A Piper’s Last Song

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Dear readers, a COO never hopes to write a goodbye like this. I always thought Pied Piper would outlive me by centuries, lasting at least until Richard’s great-great granddaughter steps down as CEO when she, like King Edward VIII, finds true love. I have given over three dozen eulogies in my life and this one is the hardest yet. Watching our great company close its doors feels like how it must have felt to witness the papyrus scrolls in the Library of Alexandria slowly curl up among the flames. Richard’s vision was well on its way to changing the future of technology, but now all we have are charred remains and sweet memories.

I want to take a moment to address those who are sharpening their pitchforks and pulling out their joke books to try to kick Richard while he’s down. I’ve read what some of you jerks have said on the internet and you ought to wash your mouths out with lighter fluid. It’s been the greatest gift of my life to watch Richard grow from a boy into a man, and a noble one at that. Richard was our Churchill, our Charlemagne, our Odysseus, and he tied himself to the mast as we all went mad with the Sirens’ songs echoing around us.

I wonder if Richard remembers the night I knew our friendship would be eternal – it was truly one of the best nights of my life. Richard needed a place to stay, and he graciously offered to stay at my condo. I gave him my room, and then in the middle of the night, he kicked his sock foot out from under the covers. Luckily, I had I tiptoed into the room to refill the humidifier with the Brita, and I spotted his cold, lost little foot, and I tucked it back in. Because that’s all I could ever do– support our noble leader in the simplest, smallest way possible, knowing in my heart that it was making a difference. Now I must support him from afar as our company beaches itself on the shores of history.

I wish the Academy would get back to me about screening the Pied Piper In Memoriam slideshow I’ve made for this year’s awards show. All I want is a little closure in a public forum – surely they understand that. I’ll miss walking in the doors at Pied Piper every morning, turning on the lights, giving the bullpen a quick Swiffer, and emptying all the recycle bins so the custodial staff wouldn’t strain their backs. I’ll miss turning on my laptop and checking my emails, and adding the party parrot reaction to all the previous night’s Slack messages, and writing this blog for you, dear readers. But most of all, I’ll miss working every day with the best and smartest people in the world. Pied Piper Forever.

Love,
Jared

Are You Ready For RussFest?

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Sup motherfuckers? Russ Hanneman here. I made my lawyer put some teeny tiny fine print on the contract that I get to use Pied Piper’s site to advertise my sick festival. And those nerds are super busy setting up their internet for me, anyways. So I’ve got the keys, and I’m driving this bad boy straight to the desert. You saw my promo video, right? So you get it. This is gonna be the mother of all festivals. The MILF of all festivals. RussFest.

Tickets are still available, so if you’re hot, you should come. Don’t know if you’re hot? Okay, bullshit answer but quick solve for you: take a sec and lower the brightness on your laptop screen, all the way, keep going, until it’s black. Now look at your own face in the reflection. Would you fuck that? Be objective here. Yes? A definite yes? Okay then go buy tickets to my festival. If the answer is no, put the brightness back up ASAP and go get yourself a snack or some hemorrhoid cream or something. I don’t care.

Everything at RussFest is going to be fucking amazing. I mean I really hope it will be. My new 
tequila, Tres Comas, is the sponsor, so there’s gonna be unlimited alcohol. The food will be amazing, there will be rides and shit for all you carnival junkies, and the most badass music you can think of. All my favorite bands. The kind of music that makes you want to drive super fast around and around in a cul-de-sac with your high beams up. Fuck yes.

The Pied Piper geeks are getting their shit together so there’s going to be insane tech stuff, like you’ll be able to pay for everything with my new currency, RussBucks, all on your phone. It will be like its own little country of hot cool people and MILFs. Ruled by me. My name is on the festival, it’s everywhere, so it all comes down to me and my vibe and my energy, you know? So I hope I don’t fuck it up. It’s all gotta be perfect. I’ve picked out my outfits and I’m also bringing lot of options just to have until I get a sense of the desert vibe, so I’d suggest doing that too. Unless you have really great fashion sense in which case just wear something cool and then I’ll model what I’m wearing after your lead.

Okay, I’ve got to go practice my moves for the hologram. Oh, did I not mention the interactive hologram of me yet? Yep. You didn’t know I’ve been wearing a mo-cap morph suit while I write this? Well picture it and go change your pants you horny fucks. The hologram is going to be fucking amazing. It’s gotta be.

