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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!

Comments (5,533)

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  1. my question is this: does searching compressed files exist? i could use this technology. if anyone has such a capability, please reach out to stevejbyun@hotmail.com. if you have developed such a technology, i would love to use your services.

    1. It’s just a TV show! They’ve been making fun of ‘geeks’ for years and now look, they’re making TV shows about them!

  2. It is so funny when Erlich tries to explain things to him and he still get them worng and Erlich cusses. He either says "Got-dammit" Or "Motherfucker". We do not burn trash. What about garbage?

  3. All the best Jian Yang. Hopefully the skill sets that you picked up while at Hacker Hostel will provide the opportunities to enhance your app.

    Sorting and prioritizing trash for a sorting algorithm.
    Late night Taco Bell crying session runs for time management.
    Unsponsored saving of the wildlife and rain forest parties for raising venture capital and code validation.

  4. Would be the best thing in the world if the Pied Piper team and his rivals would respond to the comments in this blog. A direct contact with the fans would be amazing!

  5. We LOVE Silicon Valley! Being in the IT industry, we can relate to quite a few instances from the show which makes it all the more interesting!


  6. Have you guys know ‘Aviato’ is a actual browser that develop by google?
    And wtf is Erlich invented same name called ‘Aviato’ who sold to a airplane company?
    Somebody must know something i dont

    1. Ehrlich: This is Palo Alto, Jian-Yang. People are lunatics about smoking here. We don’t enjoy all the freedoms you have in China.

Problem 1:

Single Points of Failure

Libraries are vulnerable to losing their collection because all of their books are contained at a single location. Say, for instance, that there was a fire, or a flood, or a vandal defaced John James Audubon’s masterpiece Birds of America by giving all the Warblers human genitalia. Even worse, if the vandal recruited bird haters from other neighborhoods and got ahold of all the copies of the book in existence, it could be lost crude doodles forever. It would be a tragedy on par with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria.

The Problem

Because Birds of America is centralized in one public location, it’s susceptible to permanent deletion. The same goes for content on the Internet — storing all your family photos on a single account in a cloud service? They could all be wiped away if someone hacked your account or corrupted the host servers.

The Solution

Our solution: In our decentralized library, we would duplicate and distribute multiple copies of Birds of America to your neighbors — if you need a copy, you would just go to your neighbor’s house. As our Pipernet town of mobile devices grows, so do the number of neighbors who might have a copy of your book. And the more potential copies there are available, the more secure the book is.

That’s what our new internet will allow you to do too: spread your personal files on devices across the world, so they’re completely safe from bad actors manipulating or deleting them.


All copies of your files in a well-known, hackable location = RISKY!

Files copied and distributed to multiple locations = SAFE!

Problem 2:

No Privacy

In order to check out books, you must have a library card — an ID that links back to your real world identity. That library card reveals all the books you’ve ever checked out, where you returned them, and whether they were returned on time.

The Problem

The tech titans collect data profiles on us too, and theirs are far more comprehensive. They amass thousands of personal data points by tracking our activities in both the online and physical worlds.

Users don’t own or control their own data, so it can be used against them. Take, for instance, Richard’s lawyer Pete Monahan, who had his probation revoked when the state retrieved his library records. Which was… probably a good idea. But for this metaphor’s purposes: bad that they can access that information!

On the web, our data profile is far more detailed, the laws around privacy even looser, and more freedoms are at stake. For example, what if Hooli sold your search data to an insurance company who then denied you coverage because you’ve HooliSearch-ed “kindest Palo Alto based Cardiologist” a few too many times?

The Solution

Replace library cards with anonymous identification cards which are impossible to connect to your real world identity. Instead of using a library card (linked to your name, address, etc.) to check out books, you would swipe a nondescript card (containing no personal details). Your activity would be tracked to keep the system stable, but your identity would not be siphoned and sold. I, for example, would no longer check out books as "Donald Dunn," but rather the nom de guerre "h3w0vbk37vpm."

That’s what our new internet will allow you to do too: use its apps and services without compromising your privacy.


Trading your identity and data for online services = RISKY!

Using services anonymously so nobody can target you = SAFE!

Problem 3:

Censorship and Manipulation

Because a town’s library is run by a small group of administrators, they could theoretically decide what books are available to its people. They could even decide to ban Birds of America, depriving young birders of Audubon’s elegant illustrations, pored over page by page under a government-issued blanket after lights out, giving you hope that even a slender-framed, shivering boy could grow to be as majestic as a Hooded Merganser.

The Problem

On the internet, multinational corporations can screen content, or even “adapt” their services to fit the local government’s requests. In both libraries and on the Web, we’re susceptible to data being censored or manipulated by intermediaries.

The Solution

A peer-to-peer lending system backed up by a fully public ledger, allowing you to send and receive books freely to anybody in the world without worrying about censorship or interference. Want to add Catcher in the Rye, Fahrenheit 451, or your controversial essay on Audubon’s coloring techniques? No problem, even if the town surrounded you with pitchforks to ban them, these vital texts would be available to share neighbor to neighbor, impossible to delete.

That’s what our new internet will allow you to do too: exchange messages and files directly with their intended receiver, disperse ideas and information free from threats of censorship.


Pushing all transactions through a central authority = OPPRESSIVE!

Establishing a peer to peer exchange system based on an immutable public ledger = FREE!

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