By now, you probably know that something big is happening this Sunday, April 12th. If you’re a Thrones fan, then your arduous wait will finally be over. Perhaps, this will be the year winter finally arrives? If you’re a cord cutter, you’ll be excited to possibly begin using HBO GO, HBO’s standalone streaming platform. However, what might truly be the best part of Sunday nights starting on the 12th, may just be HBO’s surprise comedy, Silicon Valley. Created by King of the Hill’s Mike Judge, Silicon Valley, the sharp witted satire about tech’s epicenter, returns for a second season. But beneath the snarky surface, Silicon Valley actually offers a very important life lesson.
The series follows four friends – Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch), Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti (Josh Brener), Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani) and Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) who created an app called Pied Piper. In its inception, Pied Piper was originally supposed to be “a songwriter-oriented music app that made it easier for songwriters to determine if their work infringed on copyrights.” However, it wasn’t until after several six to seven figure offers, losing a team member (“Big Head”) and a nervous breakdown, that Pied Piper finally come into its own brand identity.
Pied Piper transforms from songwriting resource app to what they describe as “a multi-platform technology based on a proprietary universal compression algorithm.” Hopefully, this new platform design will be explained further for us less tech savvy in this upcoming season. But how “the crew,” as they’re called, comes to this conclusion actually happens during a crucial scene at TechCrunch’s Disrupt competition when head of business development, Jared “Donald” Dunn (Zach Woods) suggests they “pivot.” Pivoting, for example, is as Jared explains how Chatroulette, the webcam based chat site, began as a social media platform but then pivoted to “become the playground for the sexually monstrous.” Pivoting, in other words, is all about being adaptable and finding your natural course in life.
This word may be tech jargon, but the principle behind it goes beyond the industry. Throughout the series, CEO Hendricks struggles with putting very succinctly into words what his product provides much like people on a more macro level have trouble defining themselves. A commonly explored existential crisis – who am I? – can, as shown on Silicon Valley, be remedied (or at least less daunting) with pivoting. With pivoting, you realize that perhaps what you set out to do or be is not always what is meant to be done. Life can be greatly improved or sometimes reimagined with creative thinking, flexibility and perspective. Essentially, when life gives you lemons, just pivot.