$2.51 USD

Market Cap: $3,388,500

Volume: $1,174,680

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Pied Piper Pic: 500,000 Installs!

PP 500000

The PP team watches as we cross half a million downloads of the platform! Though the celebration proved premature, I shall always cherish this evening at Laurie’s peculiar, modernist home, whose geometry seemed oddly non-Euclidean.

Everything is Fine

PP Fine

Not much to report this week, dear readers! Everything is perfectly fine. I don’t have a single complaint. We’ve put together a great team, built a wonderful product, launched it to some fanfare and the rest? Well, that lies to the judgment of history. You see, in the grand scheme of things, some products fail, others succeed, and although Pied Piper’s blazing speed and hyper-functionality do seem overwhelmingly likely to win us millions of Daily Active Users, far more than enough to start monetizing premium services and reaping rich rewards thereby…ultimately only time will tell. But I’m not worried. The signs are all good. No, great!

But the important thing is, not whether a given product becomes the market standard or a laughingstock. But rather, how we conduct ourselves regardless of success or crushing, demoralizing, abject failure; and in the event of the latter, how we dig ourselves out of the grave of black despair and move on with some shattered, rickety semblance of our former lives. While, of course, trying to be haunted as little as possible by what might have been, if things had gone differently. None of which, of course, remotely applies to us.

Because, as previously stated, everything is great! Well, onwards and upwards!

Pied Piper Pic: Attention Must Be Paid

PP Attn

Richard Hendricks is a good man. A brilliant, hardworking gentleman of the old school. And so if certain liberties were taken to ease the passing of his beloved Pied Piper from this world—much as one gives an old cat one last fish-head before the shovel comes down—well, then, on MY head and none other heap your opprobrium. Heap it high!

Pied Piper Pic: Behold, A Pale Unicorn!


“And his name that sat on him was Erlich, and Profligacy followed with him!” (With apologies to Revelation 6:8.)

Sadly, Erlich’s Bachmanity boondoggle has led to his being unceremoniously bucked off the Pied Piper unicorn, stock-and-Board-seat-wise. (Chin up, Erlich—head of PR makes a lovely consolation prize!)

Pied Piper Pic: A Tale of Two Lauries!

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One offers lucrative term sheets, one fires Richard. One frees us from the yoke of Jack Barker, one ruthlessly strips Erlich of his Pied Piper shares on the secondary market at below-market value. Which Laurie shall we meet next? This complex woman contains within her (as do we all, to a degree) both Arthur AND Mordred, Goofus AND Gallant.

Welcome (Back!) Erlich Bachman!


Even the best of friends sometimes turn the worst of enemies: Mailer and Roth, Richards and Jagger, Christ and Judas. In each of these examples—besides my perhaps unfortunate choice of the last one—bygones were allowed to be bygones, water flowed under bridges, and harmony was restored. And so it comes to pass that despite their recent contretemps, our doughty CEO Richard Hendricks has brought a new (old?) Piper on board as our new Head of PR.

And who better to manage the public image of our company, to play the tech press like a Gypsy violin, than our charismatic Barnum, our Rasputin, our David Koresh (in a good way) of the Hacker Hostel, Erlich Casimir Bachman!

Yes, recent unfortunate financial reversals may have cost Erlich his 10 percent ownership stake in Pied Piper. Yet, it is clear Pied Piper continues to hold 100 percent ownership of his large, warm heart.**

(**This is not meant to imply that Erlich in any way suffers from an enlarged heart, or in fact any cardiac disorder, but rather that his loyalty to PP is not in doubt.)

Pied Piper Pic: Moment of Truth


Richard and Dinesh look on as the fruit of our mighty labors, Pied Piper’s compression platform, is launched! We await the judgment of history!****

(**** and the subsequent launch of subscription-based Pied Piper premium services for business!)

We Released the Platform!

Jack Barker

With apologies to NASA…the Piper has landed!

That’s right, readers! This is a momentous day: After a somewhat abbreviated beta testing phase, we have officially launched our initial “freemium” model! That’s right, Pied Piper’s robust compression-based platform is now commercially available and can be downloaded gratis from our website, the Apple Store, the HooliStore, and so on, in the hopes of selling premium services to businesses on top of that, at a somewhat later date. Huzzah!

I must say, it has been a rollercoaster ride up this point. Pied Piper has been menaced by lawsuits, city zoning inspectors, bad press, short-sighted “professional” CEOs, money problems, the incompetence of prepubescent cloud experts, fire and so on. I personally have been threatened in various ways by Gilfoyle, Erlich and anonymous voice messages from would-be assailants who in fact turned out to also be Gilfoyle and Erlich, having some fun at my expense.

And still we rise! Pied Piper’s future is so bright, one should avoid looking directly at it for prolonged periods, for fear of damaging the eyes! It is too soon to consider what I might do with my share of the billions we may soon be worth, but my blue button-down shirt is getting a bit worn at the elbows…and I have been thinking of going “non-iron”! Wheeeee!

Pied Piper Pic: The Banality of Evil


The banality of evil: Even the monstrous Gavin Belson—when not plotting Pied Piper’s downfall—puts his FitBit on one strap at a time before heading to a Vinyasa Flow class, just like the rest of us.**

(**In fact, I have never seen nor used a FitBit, and am not at all sure how they come to be affixed to one’s wrist. Naturally emaciated, lucky me!)

Personal Management


Hello, friends. I am writing to you from my cozy corner of Erlich’s garage (although the photo above depicts otherwise). Which, thanks to a helpful and reasonably priced exterminator, is now almost primarily rat-free, judging by the decreased instance of both droppings and bites on my extremities as I sleep. I gave you an excellent Yelp review, Mr. Yaruslav!

Oh, I can hear those eyebrows raising; I know it doesn’t sound like much. But I’ll have you know none of my foster homes were remotely this luxurious, and my dorm room at Vassar was nearly as Spartan. Furthermore, Erlich is still not charging me rent, which could not be said of my college lodgings and the crushing debt I incurred there, nor of the attics and semi-enclosed porches of my childhood, which I paid for with endless, backbreaking chores and things no child should see. But I digress!

In any case. My topic today is “personal management.” Which is a fancy way of saying a concerted effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance. An example: Shortly after being rightfully reinstated as Pied Piper’s leader, my CEO Richard Hendricks embarked upon a liaison with a highly suitable senior Facebook engineer. Their relationship unfortunately ended after a disagreement over an arcane question of coding protocol. Engineers, am I correct?

Nonetheless, I took Richard’s dip into the dating pool as a cue to relaunch my brand in that arena, as it were. Because devoted as I have been to the company’s well-being, I’ve found if I fail to devote myself to to my personal well-being to some extent, I am doing the company a disservice. And since I started “getting out there” and meeting potential romantic partners, my productivity at work and my general well-being have both skyrocketed: I am getting more done, and the frequency of my night terrors has slightly decreased. As for Dinesh, who once told me in a very fresh manner, “Jared, if you ever actually got laid, I bet you’d ejaculate for six hours, and afterwards you’d be four feet tall and translucent.” Well, Dinesh…still just as tall, and no paler!

Pied Piper Pic: Unnecessary Luxuries

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Getting rid of the unnecessary luxuries acquired under “Action Jack.” Everything must go,we’re selling it all—except world-class compression technology, that is!**

(**=Actually, we of course do in fact intend to sell that as well as part of the Pied Piper platform, which we are at this moment hard at work on. Sorry for the confusion!)

Changes Both Near and Far!

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So many glad tidings to relate, loyal blog readers! (“Bleaders”? Probably not, but since video + blogger = “vlogger,” I thought it might be worth a trial balloon.)

After being most fearfully tested at great length, with all manner of appalling tribulations, our own Richard Hendricks has been restored to his proper station of CEO! We leave shortly to celebrate this fact, at a local, modestly-priced Mexican restaurant from which Erlich has never (yet) been asked to leave.

But oh, did Mr. Jack Barker, former pretender to the CEO throne, leave a mess behind for Richard and the rest of us to clean up. His reckless expenditures forced us to surrender our offices and again work from Erlich’s humble abode. Yet despite economizing in this way—and letting go non-essential staff—our coffers remained in a parlous state, so empty we could not afford to pay the engineers we needed to finish the platform. So I had the notion to stretch our pennies by outsourcing basic engineering functions to eager young developers in the developing world. With new blood toiling away for us in India, Bulgaria, Estonia and so on**, Pied Piper has become a veritable League of Nations of compression!

Dare I say: I believe this reordering of Pied Piper might actually serve as a model for other startups? We are leaner, we are meaner and we are more efficient by virtue of geographical diversity. (Diversity! Yay!) Most of all, we are definitely more true to the original spirit of the company, with Richard back in charge. Once again, I can say that Pied Piper feels like a womb in which I float: warm, safe and, mercifully, entirely dreamless.

**A quick note, dear readers: The three new engineer bios on our site are just a sampling of the nine engineers we have hired to work remotely, some as far as India, some as near as Colorado. (Go Rockies!) You’ll find bios for three of the off-site engineers who allowed them to be put on our site: Others refused for reasons ranging from fear they’d be used by their governments to capture and torture them (for unspecified activities) to—very simply—a strong, visceral dislike of me.

Pied Piper Pic: A Tangled Web

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Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! In Jack Barker’s case, the Maleant Data System deal was certainly not his first web—but it turned out to be his last, the one where the spider found himself the one bound in silk, his liquefied entrails drained by the powerful chelicerae of Laurie Bream!

Pied Piper Pic: Up-Shirting

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Richard has repeatedly asked that I stop photographing him without his knowledge, but I simply could not resist “up-shirting” this snapshot: His brilliant, kind, yet firm and uncompromising nature shines through, even in this undignified pose. Last one, I promise!

One Step Back, Then a Giant Leap in the Right Direction

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That is not only a description of a possible way to evade an assailant when a small crevasse or stream presents itself, but also of recent events here at ol’ PP.

At first it seemed as if a détente had been achieved, between our little group and the hand-picked CEO Raviga had set above us. An agreement that, if we delivered Mr. Barker his cursed Box, we would then be free to build the broad platform we had always intended. And our engineering team of Richard, Dinesh and Gilfoyle outdid themselves, exceeding by an order of magnitude the specs required by “Action Jack”—a show of good faith if ever I saw one.

What did they get for their trouble? A contract with ’90s-era tech dinosaur Maleant Data Solutions that **exclusively** licensed the Pied Piper algorithm to them for use in said Box for five long years! I suppose it should hardly come as a surprise that a usurper should also be a double-dealer, but I had hoped that Jack’s soft, jowly smile was not merely the mask it proved to be.

Once again, Fortuna had decided to use our hopes as a punching bag, our dreams as a urinal. Whence should our salvation come? From a most unlikely quarter: the same VC firm that forced Richard out and installed Barker! Thankfully, Laurie Bream came to her senses after Jack’s crass Box was thoroughly discredited by Hooli’s acquisition of the Endframe platform.

Unlike when Richard was deposed, in this case it was fortuitous that the bottom line means far more to Raviga than innovation. Thus, when it became clear a platform strategy in compression was more valuable than an appliance play, Mr. Barker was shown the door. The last action of “Action Jack” was to slink out with his tail between his thick, oddly shaped legs. So dear readers: We are not out of the woods yet, but we have taken a step in that direction, and a step away from that terrible, windowless shed under the pines.

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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