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'Silicon Valley' nails the bay area's tech culture

Tom Kaneshige | April 24, 2014
CIO.com's Tom Kaneshige had resisted watching HBO's new comedy about life in the Silicon Valley. After all, he's lived it since the '90s. But a funny thing happened during his week of binge viewing.

Second, the show lacks a sense of doom — that all this is but a dream. Today's app-making bubble looks eerily similar to the dot-com days when venture capitalists ignored traditional financial measurements, such as price-to-earnings ratio, and instead fueled startups to quickly reach sky-high valuations with, predictably, devastating results. To be fair, "Silicon Valley" does a good job of showing a dream-like world where meetings are conducted on bicycles. But this Silicon Valley story doesn't have a fairytale ending.

Lastly, a backlash is happening right now in San Francisco, where techies are unfairly ridiculed and harassed for their big paychecks. Techies are causing gentrification, activists say, forcing less-affluent people to flee the city for cheaper digs. Recently, activists have vomited on a Google bus. A tech reporter had his Google Glass torn off his face and smashed. Activists showed up at a venture capitalist's home and protested. There's not much room for humor in this heated conflict, yet to ignore it would strip the shine of truth from the show.

And the truth — or at least exposing the lies — is what makes "Silicon Valley" such a fun show. I've been covering Silicon Valley since the mid-1990s and wasn't looking forward to watching it because I didn't think I'd see anything new. I was pleasantly surprised. Everything was familiar, of course, but what was new was something I wasn't expecting: the humor of it all.

'Tis the age of the geek, the meek inheriting the earth, and so you know it just has to be fertile funny ground. In my line of work, I've been a part of this silly valley every day. After all, Goolybibs is an industry leading provider of a scalable, robust solution offering integrated, multi-platform functionality. What's not to love?

 

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