Silicon Valley Review Season 3 Episode 9
Episode 9 brought us nothing but a funny caterpillar-like bowl that Ehrlich smoked out of towards the end (seriously where are the bongs?). As Pied Piper and Rivega celebrate 500,000 downloads, Richard, Monica, and Jared become more worried about the much more telling metric of an app’s success: Daily Active Users (DAUs), which is hovering around 19,000. That’s like when you’re out at night and you think you go home with a 500,000 but really you go home with a 19,000—rough… maybe tomorrow night? Everyone catches an “L” now and then. So what to do? Ehrlich spent a large sum of the company’s money on an Apple-esque platitude-rich commercial comparing Pied Piper to tables: “Tables are made so you can sit down and do something—or nothing.” But after doing some market research, Richard and Monica find that in fact, the platform is too smart for the average civilian (dumb jock) who doesn’t understand the technological nuances that define Pied Piper’s revolutionary technology. This could have been foreseen had Richard listened to Monica, the only non-engineer to try out the Beta.
So Richard decides to sink the rest of the company’s budget to the guys hitting the streets and trying to teach the average user what the technology means. The only person to latch on to these tutorials is a nice old black lady named Bernice, an interesting but necessary juxtapositional character to the cold, Satanic, and robotic engineers of Pied Piper. These tutorials introduce characters that include Pipey, the Pied Piper, Piper, the long-lost sibling of Clippy that Mom and Dad sent to a boarding school at age 4 after Pipey ate cat food out of the pet’s bowl. All of this fail, of course, so in the face of Richard shutting down the company, Jared buys 7,000 DAUs from a click-farm in Bangladesh, with a stipulation for 1,000 more every day that week. What does it say about our country that they value results and money more than the journey to getting there? Wasn’t the journey good enough for them?
All the while “the box” is back, as Gavin Belson and Action Jack team up at Hooli. Will this simplistic design be the nail in Pied Piper’s laptop case?
I expect that the company won’t shut down because then the show would shut down. A cruel joke. I can’t see them coming out of this well off, but I expect the company to be set in a new direction come the end of the next episode.