Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Silicon Valley is an American television sitcom created by Mike Judge (King of the Hill), John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky. The series centers on six young men who found a startup company in Silicon Valley. The series premiered April 6, 2014, on HBO, airing on Sundays at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time).
After Mike Judge graduated from UCSD with a degree in physics, his first job was as a programmer working on the F-18 fighter. In 1987 he moved to the Silicon Valley region of Northern California and joined Parallax, a startup video card company with about 40 employees. Judge disliked the company’s culture and his colleagues (“The people I met were like Stepford Wives. They were true believers in something, and I don’t know what it was”) and quit after less than three months, but the experience gave him the background to later create a show about the region’s people and companies. Here is the plot of Judge’s sitcom:
Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch, You’re The Worst) is a shy, reclusive programmer working at a large Internet company called Hooli, while developing a music app called Pied Piper in a live-in startup business incubator run by entrepreneur Erlich Bachman (T. J. Miller, The Goodwin Games). After a rocky post-TED elevator pitch of Pied Piper to venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch, Rubicon), Hendriks also shows his work to a pair of brogrammers at Hooli who mock him. Within hours however, Hooli executive Donald “Jared” Dunn (Zach Woods, The Office, Veep, Playing House) and Gregory’s assistant Monica (Amanda Crew, 15/Love, Whistler) are discovering that the app contains a revolutionary data compression algorithm. Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Matt Ross, Big Love, Magic City, Revolution) proposes a $10 million buyout of Pied Piper, while Peter Gregory offers a $200,000 investment for 5% ownership in the company. With encouragement from Monica and the support of Bachman, Hendriks chooses Gregory’s offer. He hires the residents of the incubator to become the Pied Piper team, along with Dunn who defects from Hooli, but loses his friend Bighead (Josh Brener, The Big Bang Theory) to the Internet giant.
Hendriks and Bachman come to form a technical-creative team in the manner of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs as the company and software are developed.
Filming for the pilot of Silicon Valley began on March 12, 2013, in Palo Alto, California.
Christopher Evan Welch, who plays billionaire Peter Gregory, died in December 2013, having finished his scenes for the first five episodes.