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pied piper

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.

Silicon Valley spec script

If you would like to check out my interview and watch my spec script on silicon valley links are below. To celebrate I have pasted some of my fave snippets of the show! Yay and thanks x

http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/10/25/watch-tv-spec-reading-of-the-silicon-valley-tv-show-by-jennifer-mcauliffe/

and some favourite moments…

Carpal Tunnel, Coding & Condors

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“I don’t code anymore…carpal tunnel”
Last night we saw Erlich Bachman throw on his carpal tunnel wrist support braces, pin his curly locks out of his face , sit on an exercise ball to get comfortable and commence coding in an “all hands on deck” situation for Pied Piper team.
The former carpal tunnel sufferer joined the Pied Piper team in an attempt keep the stream of the Condor egg up and running on their homemade servers ( as it was receiving a lot of traffic) until the rescue team arrive and cut the feed.
Jared takes a mindful moment and revels in the teamwork being witnessed, expressing it as ‘magical’ and ‘ intoxicating’. He rejoices in knowing that Erlich couldn’t deny his call to action when the team needed him most. Erlich’s reponse to this is a little less magical where he cuts the moment short by saying: “Jared, respectfully, shut the fuck up. I’m working.”

I would like to take a moment and deep dive into the true cause behind Erlich’s carpal tunnel syndrome. For those of you unfamiliar with such a condition, it where a nerve is compressed in the wrist which causes pain in the hands/wrists, numbness, pins and needles and movement restriction. There is a common belief that it occurs and effects those who work on computers for extended hours at a time. Overuse injuries are common for anyone who works on a computer and I suspect it resonates with RSI (repetitive strain injury).

Now, if anyone was going to suffer such a condition it would be those who work in IT. However we recently had a workplace health and safety lady assess us at my workplace and she mentioned that were a whole host of reasons as to why someone would suffer this.Take a look at this article here about it being a workplace myth 
That leads me to suspect that this type of overuse injury is from Erlich’s, shall we say, co-curricular activities and interests…

tumblr_nq00s0H8ck1ttqf8xo5_250I think we all know just how annoying it can be to get a lighter to work.Your fingers can turn red from the flicking action. This movement and pressure on the hands and fingers is abnormal. Then, there are the angles. The way in which your hand grips the apparatus and then holds it there for extended periods of time certainly couldn’t help the carpal tunnel cause.

Not to mention that ‘gardening’ in general would no doubt be another factor in his diagnosis…all that pruning, planting,digging,cutting…

potroom

I also suspect his noodle obsession and use of chopsticks would also be something that contributed to his carpal tunnel. That scissoring motion of the hands is surely jarring.
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Back to the show…

The conclusion of the episode pulled at my heart strings because I can’t endure any more grief thrown at Richard.

After he gets off the phone with Monica and tells the guys “I just got fired,” – Erlich then follows on from this with . “And what about me?

Exactly…what about Erlich?  Erlich for CEO?

This ending left me thinking about this comment made by Erlich at an earlier time.
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As much as I love Richard maybe he just doesn’t have the asshole factor needed for the harsh realities of Silicon Valley…

Is there truth to this statement by Erlich?

Time will tell…

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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Gilfoyle the Great

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aka “ Fucking Ninja”

It has been remiss of me that I haven’t blogged about Gilfoyle. This will just be a short note but an important one nonetheless.

It’s no secret that I am an avid Silicon Valley fan. I took an instant liking to Richard, my feelings there are undeniable however misplaced they may be. My affections are strong and ever growing for Erlich and more so Erlich and Richard as a duo. A true partnership indeed.

Gilfoyle is what I would describe as …an acquired taste.

Our resident LaVeyan Satanist holds the role of System Architecture/Networking and Security at Pied Piper. It is probably best surmised here by Gilfoyle himself and provides a nice introduction to his personality.

Sure he’s self proclaimed and oozes sarcasm almost always delivers most sentences in a deadpan manner – but I felt that there was turning point in episode 7 of this season. Perhaps it was the encroaching darkness surrounding Pied Piper, the string of bad luck that now saw them at odds with EndFrame – everything seemed dire for the team. Only in this type of an environment could the dark prince of the gang rise and thrive. And rise he did.

Morals for Gilfoyle would at best be classed as “loose”.This approach meant Gilfoyle had no ethical dilemma taking the CEO of EndFrame’s password during a meeting that was a complete disaster. He was able to acquire the necessary information that would potentially save their backsides, regardless of the manner in which he was able to do so being questionable. (but hey if you are stupid enough to leave company intel on display…)

Up until this point I thought he was rather self serving and I believe that status still remains ,however he was definitely on team Richard and team Pied Piper. Yay

I viewed his actions as risky but someone in a start up business has to take risks and it certainly isn’t going to be Richard or Jared. He stepped up and it only cements his value to the group.

He may wear a black hat but someone has to. Go forth and continue your greatness Gilfoyle.

As a side note  – I totally would get on with everyone in that hacker hostel… I could listen to my heavy metal music with Gifloyle. Richard and I could encourage each other’s neurosis and all things anxiety and IBS. Dinesh and I could discuss our general lack of awareness in regards to the opposite sex. Jared and I could plan until the cows come home, making processes and SWOT-ing  all day and as for Erlich..well… how could any lady resist such a striking man.

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Ready to pounce like an internet panther

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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.

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.)

Strange Attractions in Silicon Valley

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Take a look ladies – what a visual delight. (…or so I thought)

Today I made a comment that was not well received at all. I am absolutely perplexed as to why others didn’t share the same viewpoint as me. I had all the irrefutable evidence I could come up with and still I couldn’t get anybody to shift their opinion.The topic was around TV and characters that we find attractive – a pretty commonplace topic for light relief. Scandal’s Jake came out of the gates first and sure, I totally get it. Hey, I was a fan way back from when he was on Felicity. Jax Teller, Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, Guy from Arrow etc etc. I don’t disagree with these at all.

However…

It’s just I shifted the conversation from an unrealistic romantic day dreaming head space into one that might be more realistic. Realistic in terms of this TV character being potential in the real world. A character you could actually date. Clearly none of us are Olivia Pope in status with access to high powered men and I certainly am not that well dressed or have the ability to handle stress as well as she does. Forget our zombie friends –  they wouldn’t have the time for you. I guess that would be the equivalent of men today in the dating world saying they can’t commit (because there’s a zombie apocalypse and surviving kinda takes priority over you ..ouch) Let’s not start on our bad boy men of Sons of Anarchy. You get the point.

I blurted out that Richard Hendricks, played by Thomas Middleditch,was someone I would date in the real world. The responses were so reactionary it upset me! Why Why why? I felt like this blog post should of been called in defence of Richard Hendricks!

He’s nerdy – given. Intelligent, thoughtful, determined and thinks outside the box as seen here (alright socially awkward and bumbling and rife with nervous energy) but it’s all endearing right!!?!

Wouldn’t you prefer someone highly alert and tuned in rather than someone disengaged and arrogant?  Let us not forget the overarching gold star of all his traits, he is an inventor. A pioneer. He followed his dreams which means ambition ladies! Goal making and focus.  Pied Piper indeed!

I get that he can’t make decisions overly well but I can. I am far too impulsive for my own good and sure, I can’t handle stress well either but at least I know our medicinal cupboard would always be heavily stocked with IBS drugs. He would let me talk freely about my  nervous poo pains without dismissing me like some other males might. Empathy is what he could show you. Empathy because he can relate to the panic attacks

Moving the relationship forward could see an involvement in stress reducing activities like yoga. Imagine the depth and growth the relationship would see whilst overcoming these issues. I also just need to add that he would understand my need to play skyrim – if only to listen to the atmospheric music. Designated gaming time. Bliss.

Anyway I am standing by my decision, so much so it may inspire me to move there and just stalk out nerdy,cute guys?

Back to the real world and if you haven’t watched Silicon Valley it is so funny and well written. Do yourself a favour and watch it and who knows you may start seeing the many attractive elements of all the cast and characters.

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