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alec berg

Piperchat, prepositions and pant wetting

*spoilers*

coderag_s4_banners_piperchat.jpgOh golly!  Here’s my nonsensical adoration rant for this show. So here is just a little slice of my takeouts I loved from this episode. You know you have watched some quality comedy when the following happen; ( and in no particular order) laughing out loud, snorting(that embarrassing laugh) , beverages consumed whilst watching the show spurting out of your nose, laughing so hard that at 35 you pee yourself a little…and realise that your light bladder control pads now need to be worn whilst watching tv and not just at adult gymnastics classes. I LOVE THIS show. I have written about it all over this blog and did my first spec script on it and it has been a constant source of hilarity. All elements of this show and amazing. Direction, acting, writing – please watch it!  I haven’t laughed so much since the episode where they annihilate and are rude to the VC’s in season 2.

It may seem trivial – but prepositions are important. This is stressed by Richard who explains to Dinesh that he once threw up IN his pants… that’s right, IN not ON. The description of this made me cry with laughter. The nightmarish manifestations of Richard’s anxiety know no limits and it is relatable to those of us who embody some of these nervous traits. The snappy comments that Richard and Dinesh fire at each other is so childishly funny…

An ongoing tScreen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.45.37 PMheme is the continual hope of success that sticks in the valley. It is fleeting, short lived and seemingly unattainable. The episode largely focuses on Piperchat – the only workable component of Pied Piper that remains. And so ensues the rise and fall of the CEO – and whilst I won’t ruin the enjoyment of this playing out it is interesting to see similar situations that happened to Ricahrd being mirrored with Dinesh. I often wonder how many new start up CEO’s crawl into a bathtub and want to cry! (or even script writer wannabes..or anyone for that matter!)

The living room has been the stage for a lot of funny moments in the show. I will sum up another fave scene with this picture :

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.41.30 PM

A final visual. This shot is fantastic – Mike Judge is a dream director.

Ready to pounce like an internet panther

null
No, I wasn’t familiar with that phrase either until last night’s episode of Silicon Valley.
When I heard this escape out of Richard’s “para- paranoid” mouth, a phrase used to describe him by Dinesh during this episode, it made me laugh out loud! I erupted so hard that I choked on a piece of steak . I was coughing so badly and then I started to panic – I had to go in with my fingers and start an extraction plan to fix the situation. It was rather traumatic. The phrase is still making me chuckle to myself this morning.

The reason for the giggling is because anyone who has some type of anxiety (me) often forget how ridiculous we can sound when things gain momentum and start snowballing. The things that escape our mouths are often quite funny to others when we are in the zone of catastrophising. We really don’t mean it to be entertaining and often it seems to take people quite some time to gauge that we are close to having a meltdown!

Richard and I share this super power…
nullSo why was Richard tailspinning? Well, we already know that Richard has some form of an anxiety disorder and his paranoia and stress levels have been building up and affecting his health recently (night sweats.)
Due to the recent unfolding of events between Endframe and Pied Piper, Richard is feeling remorseful about a security expert (Seth) that gets fired from Endframe due to the covert actions of the Pied Piper group. Richards’s guilty conscious sees him confess to Seth about how his company hacked into their system. Seth doesn’t handle the news particularly well and bursts into anger which is directed at Gilfoyle. Richard meets with Seth again to ensure that he definitely won’t do anything to compromise Pied Piper’s system and bake-off with Endframe. After Richard inadvertently reinforces again that Gifloyle simply didn’t care about the whole situation, we see Seth have a verbally explosive conversation with Gilfoyle which likened him to having a form of  “angry tourettes”.

The episode was full of wildly funny things, of course it was, it was directed by Alec Berg and the show just won the Critic’s Choice award for comedy duhhh.

I hope Richard makesnull it though the season without having some stress induced cardiac attack…I mean some people may find his anxiety endearing, like me, so there is hope for us all! He’s only stressed because he cares people!

Just watch the episode!

Renege the negging and renegotiate

nullWhat else could the Pied Paper gang do?

There’s nothing like a pending lawsuit with a major tech corporation (http://www.piedpiper.com/blog/2015/4/13/the-hooli-lawsuit)threatening the livelihood of your upstart and reputation to make you backtrack at the rate of a petaflop.

On reflection, it would seem that ostracising the entire group of investors interested in Pied Piper was not the wisest move – but it certainly was another lesson to learn. Entrepreneurial Erlich is out this episode and we see him as the bad mannered Bachman left trying to repair the irreparable damage caused previously at the VC meetings.

The lawsuit places a dark cloud over the team and as a result we see the valuations and term sheets being reneged – with the biggest blow being that of Raviga. This forces Richard and Erlich to embark on the formidable task of going back into the companies they were so brash and audacious towards to try and renegotiate and retract some of their negging antics.

We see them descend nearly as quickly as the ascent in the previous episode. They certainly get a taste of their own medicine here where we see the full extent of their colourful and wildly creative insults from the client’s perspective – one client recalls being called a “chode gargling fuck toilet”. Is it any wonder they reneged their term sheets and were reluctant to give them a second chance?! After all, term sheets aren’t legally binding documents…

Eventually Elrich takes some ownership of his poor behaviour and during the final client visit expresses some remorse “Thank you for allowing me to come in here today and be vulnerable and to apologise”.  A blanket statement which doesn’t quite cut it – I mean how exactly does one say sorry articulately for putting their balls on a table during a meeting? Unfortunately the client is not so impressed, nor able to forgive and forget it would seem. Finally we see the client  defiantly say “You’re going to watch me do the same thing!” and proceeds to unzip his fly…. An eye for an eye or in this case – balls for balls?!

I feel that the Pied Piper gang have read this article – 8 Great Pieces Of Startup Advice From 4 Silicon Valley Stars Under 30 – and so far we see these challenges and topics surfacing in the episodes – however I’d like to offer 2 more pieces of advice that are missing in this article. One was highlighted in the this episode – never ever let your team get “brain raped” translated in more polite terms as, don’t let people steal your creative ideas and content. Props to Jared and Elrich for stopping this meeting where the so called brain raping was nulltaking place. The meeting did indeed seem to be more of a “steal your start up” meeting rather than one of flattery and interest.

The other is never go “full neg” (extremely negative to the point of irrecoverable damage)

No doubt Pied Piper experienced the first of many rude awakenings indeed!

So if I could give the guys at Pied Piper an affirmation of hope or a quote of the day it would be from Mitch Kapor – founder of Lotus Development who said “Entrepreneurship is not only a mindset but a skillset.” – And in Elrich’s case, a very distinctive skillset.

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