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5 Lessons Silicon Valley Can Teach You

Several lessons from the Pied Piper crew that can be applied to the real business world.

5 Lessons Silicon Valley Can Teach You

July 19, 2016

The HBO original series, Silicon Valley, revolves around tech startup, Pied Piper and its employees. The fictional crew's antics are more outrageous than most real-life scenarios, but several lessons from the show can be applied to the real business world.


Richard Hendricks originally developed Pied Piper as a music app, which lead to a file compression application, and eventually evolves into a video chat company. If it helps your company grow and doesn't compromise your values, don't be afraid to shift from the original idea. As Jared would say, "Let's pivot."


We all know teamwork makes the dream work. Although the Pied Piper crew may not always agree with one another, they are all talented in their respective specialities and ultimately have each other's backs. Surround yourself with skilled, passionate people and the work will speak for itself.

Don't forget to have fun

The pressure of running your own startup can easily build up, which can lead to an increasingly stressful work environment. Working long hours, weekends and holidays are to be expected from a startup; however, it's okay for you and your team to take a break to regain the project's focus. Talk with employees, enjoy each other's company or take a page out of Pied Piper's book and just throw a ball around with one another.


Richard and the rest of the Pied Piper team faced their fair share of adversity. Several times the fictional tech giant, Gavin Belson, tried to sabotage Pied Piper to get what he wanted, but Pied Piper's determination outlasted him. Richard always had Erlich, Jared, and the rest of their team to support and provide well-meaning advice or solutions even when times got tough.


The show's characters are unapologetically themselves, even to the point of ridiculousness; however, by staying true to themselves, their friends and what's important to them, Pied Piper stays afloat through the rough times. Several times Richard was offered large sums of money to give away his algorithm and Pied Piper to buyers, but Richard believed in his company and kept his goals on track.

Silicon Valley is an ecosystem fueled by innovation, entrepreneurship, and originality. The show reflects these qualities through exaggerated circumstances, but showcases that a little personality and a few life lessons go a long way on the path to success.

Sarah Temple, Communications, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship