Just as their logo was scrubbed of the unsavory “snack dicks” in favor of a sleeker, more simplistic design, so too has Pied Piper’s work environment received a substantial upgrade under the helm of new CEO Jack Barker. No longer confined to Erlich’s “shit shed” of an incubator, PP’s new digs include a massive open-office floorplan with catered micro-kitchen, pool table, and of course good feng shui courtesy of Hiroki. Thanks, Hiroki!
But as no one except me once said, “mo’ space, mo’ problems.” There isn’t an immediate butting of heads between Richard and Jack over the matter, but it does represent a fundamental difference in philosophies, which Jack pulls Richard into his office to discuss. There, Jack explains how companies like Google will spend money in order to attract the best possible employees to create the best possible product, then shows Richard this thing:
As you can see, it’s called the “Conjoined Triangles of Success” and it’s a bullshit new school business tactic that Barker himself invented. What it will end up proving to be is a means for a sales team to come in and steamroll Richard’s platform, reducing his revolutionary idea of a free, consumer-facing file compression system into the most basic, sellable product for businesses. Which ultimately becomes an actual metal storage box jammed into a rack-mounted server in the back of a data center—the exact object Richard uses as a metaphorical example of a “bad idea that’s fucking stupid.”
Meanwhile, Jared is learning the hard way about the robust nature of California’s landlord-tenant laws, finding himself homeless after an Airbnb renter refuses to leave Jared’s condo despite not having the money to stay there. This of course is a bastardization of the actual laws, but without this dilemma, Jared wouldn’t have been able to deliver this, perhaps the most Jaredy of Jared lines thus far, when asked where he is going to stay due to the potential of eviction litigation taking upwards if a year:
“I always have my trick. I simply imagine that my skeleton is me, and that my body is my house. That way, I am always home.”
In an incredibly forced scene, Erlich mirrors Jared’s predicament by finding himself unable to kick Jin Yang out of the house in order to provide incubation for a new start-up that has to move in way sooner than later. But at least it results in Jin Yang, who is Chinese, stuffing the kimono that Erlich offered to him as a parting gift down the garbage disposal.
Over at Hooli, Gavin Belson is fed up with Hooliing his own name, per his morning routine, and coming across the media slams against him. He forces his recently laid-off Nucleus engineering team to fix this problem by altering the algorithm, holding promised severance packages over their heads to keep them from not obliging. During this polishing up of the search engine, one of the engineers deduces a way to crack Richard’s unpatented “middle out” programming, the million-dollar technology driving the Pied Piper platform. (Because I’m always looking for excuses to link to it, here is its origin. #TheGreatestDickJokeEverTold)
So while everyone is looking to modernize and stay relevant, they all seem to ignoring the various dangers lurking ahead—dangers that might be avoided if things were done more the old fashioned way. Like working out of more humble offices, abstaining from unregulated income opportunities, or keeping moral compasses facing northward. Or maybe even paying $150,000 to watch your horse fully penetrate another horse to completion. Alternative ways of doing things are for suckers anyway.
Aaaannnnnd cue the ever-so-pertinent credits song, this time about things going straight into the shitter: