Riding the wave of TV shoutout – if you notice


This week’s season finale (can you believe season two is already over? NO!) of Silicon Valley mentioned Varnish Software. In the morning following the air date, Varnish users and employees buzzed about this passing mention.

A few years ago, the unpopular, one-season medical drama Monday Mornings fairly prominently mentioned by name the antiseptic Hibiclens (a popular product from the company I was working for). No one at the company knew about it until I told them. Yeah it was not a popular show, and I don’t know if it was ever even on in Sweden, where the company has its HQ.

The difference in excitement levels, though, also illustrated the difference in how the employees in the two places use technology (and maybe consume TV content).

I oversimplify, I know, but I have worked in both worlds and think it’s fairly indicative. At the tech company, even people who did not watch the show found out about the mention. People kick into gear and try to capitalize on the mention in any way they can (at least Twitter or whatever avenue you can take). Even if the Hibiclens mention, which was even more prolonged and key to the unfolding substory, had been brought to the entire company’s attention and proposed as a marketing “bleep”, it would just have been ignored, as an, “Oh, that’s nice” moment.

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