Almost a week ago I finished watching Silicon Valley, about a year behind everyone else, but right on time for me. When we first started our consulting firm I joked that I was OJ. I still do. OJ and I are simpatico. Those who know me know I’m the Venus to OJs Mars. I’m not a techie even though after decades of being around them I can fake it pretty well. I’m the business side, often the creative side as we’re still pretty small, and the sounding board side.
What I loved most about OJ was his weird goodness. His heart was pure even if he lived in the shades of hilarious darkness. Gwart was possibly the best character for him to embrace and try to help. She was the yin to his yang. I wished we had more time with her to explore that dynamic.
I think what was the unexpected expected outcome of the finale was fulfilling to me. I kept saying ‘I hoped they end up back around Bachman’s table starting over once again’. They one upped me and the final resolution was even better than that. They did end up around the table, not because they were starting over, but because they had moved on and we’re revisiting old ghosts in a fond farewell.
They had shot for the three pointer and realized just before taking the shot they would end up winning at the price of everyone else, a soulless win. It was, I realized, the moral of the entire show. Over and over Richard was forced to take the high road, no, the right road, and drag the others along with him. And at the end when their payday was coming in, at the highest price of sacrifice, he had to make the same final decision.
As a small IT consulting firm we have grappled with similar if much smaller stakes than these. Consulting is a double edged sword. Many consulting firms are decent and hardworking and want nothing else but to help the client. Others are set up like an avalanche Ponzi scheme leaving the clients broke and bewildered and without half of the value they were promised.
But clients are also not always altruistic angels. Many times they are trying to carve off costs to their benefit while taking full advantage of our willingness to give 110%. We have walked away from abusive clients at times when it hurt financially. It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do.
I don’t know what’s in store for our firm. The world is changing quickly but whatever it is, I hope when we do our retrospective our fates are as well aligned as those of the Silicon Valley crew. I’ll miss watching them.