Lately my Twitter feed has been buzzing about the new show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley. Not one person in my feed had anything positive to say about the show. For some reason I became curious. How could a show really be THAT terrible? I had no idea what I was in for.
The show follows eight young people either working at or starting up tech companies in Silicon Valley. Sounds fascinating, right? Let’s get a peek at some future Mark Zuckerbergs of the world! Instead we get a bunch of rich, spoiled kids who seem to think that all they need to do is come up with a random idea, show up and people will hand them money. That saying you hear about nerds peaking after high school, these kids took that and ran just a little too far with it. Cat-fights, showboating and partying until 3 a.m. when they have investor meetings at 7 a.m. are just the tip of the iceberg with this crew.
What really gets me about this show is that I don’t feel that it is a good representation of the start-up community in Silicon Valley. I know it is a reality show and I can’t be mad that they pick entertaining people rather than people who are a good representation of the community. I understand that the Real Housewives of New Jersey are not an accurate portrayal of housewives in New Jersey, just like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills aren’t… Well I’ll leave that one alone, but you get my point.
The Hollywood image of Silicon Valley is that these prodigies come up with a random idea and it becomes a million dollar company over night. But in reality, those “prodigies” worked hard for their success. Steve Jobs didn’t come up with the iPod on his first try (or on his own). Yes, Facebook rose quickly once it launched, but Mark Zuckerberg worked on the idea for a while before it launched. He’s known for working for days at a time with friends during his “hack-a-thons.” I won’t deny that part of their success is coming up with an idea that is lucky enough to take off. However, it’s not as easy as pitching ideas to investors until one sticks.
This show most closely resembles The Hills, which followed Lauren Conrad on her rise in the fashion world. Even compared to an MTV show, this show lacks substance. Say what you will about the vapid conversations and petty drama on The Hills, at least Lauren Conrad worked hard at her internship. Kim is the only person on Start Ups: Silicon Valley who appears to be a hard worker. However, she is not quite as dramatic as the others, so she doesn’t get as much screen time.
A reality show needs either interesting information that we wouldn’t see other places, drama and catfights that draw us in and make us want to see more, or just generally interesting characters that we connect with. This show lacks on all fronts.
If you were thinking about checking this show out, I wouldn’t advise it.