HBO, silicon valley

Nerd Sanctuary

Silicon Valley, HBO

Silicon Valley season 3 premieres tonight and will feature Stephen Tobolowsky as the main villain.

Rotten Tomatoes : 98%

Metacritic : 91

From the guys who brought you Office Space, Silicon Valley is partially inspired by Mike Judge’s experiences as an engineer in the area during the late ‘80s.  It also features plot-lines parallel to that of Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Peter Thiel, Paul Graham, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Marc Benioff, Paul Allen, Larry Ellison, Eric Schmidt, and Sean Parker among others.

***HBONOW is now available exclusively online for a 30 day free trial available here.***

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

HBO, silicon valley



Richard Hendricks, HBO, silicon valley

Richard Hendricks

Richard Hendricks is the sole proprietor of ‘Pied Piper’, which evolves into a file compression engine.  At first however, Pied Piper is a program that allows musicians to do a search on all music that has been copyrighted to see if they are infringing.

When he shows it to other people, they immediately see the global application potential of his compression algorithm.  Richard takes a meeting with Hooli’s CEO Gavin Belson, but has a panic attack after receiving a $10 million offer.  He ultimately decides to sign with Peter Gregory at Raviga.

Meanwhile Hooli attempts to reverse engineer Richard’s compression engine because he accidentally sent his prototype to several ‘brogrammers’ who work there.

The team gets bamboozled into competing against Belson directly at the Tech Crunch Disrupt Cup.  They reach the finals of the cup because Erlich was assaulted live on stage by one of the judges.  Meanwhile, Belson launches his reverse-engineered compression engine dubbed ‘Nucleus’ with all the bells and whistles.

Richard has a revelation the night before the final presentation and makes a breakthrough with his loss-less compression algorithm named ‘middle-out’ with no degradation.

The next day, they give him a 132 gigabyte 3D video file to compress.  He compresses the file at a final Weissman score of 5.2 and they win the Disrupt Tech Cup.

Peter Gregory passes away and Richard and the crew get cocky with their success, failing to develop a solid presentation to impress new potential investors.

Gavin Belson then gets aggressive with a lawsuit against Pied Piper claiming that they stole their compression algorithm from Hooli.  The lawsuit is a ‘classic intimidation suit’ serving to scare JC’s and freeze most of Pied Piper’s funding and assets.

As a result of the lawsuit Laurie Bream and Raviga are forced to pull their $10 million at a $50 million valuation offer.  Pied Piper seeks funding elsewhere, unsuccessfully.

Instead of succumb to Belson they take a $5 million investment from Russ Hannemann.  Compression companies Pied Piper and End-Frame end up in a ‘bake-off’ in which they are given a large amount of video files to compress and whomever compresses the files more quickly and efficiently with a higher Weissman score wins the $15 million deal.

Russ Hannemann leaves his tequila bottle on the delete button of Richard’s laptop during the compression ‘bake-off’ and Pied Piper deletes several terabytes of video files from Intersite’s database, losing them the competition.

The big Hooli lawsuit is expedited via arbitration, during which Richard fails to lie about using a Hooli computer to work on his algorithm.  This testimony would typically give Hooli a right of ownership over Pied Piper’s underlying IP.

However, there is language in the Hooli employment contract that the California Supreme Court deemed unlawful rendering it null and void and winning Pied Piper the arbitration.

Raviga purchases a dominant stake in Pied Piper from Russ Hannemann, and now has 3 out of 5 seats on the board.  Raviga then holds an ’emergency meeting’ voting to remove the CEO of Pied Piper, Richard Hendricks.


Richard Hendricks, HBO, silicon valley

Visionary, resourceful, pragmatic, with a systemic mindset Richard Hendricks is a Rational.

“I should, I should.  But I’m tired of doing what I should do and I kinda wanna start doing what I want to do and what I want to do is be a self-centered irrational ass hole that doesn’t compromise on anything.  At all.  Ever.” — Richard Hendricks

“It’s like every second there is a problem I have to solve.”  — Richard Hendricks

“You know I always knew I was missing something and then someone explained to me the concept of ‘game’.  I remember very distinctly thinking: that’s what I don’t have, game.” — Richard Hendricks

“I’m a good programmer, I mean, it’s the only thing I’m good at.”  — Richard Hendricks

“Don’t worry he can’t come close to our Weissman score even with all this extra shit it’s like a fancy car with a crappy engine.” — Richard Hendricks

Quote1For thousands of years guys like us have gotten the shit kicked out of us.  But now, for the first time, we are living in an era where we can be in charge and build empires.Quote2 — Richard Hendricks


erlich bachman, HBO, silicon valley

Erlich Bachman

Erlich is the proud owner of a ‘hacker hostel’ or tech incubator in Palo Alto, California.  Bachman experienced mild success after selling his Aviation start-up company Aviato.  Erlich wasn’t exactly the most savvy investor, until Richard Hendricks starts a bidding war over Pied Piper’s compression algorithm.  

