What a pleasure to meet again the heroes of HBO’s Silicon Valley. Yet the first two episodes are quite caricatural. First all the hot technologies from the region are mentioned: robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Failure is an important component, and does not have exactly the same consequences for everyone.
Of course, the episodes describe the extreme social situations: the problems of the wealthy (money) and the problems of the poor (money). Finally we also see the equally caricatureal opposition between engineers and sales people.
But all in all, the pleasure is there, and that’s what matters!… Even if the last sentence of Episode 2 is “Every day things are getting worse…”
You may prefer the nerds to the lawyers in the last episodes of Silicon Valley’s Season 2. One of the nice wise quotes of our nerd is “we are going to fail by succeeding”, whereas lawyers just try to use the confusion about our hero’s girlfriend status.
And what about our brilliant MBA explaining that taking care of cables in a garage start-up is “intoxicating”, is “magical”… whereas making money in a big company would have just been boring, and that in any case, he can find a job the next day if necessary. Isn’t this what real life is about?
Of course we still have these strange apps…
Of course, there will be the final great Hollywood-like scene…
And of course a conclusion preparing us for Season 3!
There are expressions I did not know from Silicon Valley, like billionarizing and 3 commas…
But Silicon Valley is still the same politically-correct place where smoking is not a good idea, at least in front of colleagues, and where the s… and f*** words are forbidden are least in front of kids.
Silicon Valley remains Nerdland, with its unique vocabulary. “Since a negative of a negative is a positive, stealing from a thief is OK, it’s the additive inverse property.”
I could have quoted Peter Thiel with his “it’s customer stupid!” but I will be back soon with Thiel. You will learn also about it in episode 15. You will also (re)discover some of Silicon Valley bad habits: “Gentlemen of the Hooli board… and Lady”
and learn again about failure.
In Silicon Valley, “failure is pre-greatness”. You will also learn about former billionaires and the kind of car doors they have or do not.
The only think I need to add: competition is heating up dangerously.
The war is near. Its about Hooli’s Nucleus vs. Pied Piper’s compression technology. And big companies with huge resources do not necessarily deliver even if they are scary.
Still our heroes are building their business. They do their SWOT analysis…
Well all activities can have unplanned…
and nasty consequences… A third soldier between David and Goliath?
Now that they have money, our heroes need to spend it. Will they follow the “team” structure of Episode 1 when hiring: “There is always a tall skinny white guy, a short skinny asian guy, a fat guy with a ponny tail, some guy with crazy facial hair, and then an east indian guy.” Unclear from who they interviewed…
While PiedPiper hires, Hooli strategizes and everyone knows in Silicon Valley that merit comes 1st…
You will also learn about the 3-comma club! And the importance of solving team tensions.
I have to admit episode 10 was full of s…- I have never seen a VC stealing ideas neither a major corporation suing a start-up. Whatever SV is fun. So when you have the choice between sell or die, should you choose?
or maybe do neither.
– “You should pursue your dream, not for profit, not for valuation or material wealth but for the good of humanity”.
– “Easy to say when you are a billionaire”
– “Billionaires are people too.”
Here SV uses the strange real episode from Tom Perkins.
“Do not do what you should do. Do what you want!”
(But our hero is not very gifted with Japanese food, or is he stressed?).
Let us listen (in fact read here!) Monica: “Every successful company can look back at a defining moment early on where they would have died, had it not been for the courage and the tenacity and maybe the insanity of one visionary person who put it all on the line, even though it seemed like a huge mistake at the time, a moment where all the metrics and the numbers did not mean anything; it was all about the emotion, it was about belief, rational or irrational and I think, I hope, that I was just like that.”
War is preparing though!
There is something well-known and little known at the same time in the start-up world: a deal is never guaranteed until the money is on your bank account. Our heroes will learn it the hard way. Now they are less arrogrant with the VCs…
but then what about being stolen ideas during due diligence…
and what about the cost of IP litigation. I will let you discover it…
Time to see our old friends
and the team fighting to be “Chiefs”
Of course Silicon Valley is what it is… just have a look
or read this: “I don’t want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place better than we do.“
But reality is taking money can be dangerous: “You take money from the wrong dudes, you’ll get smoked as bad as I did.” But also never think you have the money until you have it in your bank account…
America’s movie industry have always adapted the story when an actor disappears… then the fun begins. Negotiating with VCs can be hard. “There is a linear correlation between how intolerable I was and a higher valuation…”
But then listen to Monica’s advice… A high valuation can be a very bad deal. Believe her…
And the final minute is great…