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HBO’s fun ‘Silicon Valley’ app BetheValley.com had a buggy launch—just like the companies it satirizes

As part of the marketing for the series’ final season, HBO launched a name generator that looks like a great procrastination tool.

HBO’s fun ‘Silicon Valley’ app BetheValley.com had a buggy launch—just like the companies it satirizes
[Photo: Fabian Irsara/Unsplash]

Like so many things that come out of the actual Silicon Valley, the BetheValley.com name generator sounds like a cool idea, only to fumble on execution. The idea was for fans of the popular HBO series Silicon Valley to insert their names, favorite words, or phrases into the show’s animated opening sequence. Openings from past episodes of the show have inserted all kinds of things into its animation, including actual corporate logos, inside jokes, and real-time news items. The intricate sequence even has its own YouTube superfan breaking down every moment from every opening. 

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BetheValley.com looks like it could be a fun little tool, but it isn’t out of beta just yet. Some users who visit the micro-site see only a screen that doesn’t give them any way to enter any info. Others can input their chosen words or phrases (under seven letters only, please). But when they click “generate,” they are met with, well, nothing. 

The users who did manage to generate an image ran into a different set of problems, some by accident and others by design. One Reddit user was disappointed they couldn’t enter the actual name of their company (it contained numbers, which aren’t allowed.) Another discovered, probably not to their great surprise, that profanity is also a no-go. Users thinking they can get the generator to behave badly are met with a cheeky little note from the site’s “lawyers” that, according to CNet read, “Error. 404. Page not found. But seriously… Our lawyers said at least one of those words isn’t allowed. Try again!”  

In theory, once the app creates an animation using the words you’ve selected, it appears in the large red letters reserved for the show’s title. Then it can be downloaded and shared as either an image or a video. But so far, all the links shared by Twitter users land right back on the initial BetheValley homepage.  

An HBO spokesperson said the site is down for maintenance. There’s no word yet on when it will be back up. 

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