Who said it: ‘Silicon Valley’ or Silicon Valley?

Mike Judge’s new series is hard to distinguish from what it satirizes.


Kate Knibbs


Published Apr 15, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 11:40 am CDT

HBO’s Silicon Valley is a comedy, but the show is set in the all-too-real world of northern California tech culture. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether we’re laughing because the blowhard characters are laughably exaggerated versions of startup types, or if what we’re seeing is just uncomfortably close to the truth. We are living in a time when a song about social media marketing was performed unironically, after all.

See how well you can distinguish satire from delusion with the Daily Dot Valley Myopia Quiz. Who said it—a Silicon Valley character or a real-life tech titan? 

1) “The Internet has always been, and always will be, a magic box.”

Who said it: A) Netscape’s Marc Andreessen, or B) Silicon Valley’s Peter Gregory, a fictional character?

2) “It takes change to make change.”

A) Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman, or B) Silicon Valley’s Gavin Belson?

3) “You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog shit for frosting.”

A) Apple’s Steve Jobs, or B) Silicon Valley?

4) “Silicon Valley is the cradle of innovation because of dropouts. College has become a cruel and expensive joke on the middle class.”

A) Silicon Valley, or B) PayPal’s Peter Thiel?

5) “We realized what we’re really building is this new kind of home, a home for life.”

A) Dropbox, or B) Silicon Valley?


6) “I truly believe we can only achieve greatness, if first, we achieve goodness.”

A) Silicon Valley, or B) Facebook’s Chris Hughes?

7) “The greatness of human accomplishment has always been measured by size. The bigger, the better. Until now. Nanotech, smart cars—small is the new big.” 

A) Uber’s Travis Kalanick, or B) Silicon Valley?

8) “Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know.” 

A) Silicon Valley, or B) Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg?

9) “If we can make your audio and video files smaller, we can make cancer smaller. And hunger. And AIDS.”

A) Silicon Valley, or B) Napster’s Sean Parker?

10) “I own 10 percent of a company that locates nearby water fountains, if you want to talk.”

A) Marc Andreessen, or B) Silicon Valley?

11) “I’ve been to Disneyland, like, 10 times. I’m getting really tired of Disneyland.”

A) Silicon Valley, or B) Tesla’s Elon Musk?

12) “If you’re not an asshole, this company dies.”

A) Steve Jobs, or B) Silicon Valley?

13) “One quality that’s a really bad indication is a CEO with a strong foreign accent.”

A) Hacker News’s Paul Graham, or B) Silicon Valley?

14) “It’s not magic; it’s talent, and sweat. People like me make ensuring your packets get delivered unsniffed. So what do I do? I make sure that one bag config on one bad component doesn’t bankrupt the entire fucking company.”

A) Silicon Valley, or B) Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel?

15) “Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect.”

A) Silicon Valley, or B) Twitter’s Jack Dorsey? 

16) “I believe we’re on the precipice of a post-race world.”

A) Jason Calacanis, or B) Silicon Valley?

17) “We want to know as little about our users as possible.”

A) WhatsApp’s Jan Koum, or B) Silicon Valley?

OK! Now how many did you get right?

Answer key: 1) Marc Andreessen; 2) Silicon Valley; 3) Steve Jobs; 4) Silicon Valley; 5) Dropbox; 6) Silicon Valley; 7) Silicon Valley; 8) Mark Zuckerberg; 9) Silicon Valley; 10) Silicon Valley; 11) Elon Musk; 12) Silicon Valley; 13) Paul Graham; 14) Silicon Valley; 15) Jack Dorsey; 16) Jason Calacanis; 17) Jan Koum

Additional reporting by Miles Klee.

Photo via IMDb

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*First Published: Apr 15, 2014, 11:30 am CDT