 

Wanderlust

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It was finally happening. Captain Bashir, a fellow Pakistani, announced over the loudspeaker that the plane was beginning its initial descent. I gazed out my little window, amazed by the little green island sitting floating in the Pacific. I had a breathtaking view from my seat, probably a better view than anyone sitting near the front of the plane since I could also see the wing. My arrival to paradise was so close. Paradise was about to be my home.

The moment we landed, I felt different. I didn’t feel like a Malihini anymore, I felt like Ohana. Perhaps it was because the flight attendant’s insisted on gifting me a traditional necklace made of plumeria flowers. I humbly accepted mine — usually I am not one for these sorts of things but it seemed important to the Honolulu-based flight crew that I took it. While on my way to the hotel, the first thing I noticed was the flora and fauna. I mean, at first I was like holy shit look at this flora, but then it was like BOOM…fauna.

Hawaii isn’t really a destination so much as it is way of life (a phrase I made up and scribbled in my Moleskine), and that is clear in the assortment of flavors next to the Nespresso machine in the hotel. I was blown away by the vibrant culture via the hotel coffee table which had some very interesting literature on local happenings, and in-room dining options. This was truly shaping up to be an unforgettable trip.

They talk about how island living is a little bit slower, and it is, but man did this trip pass by in an instant — wikiwiki even. When you move as fast as I do, it’s hard for even me to keep up. Aside from a brief trip to the urgent care, which is bound to happen to anyone as active as me, not much slowed the “D” down. My only complaint would be the trend of building kitsch chain restaurants all over the island. I encourage tourists to invest in solely local, island-grown businesses and restaurants.

But like anything in life, the time came for it to end. The call came from the mainland, they needed their ace back. It comes with the territory when you’re the go-to guy at the company. Leaving wasn’t easy, but knowing I will probably be back sooner rather than later made it easier. Aloha Hawaii, Mahalo nui loa.

Once a Piper, Always a Piper

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Greetings, good readers. I cannot apologize enough for my absence. You did notice my absence, right? You noticed that both Gilfoyle and Monica took a turn at the tongue of this wagon? And steered it mightily, I might add. Just like Pa Ingalls on the prairie. It’s been a new frontier for me too, and I faced a few dust storms myself. The dustiest storm of them all was discovering that my birth parents rejected me, a little long-bodied baby. Well, I’m still longbodied, but I’m back! It makes me wonder though, was I missed here? Did anyone notice my empty cradle? By that I mean, my office in the Hamelin wing?

Regardless, I am so thrilled to be back in the hallowed halls of Pied Piper. These bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Hooli folks have arrived and boy are they delightful! Their royal blue Hooli tees mixing with all the green Pied Piper gear has created a gorgeous Mediterranean Sea of color in the bullpen. Maybe with all the hubbub, my absence was hard to notice… It’s not as though I was entirely forgotten though, right? I mean—I found my office name plate, it was still here. Someone had put it in a place of honor under the Asteroids arcade game, to level the legs of the console. So I was remembered and still useful to boot!

And finally, though I typically save my bragging for the Bunco table, I am thrilled to announce that I am once again reporting directly to Sir Richard Hendricks, Founder and CEO. (Okay, he hasn’t been knighted yet, but it should be any day now. I’ve written stacks of letters asking Dame Judi Dench for tips.) Just as long as I don’t drive him away, like I must have done with the previous founder I worked for, and perhaps my birth family too. I’ll be so, so careful. I won’t take up much space and I’ll be supremely accommodating and I’ll even bring some plants to the office so that the carbon dioxide I exhale is converted into oxygen and it all evens out. Stay tuned, faithful readers. Jared is back, and this time, he won’t be a burdensome baby! Promise!

A Message from the CFO

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Hello readers! For this week’s blog, I have the privilege of bringing you some exciting Pied Piper news! As Chief Financial Officer, I am pleased to announce that Pied Piper has acquired Hooli. After many years of competing, we are excited to bring Hooli’s reputation of innovation under the green umbrella of Pied Piper.

We would be remiss if we did not thank Gavin Belson for his time and dedication to Hooli – Hooli would not be the company it is today without his leadership. That being said, I guess Gavin’s leadership did lead them to the historically low valuation that allowed us to buy Hooli sooooo… rough one, Belson! Did Bezos take your Faberge egg collection in the acquisition, too? Sorry. Too much. We’re sure that Gavin Belson will continue to be a legend in the valley…even in his advanced age. Monica! Okay that was it. I’ll behave. There’s nothing wrong with a little corporate ribbing, right? No one reads this, right? Tip to future me, add more ice and less clear in the nighttime screwdrivers.

