As humorous as Silicon Valley may be, most of the show is based on the real life, day to day trials that many startups have faced. It’s not easy running a startup but if you’re thinking of taking the plunge (or already are), here are few valuable lessons the from the show.
Be careful who you partner with. Partnerships are key, especially in early phases. Pied Piper learns this the hard way when they partnered with Hanneman, a reckless billionaire, who only cares about making money.
Keep a lawyer on speed dial. Although Pied Piper requires a lawyer for legal trouble they get into, having a lawyer involved early in the process can keep your startup far away from potential problems.
Anything that could go wrong will. Things will go wrong, it’s a fact of being a startup. Although you can’t always plan for problems, keeping key things in mind (like security!) can help prevent some roadblocks.
Don’t get too confident. It seemed as soon as something would begin to go right for the Pied Piper team, 12 things would go wrong. There’s always competitors and staying on your game will keep you aheadof the curve.
Know when to ask for help. You’ll need help as the Pied Piper team discovers again and again. Take advantage of resources available to startups, many free of charge. Some colleges even offer free consulting to startups.
Be careful who you hire. Technical errors are costly and time-consuming, as Richard learns when their new hire accidently destroys the Pied Piper code. Trying to cut corners when hiring can lead to bigger expenses down the road.
Don’t waste money on swag. Although branding is great, when budgets are tight, swag should be very low on the purchase list.
Learn to de-stress. Richard learns, after a spell with the night sweats, that running a startup is very stressful. It’s important to find ways that can keep you cool, calm and collected.
Turn failures into successes. Time and time again the Pied Piper failed. After losing publicity to a competitor, Pied Piper didn’t quit; instead, they focused on another strategy that gained them even more publicity than the original plan.
The right messaging is key. Consistent, memorable brand strategy is key. Although the team at Pied Piper consistently (and hilariously) miss the mark, the show creators have taught us a thing or two about the importance of branding. Billboards that appeared in the show were actually put up in Silicon Valley, helping build the audience of the already popular show.
And, with Silicon Valley now over for the year, fans everywhere are now wondering what to do with their now free Sunday evenings. Perhaps planning that startup is a good way to fill the time until Season 3 begins this fall.