Silicon Valley deserves its West Wing

TV loves dramatizing professions: CSI for forensics, Boston Legal for law, ER for medicine, Entourage for Hollywood, West Wing for politics, and so on. These are interesting venues to be sure, but as an entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley for eleven years, I have wondered: where is our TV series?

The Valley is a fascinating place with a host of interesting characters: entrepeneurs, CEOs, venture capitalists, angel investors, engineers, salespeople, bloggers, PR promoters, and more. Startups also have tons of story lines that can teach and entertain:

-The birth of a new idea
-Founders vs. venture capitalists and the struggle to raise money
-Founder vs. founder conflicts
-Angel investors vs. venture capitalists
-Engineers vs. marketers
-Extreme work hours
-Turbulent highs, lows, and uncertainty
-Small startups vs. big companies
-Social skills of engineers
-Useless businesspeople
-Deals and acquisitions
-Public relations disasters
-Innovating with little money
-Living with a lot of money
-Pursuing money vs. pursuing meaning (mercenaries vs. missionaries)
-Startup competition: copycats, sabotage, poaching, patents
-The difficulty of having relationships during startups
-The lack of women entrepreneurs
-The Valley’s underground drug culture
-The Valley’s Libertarian politics
-The process of going public
-Serial entrepreneurs

If I were a better fiction writer, I would write the screenplays myself, but I have sworn off content creation. Aaron Sorkin is reportedly writing a screenplay on the founding of Facebook. Aaron, are you listening?

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One thought on “Silicon Valley deserves its West Wing

  1. David Landes August 14, 2009 / 4:52 pm

    The Bay Area’s signature features are an underused goldmine to stage a TV drama.

    -the annoying culture of self-righteousness and its hypocrisies
    -beautiful privileged people acting bad
    -sexual experimentation, gender bending, and closet outings
    -a new institutional politics: Dilbert in Google’s corporate culture
    -crime and extreme economic polarization (set a start-up in East Palo Alto)
    -culture shock from aspiring immigrant populations
    -geek gods and their worship rituals
    -hopeless yuppies and their pathetic byproduct kids
    -the hyphy movement and rap wannabes
    -shameless hyper-commodification of everything

    The show practically writes its own plots. What better way to comment on 21st century culture than to look at the people who create it.

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