Randi Zuckerberg is one of the biggest names connected to Silicon Valley, a Bravo reality show centering around the world of technology startups in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
And last night, Ms. Zuckerberg took to the web to defend her involvement in the series and explain why she thinks the show is a good idea.
The concept and the stars of the show have been roundly criticized in recent days by many members of the tech community, from bloggers to ego-driven entrepreneurs — and a lot of that criticism smacks of jealousy or just plain snobbery, with tech insiders giving Bravo, Zuckerberg, et al. the “how dare they” treatment for “selling out” or not including big enough names.
“I completely understand that there will be skepticism and detractors,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Friday evening. “But I think this show comes at an important time.”
Zuckerberg herself was deeply involved in some of Facebook’s most formative years, particularly as it moved from a youth-dominated social network to its current position as one of the most powerful tech companies on the planet. Due to her familial connection to the company (Randi is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s sister), she says she has “[struggled] to have people view my successes as my own.”
As a result, she wrote, “I respect that the people cast in this show are all trying to make something of themselves. Some are newcomers to Silicon Valley. Some were anonymous cogs within bigger companies who chose to leave and create their own path. While you may not know them yet and while they may not be involved with Pinterest, AirBnB, Dropbox, Square or one of the other hot companies of the moment, it certainly doesn’t make their journey any less authentic or worth following.”
So much for criticisms about the star caliber of the series’ main characters, including The Next Web video guru Hermione Way, former Googler David Murray, and a handful of startup founders.
Zuckerberg also addresses the “sellout” criticism, writing, “Given the current economic climate, I think it’s really positive that mainstream media is celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit and portraying people who pursue innovation and startups as being aspirational for the general public.”
Zuckerberg is acting as executive producer for Silicon Valley, and she describes her position as an advisory role.