Reputation Management has gained quite of bit of traction over the past decade. In the early twenty-first century, public relation agents were the ones to mainly handle a company’s or an individual’s name. Today, people in front of a computer handle multiple firm’s or individuals reputation through many facets such as social media outlets or search engine results. A company’s character is extremely sensitive because it takes several years to build a solid name but it takes one bad day to tarnish its image forever. For example, Toyota used to be considered the most reliable car maker within North America but after the recalls on over ten million new models sold; they had to start from scratch in order to build their reputation back to where it was. This issue is what HBO’s show, Silicon Valley, was portraying on their latest episode.
The episode was portraying the pitfalls of how outsiders glimpse into any startup firms. In the eighth episode, an early investor of Pied Piper, Erlich Bachman, was hesitant on telling the CEO, Richard Hendricks, that he sold his shares of the company in order to settle his personal debts. It took Bachman about ten days after the sale was made to even have the guts to tell Hendricks. Since Pied Piper created an app that can squeeze gigantic files into a small file, the news was travelling fast. The Pied Piper had made a huge breakthrough in the tech world and any news, positive or negative, would be casted into the limelight. In the show, a PR agent tells them that this paints an extremely negative image of the company. Shareholders and other tech moguls would naturally start to think that insider trading has occurred. Within the world of business, when any shareholder dumps that amount of stock in a short period, it is presumed that they know something is wrong. In the real Silicon Valley, investors tend to help startups since they most likely have a product or service that has great potential. That is the reason why when someone sells off stock early on in the startup, it sends a terrible image to the public. Hendricks confronts Bachman and states that he needs to hold a press conference to explain the real reason for selling his stocks of the Pied Piper. Bachman retorts on how it is embarrassing because in the show, the name Bachman was compared to the word success. If Bachman were to admit to the world that he was bankrupt and sold his shares to help him get out of the gutter, he would tear apart his reputation which took years to build compared to a startup that still has great potential.