UNITED STATES—Let me start by saying that Silicon Valley is a great show, and one that I watch without fail every week. There is something about Richard Hendrick’s insurmountable awkwardness that has me cringing and laughing incessantly. There is no doubt that the show’s characters are greatly written; from eccentric Erlich Bachman to the witty, satanic likes of Bertram Gilfoyle. However, there does seem to be disagreement as to whether the show does a good job at realistically portraying the world of app development and life in Silicon Valley. It seems that there are many truly realistic aspects, but also some that do not accurately capture the world of app development. We will have a look at some of the unrealistic and some of the realistic aspects of Silicon Valley.
Deleting files and no backups
In the one episode, something accidentally leans on the delete button of one of the laptops, and somehow files and data get deleted. In addition, there are no backups. Both of these aspects are incredibly unrealistic, and not the way in which start-ups, or any businesses operate. For instance, Fabulous bingo’s app provides a good example as to how real world app development works. A lot of time and money goes into creating an app that is successful. Their team would not be able to accidentally delete aspects of the app, such as its chat feature, or individual types of bingo games. This is simply not have technology works.
Public indecency during a pitch
Yes, start-ups in Silicon Valley can be crazy, but there are some aspects of the show that seem unlikely given the types of personalities in the industry, and the general way in which people tend to conduct themselves. The episode in which Richard decides to expose himself during his pitch meetings is something that probably would not happen.
For anyone who knows a thing or two about the type of technology spoken about, lossless video compression is something that is not achievable on a mathematical level. It is impossible to get the files small enough to have compression that is lossless.
Weird personalities and weird parties
Silicon Valley is known for having some rather out there personalities. So a character that is bizarre and larger than life, like Erlich Bachman is not as unrealistic as some might think. As such, the crazy Hawaiian-themed launch party he hosted in the last season (where he rented Alcatraz) would not have been unrealistic or unexpected in real life.
The stress of being a start-up
The huge unknowns and stresses of being a start-up depicted in the show are incredibly realistic. If your idea is able to generate seed money, you have to follow through and produce a product that is profitable –otherwise the company dies.
Everyone living together
You would think that with a job at Hooli (at the beginning of the series), Richard would be living in his own apartment. Wrong! Have you seen the property prices in Silicon Valley? It is not uncommon for people who are single to share houses or apartments.