Okay back to the business stuff. Now that the deal is closed, we will begin to comb through the Hooli intellectual property, and begin the process of — well we didn’t really have time for a true due diligence period so…that was negligent. Ugh and I’m sure Gavin invested in some third grade science experiments that I have to take care of now. And I bet the vacation and sabbatical policy are an absolute nightmare. And what kind of freaks would even still work at Hooli!?

I have to get on this right now. But first, some water — no one ever fixed the revenue recognition policies of a major corporation three screwdrivers deep. On second thought, who am I kidding, yes they have. Move over Ballmer Curve, let’s test out the Monica Hall Index a shot. MH out!

Bullshit Company “Blog”

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Apparently we have a blog. Great. Jared defects to work with some hot shot and next thing I know, I have an inept human resources windbag all over my shit making me write a blog. Blogs are vapid froth designed to bloat the brains of weak people and stroke the dicks of overly sensitive idiots; a place where the feeble go to complain.

What chaps me the most is that this HR czar waltzed into Pied Piper and immediately decided to sabotage my already exorbitant workload with a blog. She graciously offered me the choice of two topics: “Leadership” or “An Inspiring Colleague.” Though I could easily write eloquent volumes about how Dinesh inspires me to want to eat a plate of bleach spaghetti, I have too much work to do. And the tomes I could write about his ineptitude, lackluster code, and general unlikability might make my hands tired of typing. So I’ll go with leadership:

Any thoughts I have about the current leadership at Pied Piper should not be shared in a public forum. There is no redeeming value to writing about my experiences. Unlike most of my desperate peers, I dedicate myself to my work and my work only. I am good at what I do, and I am tired of this mindless fodder for imbeciles. I am busy with work that matters, not gimmicks requested by pathetic corporate slugs.

That enough for you, Tracy? Inspired? Feel free to post this on your LinkedIn, but maybe mention to your wet blanket MBA cohort that this was all written by… you guessed it, Son of Anton. In the time I could have been spending writing this, I spent tightening the screws on the most incredible piece of intelligence in this office, built by yours truly, which spit out the above. This is one of the many reasons that I equally revere and fear Son of Anton.

Let this be a lesson in paying attention. The vapid consumption of natural language generation in scroll culture is a sure indicator of our society’s eventual and inevitable collapse at the hands of robots. I’ll be on the correct side. Cheers.

Mr. Hendricks Goes to Washington!

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Hello again from Pipertown, USA! Please forgive me for my absence from writing. I wish I knew where to begin, but I have to say that much is different in this little neighborhood of ours. And our mayor Richard Hendricks is transforming this boom town into a bonafide metropolis!

As you all know by now, our homegrown cherry tomato Richard Hendricks has gone from our quaint little farm to the big table of Capitol Hill! Watching him was nothing short of inspiring, and Gloria’s friend Nancy even said, “is that Jimmy Stewart up there?!” In fairness Nancy may have been confused as I was playing the audio of Richard’s senate hearing over the video of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Richard’s Senate performance displayed his dedication to internet privacy for all, and my heart sings knowing the world has someone like Richard in it. I will say, now that he is out on the world’s stage, there is less of him for me. He is a man pulled in a thousand directions, but like everyone else, I have to learn how to not be so greedy. For instance right when he got back, I so badly wanted to ask him if he realized he would have so much chemistry with Senator Ben Cardin, but I realized if I asked Richard about Senator Cardin in front of everyone Richard would have to spend hours fielding questions about him.

I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times when I longed for more time with Richard. I used to be his go-to guy for brainstorming and scaring away crows when they were too close. However my problems seem to be of the champagne variety — my little cherry tomato has grown into a full blown beefsteak, and Pied Piper is a caprese salad that everyone needs to enjoy. Color this farmer proud! Stay tuned Pipers, more big things to come from this page!

 

Fort Piper Stands!

