Engineer Things- Silicon Valley shows us the struggles of Startup


Silicon Valley is one of the famous show on HBO. The show is about an Engineer who is trying hard to start up his own company with the new technology he has invented. His roommates will join him in this path and the story carries with the struggles they face, skills required to handle the competition and everything you need to know about Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley is a region in the San Fransico Bay area. Hundreds of corporate companies are located in this area including big shots like Google, Youtube, Facebook, etc.

Richard Hendricks creates a data compression algorithm and names it as Pied Piper. This algorithm can compress huge data within seconds and so far nobody has reached this speed.

Initially, he was rejected by many companies but his luck turns out once after he meets Peter Gregory. Peter Gregory has built his own company and is an established well-known CEO in Silicon Valley.

While Richard is struggling to bring his algorithm to market, there exists another man who tries to copy his algorithm. Richard is innocent and less aware of corporate culture. Hence he had to face many consequences with the man Gavin Belson.

Richard shares Pied Piper equity with Erlich (House owner), Dinesh & Gilfoyle (Friends), and Jared (Assistant). They all work together to make Pied Piper a successful company.


Here is the Official trailer;



People who know about Silicon Valley, working in corporate offices, Engineers, living in Silicon Valley, who started their own company can relate to facts shown in this series. Most of the incidents shown are true and can be related.

The story takes a different turn in every episode making the show more interesting. There are total 5 seasons available on HBO & 6th one is supposed to release in 2019.

Most of the engineers want to start up their own company with their ideas and talent. Silicon Valley is the story of every such Engineer.

Silicon Valley highlights the real problems of startup. If you are planning for a startup then there is a lot to learn from this series.


1)  Silicon Valley Lifestyle is not easy


Richard is the newbie in Silicon Valley. He is a struggling entrepreneur who has nothing established. All he has is, his data compression program & his brain.

So he will become a tenant of Erlich Bachman. Erlich Bachman owns a house in Silicon Valley(!), rents it to Engineers like Richard and gains equity from their startup instead of rent.

The idea is cool, isn’t it?

Even though Erlich is not part of the project Richard had to make him equity partner because he is living in his house. That’s the deal. If Erlich throws him out, Richard will become homeless.

This shows us that Silicon Valley Life is not easy. One need to struggle, be ready to sleep on the road (If required), share equity with people like Erlich and many other things.


2)  Lack of Charisma


Being in Silicon Valley means you should be ready for anything. It won’t work if you just write your code and make the program work.

For example, Richard was good at programming. Nobody can beat him when it comes to writing data compression algorithm. However, he lacks the charisma of behaving or talking in public. He stutters, forgets what he wants to say, makes weird body language and hence loses the opportunity.

Do entrepreneurs need Charisma to be successful? Yes!

When a similar question was asked in Quora, Stefan Schneider writes that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, etc also had the problem of speaking in public.

This is what Bill Gates says about Silicon Valley TV series.



It eventually comes with the experience but initial days are definitely difficult.


3) Competition


This is one obvious thing in every field. Wherever you go competition follows you. Competition is at its peak in Silicon Valley.

Every day hundreds of ideas originate but very few take the path of success. When you speak about your idea in public there is a risk that it might get copied and produced by someone else. Because there is no patent to the idea. Once it’s out, it’s OUT!

In Silicon Valley, Richard develops his program but Gavin Belson has created a similar algorithm. Gavin owns a company so he has resources and money to bring this algorithm to market. Whereas Richard is struggling to find the investors.


4)  Business is not just programming



Richard started his company in the Garage. He got his friends support to make it big. He doesn’t have any resources or fund to make it successful but he is struggling hard to keep pieces together.

Everything is fine!

But that’s not it! Business needs more. Business needs management skills, a clear plan, and other business skills. These are the bridge to connect your idea to Silicon Valley. If you lack these skills then the bridge starts shaking.


5) Copyright Issues


In the second season, Gavin sues Richard for the copyright issues. Gavin claims that Pied Piper was created using one of the Hooli’s computers hence he wants to own Pied Piper.

Now Richard has to keep a lawyer and prove that Pied Piper belongs to him.

In startups, people coming up with Copyright issues is pretty common. They just appear from nowhere to get the product for nothing, You should know all these things to not to get into the trap.



Jian Yang was a tenant in Erlich Bachman’s house. He learns everything about Pied Piper, goes back to China and start a similar business. Richard doesn’t even know about it!


6)  Big Heads exists in real life too


Big Head is Richard’s friend who got more benefitted from Pied Piper. Even more than Richard!  In the first season, Peter Gregory & Gavin Belson contact Richard to partner with Pied Piper.

Richard chooses Peter over Gavin. Since Big Head is a friend of Richard, Gavin hires Big head thinking that he might share Pied Piper algorithm code. Big head gets a huge salary and benefits from the Hooli company.

His job is just to share what he knows about Pied Piper (Actually he knows nothing!) & spend rest of his time on the terrace eating popcorn.



Whereas the real brain behind Pied Piper was living a miserable life.

In any company there exist people who do not work but get all the benefits. Hardworking people will be always working hard! Though hard work gives result one day for sure, it pains at that time.


7)  Support is required


Though you have created the product, though you know how exactly the algorithm works you need support. Morally, financially, technically support is required in any startup.

It starts from one brain but grows only when others join.

In Silicon Valley, Richard had Erlich who supported him through business skills. Dinesh & Gillfoye were the backbones of the data compression algorithm. Jared managed his business.

