He may be brash, outspoken, and a little uncouth at times (most times), but Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) is 100% determined to succeed. For the last three seasons on Silicon Valley (available to stream anytime on HBO Now), Erlich has worked to foster wunderkind Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) and help turn his compression algorithm into the heart of a company that could help change the world. While Erlich may have had some moderate success with his old startup, Aviato, it’s his willingness to say, and do, absolutely anything that makes him an essential part of Pied Piper team. The next time you need to do some serious self-promotion, let these Erlich Bachman lines be your guide.
“Don’t be the guy that’s always asking ‘what if?'”
At first, Richard didn’t seem to be contributing much to Erlich’s incubator, but when the compression algorithm that was buried in his app’s clunky UI starts to get noticed by the right people, Erlich, for the first time, starts to show his visionary side. Torn between competing offers from two rival tech giants — one that wants to buy his tech outright and the other which wants to help him develop his own company — Richard chooses the latter, in part, based on Erlich’s advice. Whether it’s your own idea or you’re just hitching your wagon to the right star, thinking big is often the first step to success.
“Richard, if you’re not an asshole, it creates this kind of asshole vacuum and that void is filled by other assholes. Like Jared.”
In the early days of Pied Piper, Erlich invested a lot of time trying to coach Richard into being the kind of person he needed to be so he could properly run a company. Granted, he just shouted that advice whenever Richard was within earshot most of the time, but here, Erlich goes one better and explains to Richard why he needs to change in order to have a real shot at coming out on top. Think of it as the business mentoring equivalent of teaching a man to fish. After all, the more people that can project your vision of success, the better.