Richard gets drunk at a Peter Gregory hosted party and gives Erlich a partner stake and seat on the board of directors at Pied Piper, of which he has no recollection.  Erlich proves his worth at opportune moments however, essentially doing the talking whenever Richard doesn’t want to which is 99% of the time.

Erlich gives the presentation at the Tech Crunch Disrupt but is tackled live on stage by a judge, who’s ex-wife he had had an affair with.   As a result of a pending lawsuit Pied Piper qualifies for the finals of Tech Crunch Disrupt.

They end up winning the Tech Crunch Cup quite handily because of Richard’s revamped ‘middle-out’ compression engine.

Erlich has a tendency to cling to his glory days, and indulges in copious amounts of medicinal cannabis.

Bachman comes through in the clutch again when he helps Dinesh code caching manifests during the condor live stream that reaches server capacity.  Despite his misgivings, Bachman ultimately commits to the success of Pied Piper.


erlich bachman, HBO, silicon valley

Impulsive, competitive, daring, and forever playful Erlich Bachman is an Artisan.

“Richard, I know that you look at a guy like me and think he has it all figured out.  And for the most part, you’re right. I do.” — Erlich Bachman

“Gentlemen, welcome to the big show.  Tech Crunch Disrupt” — Erlich Bachman

“I dress according to the moods that I sense in the room, as such: I must have options.” — Erlich Bachman

“You can tell your clients respectfully, that they can go fuck themselves.” — Erlich Bachman

“Lets see how high this rocket can fly, partner.” — Erlich Bachman

“What else could I do Richard, you’re my Wozniak.” — Erlich Bachman

Quote1Market forces and random events have conspired against me to make the success of my incubator all but impossible.  Functionally all I have really achieved is running  a “flop-house” where guys have shat, jerked off, and payed me no rent.Quote2 — Erlich Bachman


jared dunn, HBO, silicon valley

Jared Dunn

Jared Dunn was an executive at Hooli before leaving to join Pied Piper.  Jared was immediately paramount to the organization as he wrote the business plan, cap table, investment deck, go-to market strategy, and 3 year summary P&L just in time to satisfy Peter Gregory as an investor.

His organization skills and professionalism helped Pied Piper get off of its feet and start functioning like a real organization.  He provides for the logistics of the company and manages its finances.  He is currently the head of business development at Pied Piper.

When brainstorming ideas of what event to “live stream” using their compression algorithm, Jared suggests a condor egg hatching.  They blow it off initially, but later are forced to fall back on it.  The egg fails to hatch, Jared calls someone for assistance, the man gets stuck in a crevice, the stream essentially turns into a rendition of ‘127 hours’, and goes viral.


jared dunn, HBO, silicon valley

Dependable, concerned, logistical, with a strong adherence to detail Jared Dunn is a Guardian.

“Well love and hate, its all passion.” — Jared Dunn

Quote1Being around angry people relaxes me because I know where I stand.Quote2 — Jared Dunn

“I suppose I had a fine night.  I had some palak paneer and I watched a documentary on Liberia.”  — Jared Dunn

“If you keep screaming your name, it forces the assailant to acknowledge you as a human.”  — Jared Dunn

“Sorry if I scared you, I know I have somewhat ‘ghostlike’ features.” — Jared Dunn

“Relax?  This house is chaos.  I gave up a great job and stock options at Hooli to come here because I thought Pied Piper could be viable but it never will be unless we make some changes.  We need to operate like a business or were not going to make it…” — Jared Dunn


dinesh chugtai, HBO, silicon Valley

Dinesh Chugtai

Dinesh is the main coder, handles the software, and specializes in writing eloquent java script.

Dinesh and Gilfoyle have their own apps they are developing in Bachman’s incubator, but decide to help Richard with his compression engine.

Dinesh’s few and far between romantic encounters are always somehow thwarted directly by his dear friend Gilfoyfle.


dinesh chugtai, HBO, silicon Valley

Romantic, credulous, sensitive, and diplomatic Dinesh Chugtai is an Idealist.

“I didn’t even shake a woman’s hand until I was seventeen years old.   And the idea of getting an erection around men I live and work with, is just not something I can handle. — Dinesh Chugtai

“Ok.  I see where we are ending up on this, thank you for your time.” — Dinesh Chugtai

Quote1Why is it that every time I’m about to have sex with a lady ….. He’s all up in there somehow?Quote2 — Dinesh Chugtai

“Well if were going to fail and be humiliated why do it on stage in front of a thousand people and a live streamed audience?” — Dinesh Chugtai

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