The week of November 23, 2014

Who said it: ‘Silicon Valley’ character or real-life tech guru?

By Kate Knibbs

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.

See how well you can distinguish satire from delusion with our 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: Netscape’s Marc Andreessen or Silicon Valley’s Peter Gregory?



2) “It takes change to make change.”

Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman or Silicon Valley’s Gavin Belson?



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

Apple’s Steve Jobs or Silicon Valley’s Gilfoyle?



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

PayPal’s Peter Thiel or Gavin Belson?



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

Facebook’s Chris Hughes or Gavin Belson?



6) “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.”

Uber’s Travis Kalanick or Gavin Belson?



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

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Silicon Valley’s Jared Dunn?



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

Napster’s Sean Parker or Gavin Belson?



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

Marc Andreessen or Peter Gregory?

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

Tesla’s Elon Musk or Silicon Valley’s Gilfoyle?



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

Apple’s Steve Jobs or Silicon Valley’s Elrich Bachmann?



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

Hacker News’s Paul Graham or Silicon Valley’s Dinesh?



13) “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.”

Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel or Gilfoyle?



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

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey or Silicon Valley’s Richard Harris?



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

Weblogs, Inc., founder Jason Calacanis or Silicon Valley’s Monica?



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

WhatsApp’s Jan Koum or Peter Gregory?


OK! Now how many did you get right?

Answer key: 1) A 2) B3) A 4) B 5) A 6) B 7) B 8) A 9) B 10) B 11) A 12) B 13) A 14) B 15) A 16) A 17) A

Additional reporting by Miles Klee.

A version of this story was originally published on the Daily Dot on April 15.

Photo via IMDb