Five Things Movies Get Wrong about Silicon Valley

Five Things Movies Get Wrong about Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is the cradle of some of the most powerful high-tech companies in the world, which makes it no wonder that Hollywood takes such an interest in its happenings. However, Hollywood being Hollywood, its depictions of said location may or may not bear much resemblance to the realities. Sometimes, this is for good reasons. Other times, not so much.

Here are five things that movies get wrong about Silicon Valley:

Coding Is Not as Complicated and Time-Consuming as It Should Be

Most examples of coding in modern media are neither as complicated nor as time-consuming as it is in real life. This is unsurprising because no one wants to watch someone write thousands and thousands of lines in between research, hunting for errors, and other miscellaneous activities. However, some cases of dramatization can be much more egregious than others.

Start-Ups Aren’t That Simple

A lot of high-tech start-ups in modern media seem to involve more playing around than anything that can be called running a business. Anyone who has ever started their own business will know that this is nonsense. After all, the process of starting a business involves complicated and time-consuming steps such as conducting market research, securing sufficient funding, and checking the relevant rules and regulations, each of which can be a serious challenge in its own right. Never mind the much bigger and much more numerous problems that come from running a start-up in a business environment filled with furious competition.

Start-Ups Aren’t That Relaxed

Speaking of which, it is true that high-tech start-ups tend to be much more relaxed than their bigger and better-established counterparts when it comes to their business cultures. However, such tendencies can be exaggerated to the point of wackiness in modern media, though to be fair, since this happens most in comedies, this could be a problem with Hollywood’s sense of humor rather than Hollywood’s understanding of the tech sector. Furthermore, while Silicon Valley has its fair share of eccentric characters, this has been subject to more than its fair share of exaggeration as well.

Computers Aren’t Magic

Sometimes, the practice of cyber-security and other computer-related fields in modern media can look more like magic than their real life counterparts. For the classic example, a Hollywood hacker will type something on their keyboards while muttering something appropriate before breaking into a secured system. In contrast, people who are attempting to break into a particular system can take weeks and weeks of planning before they even get started, which speaks volumes about the amount of effort that has to be put into such projects.

Securing Funding Is a Serious Challenge

There have been examples of modern media in which securing funding is as simple as receiving a signed check from an interested investor. This is a stark contrast to the real life process of securing funding, which involves a fair amount of marketing as well as extensive discussions regarding the exact conditions that come attached to said funding. Suffice to say that securing funding for high-tech start-ups isn’t any easier than securing funding for other businesses in other sectors for the simple reason that investors tend to want a decent return for their risk-taking.

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