Sympathy Post: Our Condolences, Jian-Yang

Erlich has shown great generosity in letting Pied Piper continue to use his incubator as offices, long past the point when most companies acquire their own offices. This can obscure the fact that there are other incubees living in the Hacker Hostel, working on their own apps, including the talented Jian-Yang (last name unclear).

After many months of hard work under Erlich’s mentorship, Jian-Yang’s app to help parents find uncrowded playgrounds (a noble aim!) was finally ready to pitch to our friends at Raviga. But despite all his hard work—and a last-minute pivot in response to some legitimate concerns of Monica’s—the app has sadly failed to acquire funding. We at Pied Piper wish to offer support to Jian-Yang at this moment that all tech entrepreneurs experience and is nonetheless always quite hard.

But chin up, young fellow! The Jian-Yang I know—and am occasionally able to successfully converse with—is marked by perseverance, notably in ignoring Erlich’s requests regarding trash disposal. You’ll get ‘em next time, Jian Yang!

We’re Headed for Arbitration!

Since the day that Hooli first sued us, it seemed as if that obscenely baseless legal action would drag on forever. And this was indeed Hooli’s intent: to strangle a new company as it lay in its crib, with our last sight being the racist tattoos on the needle-scarred forearms of our foster-mother’s boyfriend du jour, flexing as our windpipe collapsed. But once again, I digress! “Close the window,” Jared!

The point is, I was flabbergasted to learn that our dauntless CEO Richard Hendricks has prevailed upon “Darth” Belson (I have nicknamed him in this manner, after the “Star Wars” villain, to indicate his unscrupulous nature) to convert this suit into binding arbitration! This will bring about a resolution within weeks, rather than a year or more. And I have no doubt that with our case in the steady (for almost six months now) hands of noted litigator Pete Monahan, it will go our way!

Yes, despite our recent setbacks with brain rape, with office space, with live-streaming and with deleting vast quantities of pornography, I see light at the end of the tunnel! Sometimes a great legal mind fallen on hard times is willing to waive their fee! Sometimes California Child Protective Services makes an unannounced visit at precisely the right time!  As Anne Frank famously said, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” So onward to victory!

The Importance of Strong Security Protocols in the Age of Hacking

Hi, there. This is Richard Hendricks, CEO of Pied Piper. I’m writing today as a guest blogger. Because we have something very serious to discuss.

We live in a dangerous time. A very, very dangerous time. We’ve all heard of the Jonathan James hack of NASA. The Vladimir Levin attack on Citibank. The Stuxnet worm. The North Korean Sony hack. The Lulzsec Sony hack. The bottom line is: No one anywhere is safe, especially not Sony. And these are only the tip of the “danger iceberg.”

Twenty years ago, DDOS meant you were typing the operating system DOS and the “d” key stuck. No more. Now, today’s tech CEO is surrounded by a host of threats. The botnets of Russian criminal groups. Chinese military hackers. Network security specialists you accidentally got fired, who are angry. Very, very angry.

Only the strongest of security protocols can possibly defend against a deadly misstep in this modern digital minefield. There must be regular updates and patches for all software. All computers must be air-gapped. Wifi? Buh-bye. Hardlines only. All employees’ cell phones must be stored in Faraday cages, or better yet, a lead-lined box in a freezer. Blackout curtains, unless you want camera drones shoulder-surfing your passwords. Vary your routes to and from work. Ideally, daily polygraphs and invasive body searches for all employees, vendors and visiting “friends” and “relatives,” although admittedly this might not fly in the culture of the Bay Area.

A great man once said, “All paranoid fears have a basis in fact.” I won’t tell you who, because I don’t know who is reading this or what advantage over me they might derive from that information. I will say this: Eternal vigilance may be the price of freedom, but it is also the price of doing business in today’s technology sector.