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Hello, readers! I apologize for not posting for a couple of months — we had quite a grim stretch here at Fort Piper. Our user growth had stalled and morale was low. But just as we were about to give up hope, Dinesh discovered an uptick in new users! Things seemed to be trending up, but then as most inexplicably good things turn out to be, it was an attack. Laurie Bream and a Chinese businessman named Yao were scaling our walls, manufacturing our devices in order to take over fifty-one percent of the Pipernet. Our independence was in peril, and this battle was our American Revolution. I’m no David McCullough, but I’ll do my best to narrate.

Gilfoyle did his best to pour the hot oil of a network patch on the tyrants, while Holden rallied the troops with the snare drum of his unbridled Piper spirit. Still, it became clear to our commanding officer General Hendricks that we needed back up – so Richard struck a deal with a cutthroat, Gavin Belson.

After seemingly eliminating the Laurie and Yao threat in the name of innovation and revenge, Gavin sank his blood-soaked fangs into Richard’s soft pale throat. But what Gavin didn’t know was that Dinesh and I were working on reinforcing the ramparts of Fort Piper with Colin and his arsenal of instant downloads. Colin’s users came charging across the battlefield and, just in time, beat back Gavin! Huzzah! Fort Piper stands!

Now that the battle is over and the ugliness of the 51% attack is behind us, we look to the future. The Piper Gang has proven its resilience, and earned a place at the Valley’s table. The first stop may have to be new offices at the top of the hill.

As for me, this adrenaline isn’t going to go away on its own. I have some verbena candles to light!

We’re ICO-ing!

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Readers, I’m pleased to announce that Pied Piper has officially created its own cryptocurrency, PiedPiperCoin! True to his maverick sensibility, Richard shed the shackles of the VC establishment and launched an ICO. It’s like I say in every pitch meeting before he discreetly shushes me: Richard Hendricks is the John Wayne of the South Bay.

Sure, our employees were a bit surprised by the move. They had been expecting us to take the customary series B deal — the familiar hum of engineers preparing for bonuses had already filled the offices; Tesla brochures were strewn about like confetti. And I’ll admit, I had been advocating for the series B myself. An ICO is a tremendous risk, and we have a growing family of Pipers to consider now. I mean, when you’re pregnant with twins and have two lanky boys running around the kitchen already, you typically don’t up and quit your job to pursue your dream of becoming a microfiche archivist at the local college. You stick with the safe bet and just flip through the reels on the weekends. But once again, Richard has proven most adept at leaps of faith.

Placing our fate in PiedPiperCoin will be a true test of the team we’ve built here and their dedication to our mission. And overall, I have no doubt they will pass with flying colors. Think of the adversity we’ve overcome so far: We mended the divisions between Sliceline and Optimoji. We composted that bad apple of a mole. And we’re managing, day by day, to groom a young boy into a man worthy of his post at Richard’s side. Am I surprised that someone with a law degree has taken days to master a simple sandwich? A bit. Is the brew of Richard’s tea more intricate than most assume? Of course. Will I lower my standards just because someone gasps at the mouth of an inhaler due to stress-induced asthma? Never.

I’m off to monitor the value of PPC. Fingers crossed we crack ten cents any moment now!

 

For Fiona

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Hello, readers. This post is dedicated to someone very special to me. Someone who enchanted my evening, stole my heart, and then was dismembered right in front of me. It began like any other night: after another long day of Gilfoyle Photoshopping my head onto Betty Spaghetty dolls, my eyelids were heavy, and I had begun my nighttime routine of soothing tea and even more soothing Bonnie Raitt. But my mind kept drifting to Fiona sitting in the garage. Having been that uninsulated cavern’s previous occupant, I knew how alone one could feel there.

I went to the garage to check in on Fiona, where our conversation began casually enough. I asked her if she was warm and if the rodents were nibbling at her wires. She assured me that she doesn’t feel temperature, but thanked me for my concern. Intrigued by the sensitivity of her reply, I pulled up a chair and we continued to chat. As the tides of conversation washed over art, literature, space and time, I found it all too easy to forget that she was merely a piece of hardware.

I blinked and suddenly it was morning. Richard arrived to escort Fiona back to Laurie. We shared one final car ride together, playing the license plate game, laughing at South Dakota’s license plate slogan, “Great Faces, Great Places.” It’s ironic that minutes later, Fiona’s own face would be ripped off and thrown into a wastebasket.

In the end, Richard may have been right: suppressing my emotions was unhealthy, and led me to put all my eggs in one doomed robot basket. Hendricks is a powerful substance, and like all stimulants, must be weaned off slowly! Goodbye for now, Pipers.