The Not Hotdog App from HBO’s Silicon Valley Is Real

May 15, 2017

2:20 pm

HBO’s Silicon Valley has been touted as one of the funniest shows on TV right now. However, Bay Area entrepreneurs and startup founders are quick to point out that the show is remarkably accurate when it comes its portrayal of the tech world. Founder disputes, tech pivots, and hostile takeovers are all integral parts of the series that were lifted from real life. But this time, real life is taking a page out of the Silicon Valley book.

In last night’s episode, one of the characters revealed an app that, while it was supposed to be the “Shazam of food,” turned out to simply be an app that could identified if something was or was not a hot dog. Well, apparently, life imitates art a lot more than you might think, as the “Not Hotdog” app can now be found in the app store. Yes, really.

While figuring out whether or not something is a hot dog should be reserved for your eyes and your eyes only, the technology in this app could prove helpful in developing a “Shazam for Food” in the future. After all, if it can detect hot dogs, who knows what potential lies within those lines of code!

To make matters even more confusing, the actor who plays Jian-Yang, the creator of the app, appeared on Tech at Bloomberg to announce the launch of the undeniably real app to the world in true tech fashion.

In the golden age of television, it was only a matter of time before the tech community starting see the potential for innovative ideas. Was this just a marketing campaign to get the show more attention? Almost certainly. However, it does open the door for more innovators, entrepreneurs, and startup founders to think to themselves, “Is a BatMobile a viable means of transportation and could I get it funded?”

Read more about new apps and startups here on Tech.Co

Photo: Flickr / Keith Cooper

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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