The tech industry is so insane, the comedy writers on 'Silicon Valley' can't keep up

Thomas Middleditch and Mike SchurMatt WeinbergerThomas Middleditch and Mike Schur at Bloomberg Technology Conference

Today at the Bloomberg Technology Conference, Bloomberg’s Emily Chang asked Thoomas Middleditch, the star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” if we were in a bubble.

“What is the tech bubble? What does that even mean?” said Middleditch.

As a more proper response to the question, Middleditch told a story from the production of the show.

In the first episode, Hooli CEO Gavin Bellsom tries to buy out the Pied Piper technology from Richard, Middleditch’s character, for $US10 million.

But apparently, in the first draft of the script, it was $US100 million. The writers ultimately decided that $US100 million was too unrealistic for anybody to turn down.

Between filming that pilot and the show actually airing on HBO, the news came out that Snapchat had turned down $US4 billion in an acquisition offer.

“We were like ‘oh wow, silly us,'” Middleditch says. “To us, $US4 billion seems like the end result.”

Middleditch went on to poke fun at Snapchat’s hubris: “These selfies will be revolutionary. They’re going to change the world.”

Incidentally, Middleditch says that fellow Silicon Valley star was approached by Waze to be an investor, before Google snapped it up for millions.

“He should have gone in,” Middleditch says.

“This feels like a very tense moment right now,” quipped Mike Schur, executive producer of shows like Parks & Recreation (which featured a fictional startup called Grizzli that mined users’ personal data) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

With all of these “absurd” deals and valuation flying around, Schur says that “of course” there’s a bubble — and that the hubris makes for great joke fodder.

“I think Hollywood really likes to satirize any subculture that’s more absurd and self-obsessed than we are,” the Hollywood-based Schur said.

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