Silicon Valley: To Build a Better Beta
June 6, 2016 8:07 AM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The Pied Piper releases in beta, while Dinesh and Gilfoyle debate who has fewer friends. Erlich faces a difficult decision regarding how to pay the vendors for last week's Alcatraz luau. Meanwhile, back and Hooli, Gavin's needy head of security gets his hands on a copy of the Pied Piper beta and wants to tell you how security is like great jazz.
posted by joan cusack the second (24 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Okay, this is back to the SV I like. And we got Monica's big beige bad news sweater. I'm kind of halfway worried that Gavin's going to end up killing someone (possibly just himself).
posted by Etrigan at 8:15 AM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


So, who else immediately went to the Pied Piper beta site? Also, that copy is totally written in Jared's voice.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:20 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Like can we please talk about the fact that this interface took me right back to about 1999 (when I was working at my own tech start-up.... lolololol) and it is 100% written by devs, for devs?

I know it's not real and just a screenshot, but DAMN.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:22 AM on June 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Faster downloads means the time you save can be used for families, friends or hobbies, such as sports!
I am dying.
posted by Etrigan at 8:24 AM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Did anyone else see Vanessa Williams's Brother (...I see his name is "Chris") and have a weird Ugly Betty flashback, or am I just special that way?
posted by psoas at 8:53 AM on June 6, 2016


Etrigan, I came here to post the exact same quote from the page. Hilarity has ensued!
posted by Superplin at 9:33 AM on June 6, 2016


BTW, if you click on their photos on the Pied Piper site you get aweome little bios:

JARED (DONALD) DUNN
Head of Business Development

Jared’s early life is best passed over, and parts of it he cannot legally discuss because of non-disclosure clauses in settlements, but he managed to rise above it thanks a series of largely well-meaning foster parents and went on to receive a B.A. from Vassar College in Economics. During those happiest of years, he sang second alto with the Joyce Carol Notes A Capella Confrontation and was both coxswain for Women’s Heavyweight Crew and co-founder of Take Back Take Back the Night. After college, he worked for Google, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Hooli, but now he is a Pied Piper man all the way.

posted by bluecore at 10:28 AM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


This episode was fabulous on so many levels. My husband called the "It's going to be an engineer-friendly UI" twist before we even looked at the site, haha.

I have to say though, I'm incredibly immature, but my favorite moments of the episode were Jin-Yang prank calling Erlich. I just love Jin-Yang so much and love that at this point he seems to have dropped all pretense of having anything to do with himself other than make Erlich's life a little shittier.
posted by town of cats at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


I feel like Dinesh is becoming the new Jared.
posted by rhizome at 12:27 PM on June 6, 2016


Hopefully Gilfoyle will get his turn at the bottom, for balance, and to see how he handles it. See how Jared doesn't even register abuse vs. Dinesh being crushed vs. Richard and Ehrlich flying into different types of rage.
posted by cardboard at 12:34 PM on June 6, 2016


...he managed to rise above it thanks a series of largely well-meaning foster parents and went on to receive a B.A. from Vassar College in Economics. During those happiest of years, he sang second alto with the Joyce Carol Notes A Capella Confrontation and was both coxswain for Women’s Heavyweight Crew and co-founder of Take Back Take Back the Night.

I am strangely proud to share an alma mater with this particular fictional character.
posted by Superplin at 1:12 PM on June 6, 2016


What is not to get about Slack. Yes, it is a chat room.
posted by bleep at 1:13 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I really like that interface and I would happily use it. But then I'd much rather have my software work and give me control than be pretty. It does look like it's by devs, for devs, but who is their market? I assumed it was backend stuff and as a part of a larger product rather than people compressing their files on their home PCs for fun. If that's the case it's a fine UI, no? As long as everything is also available via CLI. Don't make me open the GUI if I don't want to.

Anyway, this was an amazing episode. The money management situation could get interesting. I could see Erlich trying to chase the missing money around town harassing people along the way. I've met that security guy at many jobs in many roles and it was played very well. Dinesh having no one to give invites to just made me sad. I get the joke, but it's a bit close to home there.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2016


HOLY SHIT

Do y'all think that Jared might be the fictional son of legendary bassist and Blues Brothers band member, Donald "Duck" Dunn?????

It's like the in-jokes NEVER stop on Silicon Valley!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2016


So how many shares would Bachman have to sell to put together enough money to pay off his debt? All of them? Most of them? I guess the question remands can he remain a board member without shares?
posted by sardonyx at 2:09 PM on June 6, 2016


He was noticeably subdued at the end, so I'm thinking he gave it all up.
posted by rhizome at 3:00 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


What was the cost of the party? One million (I don't recall the figure off hand.) The beta release funding was $3 million, wasn't it?
posted by sardonyx at 3:26 PM on June 6, 2016


I have a feeling that turning off your old server and launching a full release at the same time isn't a good idea.
posted by larrybob at 4:57 PM on June 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Not to count our chickens before they hatch - I mean 3% of chicks are born mutilated or dead - ..." - Jared (That guy Fucks.)
posted by Crystalinne at 6:15 PM on June 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Dinesh having no one to give invites to just made me sad. I get the joke, but it's a bit close to home there.

AND HOW.

But really, it wasn't that realistic because we know Dinesh is in touch with his family and he has at least one cousin who's even in the tech industry (he of the "Bro" app) so of course he'd just invite his family members to the beta. Which is exactly what I'd do, for reasons
posted by town of cats at 1:00 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just heard Josh Brener on WTF & seeing just how clueless he plays Bighetti afterwards was a revelation. I've worked with people who are a little spacey, but then have great insight and I get mad at the other characters not dropping the Big Head thing (even Bachman, who took him for a nice ride there for a while), but Big Head is no savant. Holy shit, he's really just dumb. How'd he ever get a job at Hooli? Lucked into lazy interviewers who still used the questions revealed on glassdoor?
posted by morganw at 7:57 PM on June 7, 2016


Big Head's clearly not supposed to be as brilliant as the Pied Piper team but I also don't think of him as stupid or a below-average coder. I think it's more that his priorities are just totally different from everyone else's. As painful as it is to watch him fritter away and get bilked out of his settlement money, the neutrality with which he treats the news of his going broke compared with Ehrlich's sturm-und-drang is pretty endearing. His spirit of non-attachment obviously borders on the pathological, but there's also something admirable about that in a show that focuses so heavily on technology and money. So many of the other characters are driven by things like prestige, money, power, and/or neurotic obsession; in contrast Big Head mostly takes actions that he thinks will let him make friends and then hang out with them.

(Jared also seems to be driven mainly by loyalty and caring for others -- though in his case there's also some transcending of unspecified trauma lurking in the background -- which is part of why I dig his character so much as well. That and he has the best lines.)
posted by en forme de poire at 11:51 PM on June 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


I also thought this was a solid episode. I was really happy when the DA called out Bachman on the white privilege thing. It was really nice to see him get dressed down (although I do love that character).

I was hoping Monica couldn't use the product as a non-techie because I was also hoping that meant we'd get to see how a "UX Designer" stereotype plays out. But I was cool with the "your product doesn't have to be for everyone" lesson.
posted by like_neon at 5:52 AM on June 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have to say though, I'm incredibly immature, but my favorite moments of the episode were Jin-Yang prank calling Erlich.

This is your momma! You're not my baby!
posted by freecellwizard at 9:59 AM on June 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


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