Not so long ago, “tech bros” were a unique character to introduce into the plot of a movie or TV show. This is no longer the case. In fact, a quick read of your favorite streaming service will reveal several current and/or recent movies and series that feature “tech bros” as the main character. A tech bro is, obviously, a bro who works in the tech industry and is often part of a hypermasculine man’s larger “bro” culture and how he relates to the world around him. They are also called programmers and for those who like cryptocurrency, “cyrptobros”.
Now we usually use “bros”. Of course, not all tech founders and executives are male. Hulu’s Addictive Show The stall presents the meteoric rise and catastrophic failure of perhaps the founder of technology with the most pride of all: Elizabeth Holmes. Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow, wife of WeWork founder Adam Neumann is another entrant in this category and played by Anne Hathaway in We crashed.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, consider that these tech characters (the Adam Neumanns and Travis Kalanicks of the world) are also essentially the villains of the movies and shows they’re featured in. After all, if Neumann hadn’t run through billions and been forced out of his own company, there wouldn’t be a story to tell in Apple TV+. We crashed. The same is true for Uber founder Kalanick and Showtime’s Super pumped: the battle for Uber.
Is the fact that the public now sees these once lauded entrepreneurs as villains and criminals a sign of class consciousness about the growing awareness of the vast income inequality between tech executives and the average worker? Is it dissatisfaction with capitalism’s emphasis on business and profit over everything else? Anyway, maybe it’s good that the more obnoxious and arrogant tech brothers are no longer viewed as paragons of virtue and entrepreneurship, with the majority of people thinking “thanks for Uber and Facebook, now please move to the background forever”. and enjoy your billions alone.
Our list of the most obnoxious and arrogant tech brothers is a mix of movies and TV shows, which also mix real and fictional characters.
8 Silicon Valley – Richard Hendricks, Erich Bachman, Gavin Belson
HBO Silicon Valley ran for six seasons from 2014 and chronicled the rise, fall and failings of a fictional app called Pied Piper and its founder Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch). Richard was an employee of the fictional tech company Hooli, run by Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), who copied Pied Piper’s algorithm in an effort to beat Richard’s app to market. Richard and his team of programmers live in the incubator of tech entrepreneur Erich Bachman (TJ Miller) and while Bachman seems to have good intentions, he also throws up obstacles for Richard and his team. During the show, Richard attempts to secure venture capital funding for his app, is removed as CEO, and returns to the position of CEO. Throughout, he, Bachman, and Belson portray three different versions of the tech bro persona — the arrogant, the obnoxious, and the narcissistic.
Ironically, in real life, Middleditch turned out to be a bit of a bro himself when he went public that swinging saved his marriage. It was apparently news for his ex-wife, and the two are divorced. Miller also broke the law in a very technical way, and was charged with sexually assaulting his college girlfriend and making a bomb threat on an Amtrak train, and was arrested for assaulting an Uber driver.
seven Good Trouble – Evan Speck
good problem is a spin-off of The Fosters which follows the post-college adventures of Callie Adams-Foster (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana Adams-Foster (Cierra Ramirez). Mariana is a programmer who worked for the Spekulate company for a while. Spekulate CEO and founder Evan Speck romantically pursues Mariana, despite being involved with another Spekulate employee. Speck is considered a technological genius, and he pushes his way to get what he wants with his high opinion of himself and the characteristic narcissism of a technological brother. That said, Speck departs from the classic bro tech profile by suffering from social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
6 The Social Network – Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker
The social network came out in 2010 and chronicled the beginnings and rise of Facebook from when it was called The Facebook in a Harvard dorm to its move to Palo Alto and the involvement of Napster founder Sean Parker . This movie is littered with bro tech types from Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), to Parker (Justin Timberlake), to Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), to the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer). For the purposes of this article, we will focus on Zuckerberg and Parker. Zuckerberg is a classic technical brother. He runs Facebook the way he wants and doesn’t care who it might hurt (or whether it helped promote a disinformation campaign that led to the rise and eventual election of Donald Trump). Parker’s Big Sur wedding cost $10 million and ran into the California Coastal Commission because he failed to obtain the proper permits for the event.
5 Made for Love – Byron Gogol
HBO made for love follows the story of Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), who was married to a billionaire tech CEO named Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). The show begins when she leaves him after 10 years together in a huge virtual reality complex. Unfortunately for Hazel, her ex is a huge douchebag tech brother who implanted a device in his brain called “Made for Love” so he can see everything she sees and feel everything she feels. He tracks her every move to know where she is at all times, in this show that dissects abuse while remaining hilarious. If that isn’t obnoxious, arrogant, and highly technical, we don’t know what is.
4 Ex Machina – Nathan Bateman
A perfect example of the tech brother as a villain is Nathan Bateman (a great performance by Oscar Isaac) from the 2014 sci-fi movie Ex-Machina. Bateman is the billionaire founder of the fictional search engine Blue Book. Its search engine accounts for over 90% of all search traffic. With his multiple billions, Bateman begins to build AI robots with the goal of having them replace women and become the companions and servants of men. This is how Ava was born. Ava is an AI female robot whom Bateman tries to pass off as human.
3 Don’t Look Up – Peter Isherwell
Netflix’s 2021 Movie Don’t look up to the slogan, “based on truly possible events”, and is a satirical metaphor (and hyperbole) for the Trump administration, climate change, COVID-19 and how society has raised billionaire tech moguls. Two astronomers (Leo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) discover a comet on a collision course with Earth and try to get the government, the scientific community, the media and people in general to take them seriously, but they discover that no one don’t really care.
Instead, people get caught up in their own superficial pursuits. All characters are based on real people. Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) from the film is a mix of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. He is the CEO of Bash Cellular and a classic example of a tech brother. He prioritizes money over the climate crisis, is fascinated by space travel, and uses his business to sell his clients’ personal data as well as predict their deaths.
2 Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber – Travis Kalanick
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber is a new series on Showtime starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber who was ousted from his own company. Kalanick was forced to resign from Uber in 2017 after a series of privacy scandals as well as claims of sexual harassment and discrimination at the startup. In the series trailer, Gordon-Levitt as Kalanick says “I’m not a monster”. Well, the public might disagree with that statement after tech brother Kalanick’s antics came to light. Sure, Uber changed the way we get from place to place (and annoyed taxi drivers), but along the way, Kalanick’s high opinion of himself became so exaggerated that the only logical conclusion for so much arrogance and narcissism was implosion.
1 WeCrashed: Adam Neumann
AppleTV+ We crashed is a voyeuristic look at the founding, rise and fall of WeWork, its messianic founder Adam Neumann and his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow’s famously hungry cousin, Rebecka Paltrow Neumann. The sublime performances of Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway make We crashed must watch TV. It’s also impossible to truly capture everything that happened and all the billions of dollars Neumann spent as WeWork grew from an office-sharing startup to a company that wanted to manage the way people all live. aspects of their life.
Jared Leto’s The Pride of Adam Neumann is off the charts. Neumann considered himself a savior and created a cult atmosphere in his company. Adam was forced out of WeWork after a delayed IPO (the episode where the couple ditches the traditional S-1 in favor of a picture-book style presentation is truly stunning). He recently resurfaced as the CEO of a crypto credit start-up. Of course he did. What else would a technical brother of Neumann’s infamy do?
Aaron Sorkin still hopes to do The Social Network 2 with director David Fincher