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20 Ways HBO's Silicon Valley Is Just Like the Real Thing

Updated 12 Feb 2020 6.3k views20 items

Silicon Valley is one of the smartest, most well-researched shows on TV. No one is going to accuse Mike Judge of creating a documentary, but the HBO series does draw a lot of inspiration from real people and events in the tech industry. Obviously, Pied Pier and Hooli exist in a heightened version of reality, but there have been many times over the seasons when Silicon Valley nailed the real Silicon Valley.

The show captures an array of personas, from VCs to CEOs to programmers, but most real-life Valley people aren’t near as interesting or funny. Elon Musk has actually criticized Silicon Valley for inaccurately depicting software engineers. But who’s going to watch a totally realistic version in which a bunch of people talk about refuctoring? Leave great television to Mike Judge, Elon. We’ll leave being a gazillionaire to you.

It's not like Judge didn’t do his homework. He was a tech engineer in the Bay Area during the ’80s. He also took his writers to Silicon Valley and did deep research into startups and incubators, immersing themselves in the culture of the real place, using observations and events to fuel the show's comedy.

This list collects times Silicon Valley has been very close to the real deal. Some are obvious to pretty much anyone and others are only for the hardcore tech geeks. That's why this list is here to sort them out.

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