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.

Jared, Thy Name Is Vanity

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I’ve gone by many names throughout my life: Donald, Jared, Child #61728. But this week I earned myself a new one: the Dorian Gray of Silicon Valley. For I let my vanity make a monster of me.

It all started when I joined Richard for an interview on Bloomberg. I’d only come for moral support, but then Emily Chang started asking me questions, and the interview went live, and all of a sudden I was being asked to do Adrian Grenier’s edutainment web series. I hadn’t even planned to watch the Bloomberg interview, but Dinesh convinced me to review the footage to improve before my next appearance. He said it was for the good of the company! Little did I realize that to watch a YouTube clip of oneself on repeat is the digital equivalent of Narcissus’s unwavering gaze into the water.

Such began my stumble into the depths of shallowness. I’d never considered myself a superficial person before. I put care into my appearance, of course, but only as a gesture toward professionalism. (To show up in anything short of combed hair, pressed khakis, and a lint-free fleece vest is disrespectful.) And sure, I’ve humbly accepted a few comparisons to movie star Anthony Perkins, but I always thought that was more about our shared love of birds than anything else. But now, before I knew it, I was fretting over my nose, demanding lip injections to distract from it. I thought they would have a subtle, bee-stung look, but there was more truth in that syringe than saline. My lips had grown as inflated as my new ego.

Even though the doctor told me the puffiness will subside after twenty-four hours, I think the effects on the computer education students at Paul Revere Middle School may last longer than that. How must they feel, knowing I chose Grenier over them? That I chased a shiny piece of Turkish delight instead of the home cooked meal of their company? Those kids depend on me to teach them about life in tech, to share stories of my past bullying, no matter how tangentially related to the day’s lesson. At least they got to meet Richard. The photos I’d shown them in class could only do him so much justice.

Well, readers, it’s time to repair the damage our network suffered this week, ice my lips again, and look inward. Until next time!

The Mole

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Hello again, readers! Let me tell you, since my last post, I’ve had quite an adventure! For those of you who grew up addicted to film noir or following clues left by a murdered friend like I did, this post may be a special treat!

As a lot of these stories do, it started with me alone in the office. It was another lonely night, staring into the bottom of the third glass of tangerine La Croix I had poured myself. Open in front of me were our employees’ private emails. I was in a real pickle, the mole was out there, right under our noses, lurking just out of sight in a dark mist, but tracking him down risked losing the trust of our employees.

I must have run my finger around the rim of my glass a thousand times before I finally gave in. I couldn’t forget that Richard came to me, with those blue eyes and those curls, asking for help. As COO the mole was in my jurisdiction, I knew I had to find him.

I couldn’t do it alone. Lucky for me, I had one of the best investigators around: Bertram Gilfoyle. Sure he was caustic and had little regard for the rules, but that’s exactly what the situation called for. Gilfoyle and I dove in. We checked thousands of emails. Their contents revealed little in way of our current investigation, but they did shine a light on the type of interpersonal grime you only see when people think they are completely alone.

Gilfoyle and I eventually stumbled upon the equivalent of an abandoned building ripe with the scent of death you could smell from a block away, a smell I thought I had forgotten. We realized one of our own had been sending encrypted emails straight to the enemy. The biggest betrayal of all…he was a Stallion. Gilfoyle may have said it best when he described Jeff as “a tapeworm, who had clung to the small intestine of our company…Dinesh.”

In the end, we got our man, and took a nail gun to most of his possessions. On most days, solving the case of the mole and uncovering Big Head as the rightful heir of the Bachman fortune would be enough, but my biggest case yet might have just landed on my desk. Jian-Yang is missing, potentially with our code. Looks like there’s a demon on the loose in China.

Meet Pied Piper’s New COO!

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Apologies if this post is a bit more scattered than usual, but my fingers are verily flying across the keyboard with joy! I’ve had a cascade of dreams come true recently. I never thought anything could surpass my Make-A-Wish meeting with Amy Tan when I was misdiagnosed with that wasting disease. But this moment? This is the happiest I’ve ever been.

Dream Come True #1: Richard Hendricks was my houseguest! When Jian-Yang first evicted my friends and colleagues from the hostel, I was furious. After all, this was the place we’d all roughhoused, traded jabs, looked up those jabs on Urban Dictionary to make sure we understood them fully. But the sterling silver lining of this betrayal was that Richard needed a place to stay, and I was honored to supply.

I’ll admit, there were a few bumps during our shack-up. We didn’t have time for the wine and paint night I’d planned, for one. My attempt to play corporate matchmaker for Richard went about as well as my attempt to get him to use a hair pomade. And I was called back to the house when Gilfoyle, surrounded by refrigerator parts, had a brief waltz with a paranoid break.

But it all worked out in the end: Without going into the NDA-protected details, I negotiated a deal for Pied Piper that saved us from quite a thorny lawsuit. Which brings me to Dream Come True #2: Richard Hendricks has named me, Jared Dunn from an unknown location in the contiguous United States, COO of Pied Piper!

Readers, you know it’s not like me to brag like this. As my fourth grade teacher once told me, “Confidence isn’t a color that suits you, Donald.” Well, personal color palettes be damned because I am reeling over here!

Okay, okay. Time to put away the Martinelli’s and head to bed — as if I could possibly fall asleep!

Plunge Through the Glass

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Crash! Shattered glass. Screams. Chaos. Blood. Blood. Blood. A seemingly endless river of blood.

These are the sights and sounds that will haunt my dreams for years to come, the moment Richard Hendricks’s noble code sprint almost turned fatal. We all feared the worst. The near defecation, the evacuation of the stomach, the head-first dive into glass — our captain seemed to be going down the Grim Reaper’s checklist. I could hear the all-too-familiar death knell. O! I had promised myself I would die before he did.

I blame our salty-hearted crew. They arrived aboard our vessel an unruly, insolent bunch. Refusing to row in unison, demanding coffee and dogs and milliseconds. It was their mutiny that drove Richard to code himself into delirium.

Ears ringing. Flashing lights. Sirens. Tears. Blackout.

I was told that I couldn’t ride in the ambulance with Richard because the frequency of my wailing was interfering with the monitors, so I returned to the office. I expected to return to a crew of disloyal mariners, but something miraculous was happening. Harmony. With Dinesh and Gilfoyle as their coxswains, the Optimojians, the Sliceliners, and the Stallions were navigating the rapids as one. They were inspired by Richard — at long last! — and his willingness to put work before life. I could almost taste the seafoam as the hull carved through the water.

In the end, Richard’s plunge through the glass proved to be just as effective as the three-day New Employee Orientation I had planned. Who knew cleaning Richard’s blood off the back of computer monitors could be just as bonding as an office scavenger hunt or non-competitive talent show?

Now Richard is back among his crew, drinking ale on the decks (following the doctor’s orders for regular fluid intake) and letting the sea air heal his wounds (resisting my regular application of Mederma to his scars). And I? I stand by his side, hoisting the Piper Pennant on the mast once more!