Friday, June 10, 2016

How “Silicon Valley” Nails Silicon Valley - The New Yorker

From a stranger-than-fiction profile of Silicon Valley and its portrayal in "Silicon Valley;" also see Uncanny Silicon Valley: The absolutely definitive, supremely authoritative, person-to-person mapping of “Silicon Valley” characters to real tech world personalities (Backchannel) and, tangentially, San Francisco bracing for life after tech bubble (Bloomberg)
"“Silicon Valley,” now in its third season, is one of the funniest shows on television; it is also the first ambitious satire of any form to shed much light on the current socio-cultural moment in Northern California. The show derives its energy from two semi-contradictory attitudes: contempt for grandiose tech oligarchs and sympathy for the entrepreneurs struggling to unseat them. In the pilot episode, Richard Hendricks, a shy but brilliant engineer, designs a compression algorithm—an ingenious way to make big files smaller. He later turns this innovation into a company, which he insists on calling Pied Piper. (Richard: “It’s a classic fairy tale.” Employee: “It’s about a predatory flautist who murders children in a cave.”) As his company grows, Richard becomes a nerd David beset by Goliaths: duplicitous board members, corporations trying to steal his intellectual property. Can he succeed without compromising his values? The deep irony of Richard’s situation—that his ultimate goal, presumably, is to become a Goliath himself—either has not yet come up in the writer’s room or is being tabled for later."
How “Silicon Valley” Nails Silicon Valley - The New Yorker
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