HBO's "Silicon Valley" - Predictions and Implications

jankynoname's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,851

I'm pretty excited for the premiere of "Silicon Valley" on Sunday. Mike Judge usually makes some wicked and shrewd stuff, and I think this has the potential to illuminate some of the absurdity of the Valley. It could have the same crushing effect that "Office Space" had on the Crapplebee's franchise.

I've lived in the area on and off for the past six years, and as a non-tech person, the pretentiousness and idol-worship of the place is enough to make me cringe. So I wonder, what are the likely implications of the show? For the sake of this thought experiment, let's assume the show becomes widely watched and has the potential to shape public opinion over the course of a few seasons...

Here's a few possibilities:

1) Exposes start-up kids as socially inept nerds, lessening the "allure" of Silicon Valley
2) It becomes passe to want to start a software company, much like grunge rock displaced the glams. Smart kids will instead want to go build drones or master new agricultural yield maximization techniques.
3) Those who do have the entrepreneurial instinct opt to start their ventures elsewhere, rather than be associated with SV stereotype. They'll start businesses in places like Austin, Portland, Boulder, Raleigh etc.
4) VC's lose their sense of awe for start-up kids, valuations of pre-revenue companies come way down.
5) Social media bubble rolls over: FB, TWTR, KING shares collapse under their valuations
6) Real estate prices in Silicon Valley retreat
7) I finally buy a house

Seems pretty likely to me... time to short the Q's...

Alternatively, I guess it could have exactly the opposite effect...

Region: 
United States - West
United States - South

Comments (17)

Apr 4, 2014
jankynoname:

4) VC's lose their sense of awe for start-up kids, valuations of pre-revenue companies come way down.

5) Social media bubble rolls over: FB, TWTR, KING shares collapse under their valuations

Sorry, but are you serious? You think that a TV show on HBO is going to cause VCs to rethink investments in startups? You're out of your mind if you think this. VCs' entire job is to meet and evaluate these companies, and you think that a TV show by Mike Judge is going to change their perception in the slightest?

Apr 4, 2014

Haha, obv being a bit flip, but I'm sorta serious. VC's are subject to the same behavioral biases as any other investor, and certainly fall victim to the 'greater fool' style of investing. To the extent that they lose faith that there is a greater fool out there, they'll definitely have to tighten up.

If you don't think media outlets have the ability to affect public/investor perception I think you need to check again... Most likely the show just flops like Newsroom, but I'm just thinking of the high impact case...

Apr 4, 2014

Yeah, pretty much this... This show is not going to bring about revolutionary change in the tech space. It is going to be a comedy that pokes lighthearted fun at nerds while still allowing people to cheer for the underdog. I will expect some funny dialogue and a good bit of humor at the expense of nerd stereotypes, but your perception of the impact this show will have is absolutely ludicrous. Marc Andreesen is not all of a sudden going to be like "whoa, we are like giving these guys way too much credit for unattainable value... How did we not realize this oversight before? Thanks HBO." These delusions of grandeur are the type of thing that Sorkin aspires to out of his shows but falls on his face due overutilization of banter and clever rhetoric for rhetoric's sake. At the end of the day, if a show like House of Cards (which is infinitely more brilliant and more well-cast than either Newsroom or SV will hope to be) is unable to even bat an eyelash at the corruption that takes place in politics, this show has no prayer of exacting any impact on the start-up world. Don't forget to consider the audience... Most people watching these shows won't be intelligent enough or plugged in enough to have any influence anyway, and the ones who are (arguably many on this forum like myself), will be apathetic as they understand that market dynamics unfold organically as they are meant to.

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Best Response
Apr 4, 2014

All I know is HBO delivers... True Detective, Game of Thrones, Band of Brothers, Entourage, The Sopranos, and they were just barely outbid on House of Cards and Mad Men. Truly deserve the price premium I pay them each month.

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Apr 4, 2014

Office Space satirized TGI Friday's not Applebees.

Apr 4, 2014

i'm telling you... all y'all east coast guys are too far removed from what's been happening out here. i think you'll be surprised. perception is 90% of reality in this game.

Apr 4, 2014

I don't think it'll actually influence public perception that much. Kind of like House of Lies (does anyone even watch that?)

Apr 7, 2014

Anyone watch the season premiere?

Would $10 million be your #?

Apr 7, 2014

Thought the show last night was good but not great. Probably too much inside baseball to gain a widespread audience. We'll see where it goes, but it's probably not going to be the catalyst for lower home prices in the Valley that I was hoping...

Apr 23, 2014

So far so good on the predictions. I'd say we're moving from #1 to #2 on my list. Get ready for the Nasdaq to bleed red around season finale time...

Apr 23, 2014
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