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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 :

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

Just like Jared

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“He’s the most cheerful person I’ve ever heard quote Hitler’ –  Dinesh.

And doesn’t that just embody who Jared is at this core?

What I found most pleasing about last night’s episode (apart from Richard in a suit which was just tantalising) was the ever wonderful Jared Dunn and his eternal optimism.

Last night we saw  Pied Piper team be delivered copious amounts of paperwork for their legal case – a “classic document dump” .  They have the painstaking task of going through all emails in case they discover anything for their case. On arrival of the documents we hear Jared quote Nazi propaganda film maker Leni Riefenstahl (an ongoing joke about his character) “Everybody get to work,”  “Work will set you free! It’s a triumph of the will.” This then results in the above quote by Dinesh about him being the happiest person to quote Hitler…

With Season 2 sadly drawing to a close, I have now had ample time to conclude that Jared is in fact the best employee at Pied Piper. Companies need to start hiring people that are just like Jared. I would go so far as to say he is the one true constant, the voice of reason, the backbone of the company if you will. He is without a doubt, Pied Piper’s true north as he tirelessly steers the Pied Piper gang back on course.

So what are my reasons for this?

Jared  formerly assisted CEO/tech giant Gavin Belson but gave this up as he saw promise in Pied Piper’s algorithm and was inspired by Richard’s actions in turning down the  $10 million acquisition offer. This movitated Jared to leave Hooli and work for Pied Piper.

What the group dismiss about Jared are the traits I embrace and I suspect that any hiring manager would welcome these. He is beyond polite. Perhaps this acts as a detriment as he often is not assertive enough but this has shifted throughout season 2. Politeness coupled with a sincere and innocent honesty are the traits that shine from Jared.

Such traits are depicted here in his intuitive comments on observing and understanding their CEO.
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One of my favourite moments of Jared is where he  expresses his concern towards Richard in regards to his escalating stress and night sweats

SBVO

Jared is both interesting and interested.

He has a wealth of knowledge on a huge spectrum of topics and is incredibly resourceful. Most episodes are sprinkled with gems from Jared where he tactfully corrects or provides additional information and facts.

It is hard to find an employee that displays such empathy and has a thoughtful and considerate approach to the welfare of his colleagues.

I also feel that Jared is excessively hard on himself – a trait most high achievers have!

His ever evolving approach to Pied Piper’s business plan and strategy is commendable.He is constantly working and reworking  processes and systems to assist the team.The best example of this was in a recent episode of implementing the business tool S.W.O.T

another attempt to utilise a business tool was SCRUM

You can apply these methods to so many things – give it a whirl. It’s one way to kill an afternoon at work…

A wonderful extension of his character is his blog which he maintains for Pied Piper which you can enjoy here http://www.piedpiper.com/blog/2015/6/7/were-headed-for-arbitration

I urge all of you to be a little bit more like Jared or at least be tolerant of these types. Jared may not be the most liked or respected in the group but he is without a doubt the necessary glue that holds the group together.

Go on try it – be like Jared – Imagine the difference it could make to your workplace…

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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.

Entrepreneurial Erlich

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If you ever wondered how to present yourself or a business strategy to the elitist companies of Silicon Valley – look no further. Last night’s return of HBO’s Silicon Valley saw Erlich Bachman demonstrate a refreshing approach on the art of effective persuasion and communication during a negotiation. I see his strategy in three parts – innovative, invincible and impertinent.

When I think of Silicon Valley (the city) I immediately think of the word innovation. I can’t think of a more innovative approach than that of Erlich and Richard in their quest for Pied Piper’s valunullation process. I really feel that some of the key players in the tech world would be proud of their “thinking outside of the box” approach. Perhaps at the heart of the Pied Piper gang they embrace and uphold these quotes by Steve Jobs on innovation and Mark Zuckerberg on risk taking. As the episode unfolded, so too, did their innovative strategy of insults and their risk taking behaviours. I strongly believe that Erlich is the type of person who would have these  as affirmation cards in his wallet!

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Let’ s take a look at this newly adopted, fresh and contemporary business strategy

1) Innovative – it is often said that innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organisation – we see this in full force as Richard and Elrich have the ability to identify early on that the companies valuing them are in fact ‘negging’ them and as a result of this they develop an original strategy to tackle the rest of their meetings which lead to…

2) Invincible – Know your worth people. Nothing wrong with a touch of quiet confidence is there!? “We’re three-foot cocks covered in Elvis dust!” – eloquently articulated here by Elrich.

3) Impertinent* Note: follow Erlich’s  lead and not Richard’s. They each have their own skill set and this sits firmly in Elrich’s domain as demonstrated by the following insults generated in the meetings:

“Your muffins smell like shit, so do your ideas. One of you is the least attractive person I’ve ever seen, and I’m not going to say who.”

“I think what I’m seeing is the human equivalent of a flaccid penis.”

“Your logo looks like a sideways vagina. I find that to be racist, don’t you?”

It appears the saying ‘treat them mean keep them keen’ has some plausibility here in the realms of Silicon Valley.

It seems evident that “being an asshole” is a recurrent theme of the show and perhaps to be more specific, it really seems to be focusing on how to finesse the ‘art’ of being an asshole and how it is imperative that one embodies asshole-ish elements in such a climate. What a personal journey indeed – especially for Richard. There is nobody better than Elrich to guide him through this. Leading by example has always been a valuable entrepreneurial trait.

I will leave you with, in my opinion, the best of Bachman’s business tips to those of us who are the Richard’s of the world…

‘Be an asshole. That’s why he’s a billionaire. Because he knows how and when to be an asshole.” – Erlich discussing Peter Gregory to Richard

I hope Richard finds a happy medium between being his typical socially awkward self and that of an asshole. I look forward to embarking on this journey with them.

( A random thought…In the lead up to the season commencing, Mike Judge said we would see the ‘Rise of Richard’ which perhaps  could be interpreted as the the ‘Rise of Dick’  – the rise of dick behaviour, being a dick and embracing other asshole qualities or perhaps even a literal rise of Richard with Monica. Only time will tell.)

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