Bill Gates gets it.
The Microsoft co-founder wants his friends in Silicon Valley to lighten up if they refuse to watch HBO’s “Silicon Valley” because they’re afraid it makes fun of them. Gates argues in a new blog post on Monday that if you really want to understand how the Valley works, you should be watching the comedy series.
The story of the internet startup Pied Piper and the band of misfits who struggle to make their idea a reality while battling a tech giant called Hooli has touched a nerve with Gates, who said he’s seen every episode of the first four seasons and is looking for time to watch the fifth. (A sixth season has been delayed.)
“The show is a parody, so it exaggerates things, but like all great parodies it captures a lot of truths,” Gates wrote. “Most of the different personality types you see in the show feel very familiar to me.”
That includes Pied Piper founder Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch), who Gates said he identifies most with because Richard is a great programmer who has had to learn some hard lessons about managing people.
Gates’ only complaint with the show — for whose creators he has provided industry insight — is that startups like Pied Piper are shown to be mostly capable while Hooli, modeled after a tech giant like Google or Microsoft, is shown to be inept.
“Although I’m obviously biased, my experience is that small companies can be just as inept, and the big ones have the resources to invest in deep research and take a long-term point of view that smaller ones can’t afford,” he wrote.
But Gates gets that rooting for the underdog is more fun.