What HBO’s new show can teach us about truly knowing your customer.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

Have you seen the new HBO show Silicon Valley?  It’s the most brilliant, laugh-so-hard-you- spray-your-drink-across-the-room hilarious thing on TV right now.

Created by Gen X hero Mike Judge, the guy who nailed 90’s office cubicle hell in Office Space, it takes on the absurdity of the tech world; that same world that spawns 15 year old billionaires and turns computer nerds into enviable celebrities.

It’s based on a guy who creates a program in an incubator run out of some slacker’s house; a program that has the potential to revolutionize the tech world and rake in those billions.  To make sure it was dead-on accurate, Judge went deep and immersed himself in this world.  He met with actual incubators, tech companies, consultants, even going as far as creating the company / idea that you see in the show and shopping it around to venture capitalists and industry insiders to get the details right (and yes, several wanted in).

Not since Seinfeld have I seen a satire hit the mark so well (as an aside, when it launched Luke predicted Seinfeld was too New York, too Jewish, too niche to resonate with a broader audience.  He’s since thrown up his hands in an oh vey, mea culpa).

So, how is it that even if the closest you’ve ever gotten to Silicon Valley is Googling your nearest Tim Horton’s you’ll totally get Silicon Valley?  Because it’s well researched, based on truth and deep insights… paving the way for Judge to relentlessly mock it with glee.

Well, dear marketers, do you put in the same rigour Mike Judge did to truly understand your target?  When was the last time you really got out there to observe, listen to and talk with your customers to get to know their needs, wants, desires?  It’s time to put down the TPS Report and get into your targets’ world.