At one point Richard says that he can do it alone and everyone will leave him. But this backfires and they realize their weak point.



Here is me signing off today’s #favoriteshow post.

Keep watching!

70 thoughts on “Engineer Things- Silicon Valley shows us the struggles of Startup

  1. Varad says:

    As you have mentioned, there’s a lot of takeaways from the shows. It was a favourite of mine until the 3rd season. I lost interest after Erlich departed the show to be in the MCU. The 1st and 2nd were downright hilarious.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Yup 😀

  2. I have watched a few epesides of Silicon Valley and liked it quite a bit. I liked your analysis and points on the show better!

    1. Hackytips says:

      Glad you liked it.

  3. I’ve heard of this series from a few entrepreneur friends of mine but haven’t watched it yet. The posts are getting interesting..

    1. Hackytips says:

      It is worth watching. Thanks Sonia.

  4. Rashi Roy says:

    I love your analysis and the way you write about each show 👌

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thanks Rashi 🙂

  5. jaya1966 says:

    Definitely sounds like a very interesting serial. I have given up watching TV 6 months back, but planning to resume soon. I don’t watch NetFlix or Amazon Prime either. In fact it has been a long time since I went to a cinema hall. But I am planning to begin soon.

    1. Hackytips says:

      They help me to reveal my stress and make me feel relaxed.

  6. Very relatable. That is corporate life. If you have money and resource you may dupe another person without remorse.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Totally agree! People have lost human values.

  7. Thanks for introducing a new show to me. I will try this one for sure

    1. Hackytips says:

      You are welcome.

  8. Never explored this genere. Thanks for new list

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you!

  9. Vartika Mehrotra Gakhar says:

    Never watched this series but heard from a few friends. You put it really well

    1. Hackytips says:

      One of the great show 🙂

  10. aditi says:

    You’re making an interesting series! Loving it❤️

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thanks Aditi 🙂

  11. god what an elaborate analysis.. I read it twice.. Will check your other posts too..

    1. Hackytips says:

      That’s sweet! Thanks 🙂

  12. Mann says:

    Haven’t watched it but loved the way you describe it.

    1. Hackytips says:

      I’m glad you liked it.

  13. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    I haven’t seen the show, but after your analysis of it, I think I’ll enjoy it.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you.

  14. vidhya29 says:

    Woow I loved the post!

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you!

  15. Shruti says:

    You’ve put it really well! Great analysis.
    Surely gonna watch the show now! 🙂

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you 🙂

  16. You, Me and Benny says:

    I’ve never watched this show but I have heard of it! I need to add it to my list!

    1. Hackytips says:


  17. The 2nd was by far the most hilarious. This was a great show and youre right there are so many messags to takeaway from it

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you 🙂

  18. Neil Alvin Nicerio says:

    I haven’t watched this one yet but it got me intrigued. Will check this out this summer.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Go on!

  19. Andrew McKoscielecky says:

    Wow, I really like your analysis about Silicon Valley ! Well Done!

    1. Hackytips says:

      I’m glad 🙂

  20. zainab says:

    The shows been on my mind for a long time. Need to watch it 🙂

    1. Hackytips says:

      You will love it.

  21. Elizabeth O says:

    Tech talent is becoming harder to come by in Silicon Valley, as other cities are becoming powerful innovation hubs and attracting workers, according to a recent report. Love your post dear

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you!

  22. Lch says:

    I’ve heard about this show just cant find the time to watch it.

    1. Hackytips says:

      There is so much to watch 🙁

  23. Yonnah M says:

    I haven’t heard of this one before, but it sounds like a great show.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Yup it is.

  24. I have heard of this show but your review is good. Will check it out.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you 🙂

  25. Sudip says:

    This is something which I would definitely love to watch.

    A Computer Science Engineer.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thanks, Engineer 😉

  26. I’ve never watched this show, but I remember seeing ads for it when it first came out. Maybe I’ll give this a try after I finish The OA

    1. Hackytips says:


  27. Nina says:

    This seems so interesting! I will definitely check it out at hbo.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you!

  28. Everyone loves a rags to riches tale and this sounds like a show I’d be interested in

    1. Hackytips says:

      Yup 😀

  29. Jessica says:

    I will be adding this show to my list to watch. The list just keeps on growing! 🤗

    1. Hackytips says:

      Haha 😀

  30. ZyraKuma says:

    Very interesting! Haven’t heard of this series before but will add it to my watch list.

    1. Hackytips says:

      Thank you!

  31. It has an endorsement form Bill Gates…so that pretty much does it!

    1. Hackytips says:


  32. Luna S says:

    Aside from hearing the name of this show once or twice, I’ve never actually watched any of it. I do know of several of the people in it though so it might be something I’d try out.

    1. Hackytips says:

      You should 🙂

  33. Sara Muoio says:

    Love your takeaway through this article. I’ve heard of the show but didn’t really have a desire to watch until I gave this a read. Definitely going to be my next lineup on the list! Thanks!

  34. This looks interesting! my brother would like it!

  35. chadden2001 says:

    I haven’t watched this but it sounds really good so I may start watching it. Thanks.

  36. How am I just finding out about this show? I’m definitely adding this to my must watch list. I love shows and movies that are based on the business environment, startups and entrepreneurship. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  37. Chocoviv says:

    Sounds a lot like real life….

    1. Hackytips says:


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