often to my taste - but it doesn't escape me that those are my least-read writings. I appreciate your astute observations and that you read the blog even though it veers outside your interests and you may disagree with various points.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

It's nice to read this discussion. I'm sick and tired of Sili Valley talk overtaking everything locally, at least in the media. I'm as grateful as anyone for the conveniences and very real life saving benefits of technology. Like some of you, I've also worked for, against and with man big names. I'm just tired of the all-consuming tech talk, its arrogant, biased shaping of Bay Area culture, at the expense of other very real culture. It's elitist and exclusive, to its own blind detriment.

Posted by Big, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Big is a registered user.

The people on the show seem unintelligent
Now Silicon Valley has a lot to hate. But its one real strength is this sort of cumulative IQ that is really unique in the world - as far as I can see.
And Musk is right also in that, pre facebook the valley was about ideas and breaking ground. Post facebook it is all about mining personal data and making money. So things have changed. However the cumulative IQ is still amazing and not captured by the gossip girl types on the show.

Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Thanks for posting this review, Anita. I was wondering what other people thought. I really enjoyed the first 2 episodes from the comedy standpoint. I'll be really curious where the show goes from here.

Other than living in PA, and knowing a lot of tech people, I am not part of that world directly, so I can't really speak to the realism. Its not that important - most people who watch the show aren't connected to silicon valley either. I don't think they set out to make some kind of exact representation of life in this area. I think Judge probably just wanted to make another funny show, plus being on HBO he could get away with more in the way of colorful language than he could on Beavis or King of the Hill!

I think only bits and pieces were filmed locally. The exteriors for the house COULD be in LA since there are Eichlers there too. The house itself is probably a set. There was a shot of El Camino near Cambridge looking south in the last episode - a 2nd unit shot that had no actors in it. The first episode had a shot of Page Mill near the HP headquarters.

Kumail Nanjiani's (Dinesh) appearances in Portlandia were so funny, so I'm excited to see more of him. TJ Miller was really funny in "She's out of my league," and has been really good so far. All in all, I think its a good show with lots of potential.

I think if you live here there's a temptation to start nit-picking if its realistic. Just don't worry about it, and enjoy the show! Now that "Eastbound and Down" and "Hung" are over, I'm really happy to have another good HBO comedy to watch!

Posted by Jeff Muscatine, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I have to agree with Max and the quote he cites from Philip Roth. It seems inevitable that the promulgation of entertainment (as with various forms of political, economic and cultural power) will justify the subordination of facts, or shall we even say "the original version widely known to those who were there", for a version of events and personalities that supports a story line, joke or other point to be made. Then lacking any other experience, the audience passively assimilates the entertainment version. What they know about the subject is never going to pass muster against careful accounts. Will they get that, care about it, or will it matter? As pointed out, there are endless agendas for imposing fantasy on reality, or arguing competing realities. Some might well be dangerous, others just unashamed junk for profit, and much in between. As noted, facts of our history and increasingly uncritical culture.

It is up to the audience to perceive at what point the writing of a satire is so sophomoric, error-ridden and/or off the mark that it becomes an unintended, sloppy satire of its own means and ends.

Posted by member, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm

The acting is so bad. Everything about this show is phony.

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

Thanks for sharing your perspectives, all. Jeff/Max, I don't know if you'll check back on this post, but I'd be curious to know what you think of this theory I am starting to develop - that the two strains of thought in the comments for this post represent (1) an "older" view of Silicon Valley - based on watching the Valley evolve and (2) a new view of the Valley that has been pushed to the forefront of mainstream America by a relatively new app-social media subculture. I gather that this is primarily composed of young tech workers originally from places other than the Valley, drawn to the Valley solely for monetary reasons.

From my perspective, growing up in the Bay area in the 80's and 90's, Valley culture has changed dramatically a couple of times, with each new boom. Part of my distaste for how the Valley is portrayed in the show arises from my distaste for the newest subculture and my preference for earlier iterations of the Valley that placed a greater emphasis on intellect, culture, proximity to Stanford, and being interesting, as opposed to a pure fixation on money. Another problematic aspect about the show for me then is that the myth that is being built up in the show is that this app subculture is all Silicon Valley is.

Posted by Casa de Cerveza, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

Casa de Cerveza is a registered user.

The show is entertaining and captures the Zeitgeist of what is happening in Palo Alto today. I watched the first two episodes on HBO On Demand the other night and laughed. That's all I ask for when I watch a comedy. It is a close enough reflection of our community that it is easy to accept the story line and the technology references are surprisingly close to the truth. I can't wait for Episode 3. Please folks, remember this is not a documentary or even reality TV -- it is a Mike Judge spoof on Silicon Valley. Pretty good so far!

Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

To your last comment above, Anita: Silicon valley has had 4-5 major, documented, economic "booms" since the semiconductor industry began here (in Mountain View) in the late 1950s. Valley culture was already changing dramatically before your experience of it. The phrase itself, of course, appeared in 1971 describing the already lush chip-maker family tree, which has continued to grow. Gradually, mainstream media and the public became aware of the region and its industries, and have variously garbled the meaning for 35 years -- bear with me here. Only since the dot-com boom a mere 15 years ago (boom prior to current one) has _software_ been a prominent local industry; pop culture circa 2000 located internet startups in the existing silicon valley, then misperceived those as the phrase's point.

Certainly, the phenomenon of new college grads arriving with an attitude of "where's MY hundred million?" dates to the dot-com days -- actively promoted at the time, by everything from fiction writing to PBS documentaries.

I disagree with your categorization of "older" and "new" views. What you dubbed "older" is a _current_ perspective of many or most people (a) within the valley itself who (b) have had professional contact with its various industries and (c) are AWARE of both the full industrial landscape and its evolution -- even if they personally missed some of it! I would call that both an inside and inclusive perspective. Your "new" view is largely an external, or media, creation, and selective. Such accurate elements of it as concern software are a _component_ or sub-set of the inclusive view.

Sure there are people, even locally, with odd notions like "silicon valley started with the dot-com boom" -- because that is when and how they personally first heard the phrase, and they've never bothered to learn anything.

Yet such garblings are hardly "new." Before the "app" culture existed, I wrote a trade-magazine letter on how the press were then portraying silicon valley as "known for" or the "home of" computer manufacturing --another media supposition which, from the valley itself, seemed almost bizarre. With a few big exceptions (then-struggling Apple, Hewlett-Packard -- not, primarily, a "computer" maker for most of its history), US computer manufacture was geographically quite dispersed. The phrase "silicon valley" came from, um, silicon products -- basis of most modern electronics, from toys to televisions, computers being just one application of many.

Posted by Anita Felicelli, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Anita Felicelli is a registered user.

Hi Max - I think perhaps you might be misinterpreting my comment/categories because you essentially articulated a rundown of what I had meant by my theory, but took umbrage/exception to the names I had given the categories. I don't meant "older" as in "outdated," but "older" as in "historically longer" and more inclusive of different kinds of companies and perspectives. I definitely see my parents, one of whom still works in the Valley outside of the app subculture and the other of whom worked for many years at HP, as part of the "older" end of this culture, even though, relative perhaps to you, they are newer.

When I've interacted with app/social media twenty and thirty somethings, they are focused on "zeitgeist" and what is of the moment and enjoy the HBO show - hence I used the word "new." But you're right, the term "new" doesn't quite capture it - I've personally been complaining about "new" since I came back to live here from the East Bay almost a decade ago. I am thinking about two rough categories because the reactions to this post and conversations I've had fall into two categories- it's a way of organizing my thoughts about these sentiments.

I find people seem to fall along a continuum depending on whether they have been here a really long time or are relatively new to the area and I'm curious as to where in time that turning point is (when the media started to create these types of myths about Silicon Valley). I locate a change somewhere in 1997-8. I remember somebody from SF talking about how he wanted to move to Palo Alto to get a "650" area code for the "prestige", not knowing it had been "415" for years. Since you mention 35 years, it sounds like you locate a change in the '80s? Do you perceive the influx of software engineers as the reason for the media myth? I think most (interested) people are aware of the history of Silicon Valley as coming from electronics/semiconductor industry by now due to a number of good documentaries on the topic. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Posted by Dan Quayle, a resident of another community,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

[deleted for abuse]

Posted by member, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Dan Quayle, isn't that the whole idea behind blogging? If you like sound bites better than thoughtful analysis, then Silicon Valley has the perfect medium for you - Twitter.

Posted by Jeff Muscatine, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Thanks, Anita, for fostering an incisive and thoughtful discussion on this and other topics. A nice shot of oxygen for the brains that can appreciate it. Yeah, it is just a TV show, but the perspectives and historical ties to it have to do with a bit more, "Dan Quayle" (speaking of pompous and self important; get a clue).

Yes, there generally appears to be quite a generation gap in the life experience, knowledge of local and industry history, and professional focus that different folks associate with the term Silicon Valley. Older/younger, raised here/moved here, tech veterans/newer to the scene, hardware/software ... Not surprising, really, since this happens in a lot of institutions and cultural milieus. Speaking as an old guy (Max, remember when we were the new kids?), it is sorta painful to notice people -- who are relatively clueless -- conspicuously making glib assumptions, whether they are screenwriters or app developers. The factual errors, simplistic stereotypes and shallow pronouncements so quickly gain currency, and serve to obscure the complexity of how the industry has evolved and what the global economic engines of tech really are today. Beyond history, people who are so ready to project their own limited view as defining the useful depth and breadth of things sure display a lack of imagination.

Posted by 20+ year tech resident, a resident of Palo Verde,
on May 11, 2014 at 7:09 am

I laughed.... I think that makes it successful from my standpoint..... it is a modern day "Office" sitcom..... nothing more

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