E01 - Minimum Viable Product
This episode aired on April 6, 2014 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.98 million views.
Richard Hendricks is a low-level programmer with futuristic internet giant Hooli. He is often taunted by his more successful work colleagues, and his ideas are dismissed by egotistical entrepreneur Erlich Bachman, who owns the technology development incubator where Richard lives with fellow programmers Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti, Bertram Gilfoyle and Dinesh Chugtai. However when Hooli stumbles upon the music copyright service that Richard is working on, entitled Pied Piper, they discover that hidden within the useless application is the best file compression algorithm in the world, and news spreads quickly. Eventually Richard is caught between a $10 million buyout by Hooli CEO Gavin Belson, and a $200,000 investment from eccentric billionaire Peter Gregory, and must decide whether to give up his program to the highest bidder or to take the investment and create a business out of it himself. After having a panic attack and vomiting on the street, Richard runs into Peter's assistant Monica, who tells him that she believes in him and his idea, and he decides to take the investment and run the business himself.
E02 - The Cap Table
This episode aired on April 13, 2014 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.69 million views.
After rejecting Belson's offer and siding with Peter Gregory, Richard is overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done in establishing the business to Gregory's satisfaction. Luckily, Belson's former PA, Jared Dunn, arrives at the incubator, begging Richard to hire him, as he sees huge potential in the Pied Piper idea, and is hired due to his business expertise. However, in evaluating the Pied Piper team, Jared discovers that while Gilfoyle and Dinesh are brilliant coders, Big Head is comparatively mediocre, and Richard is pressured by everyone to fire him as he brings nothing to the table. After much arguing, Richard refuses to do so, but Big Head announces that he was given a huge raise and promotion at Hooli, as Gavin Belson wants to publicize Big Head as co-founder of Pied Piper. Later, Big Head tells Richard that work has begun on reverse-engineering Pied Piper to create the same product, branded under a different name.
E03 - Articles of Incorporation
This episode aired on April 20, 2014 . Directed by Tricia Brock . Recorded 1.62 million views.
Richard and Jared discover that the Pied Piper business name is already in use by an irrigation enterprise in Gilroy, California. While Jared, Dinesh and Gilfoyle begin brainstorming new names for the application, Erlich decides to find a name by setting off on a vision quest at Sonora Desert, which results in Erlich having a panic attack after consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms. Adamant on keeping the original name, Richard attempts to prove that he is a good negotiator by convincing the irrigation company to give up the name Pied Piper. Initially the company's owner asks for a small amount of money but after reading about the technology's success on the web, he asks for a lot more. After confronting him, Richard manages to keep the name for almost the original price, while Erlich, still in the aftermath of his vision quest, returns with a child by his side, convinced he has found another version of himself. Meanwhile, Peter Gregory becomes obsessed with Burger King products, leaving his assistant Monica in a difficult position with some of their clients, who need an urgent cash injection or risk firing hundreds of people. Taking his time, Gregory ends up investing in sesame seed production, earning a huge profit in stock and solving the situation to Monica's and their associates' relief.
E04 - Fiduciary Duties
This episode aired on April 27, 2014 . Directed by Maggie Carey . Recorded 1.55 million views.
Peter assigns an attorney, Ron, to the Pied Piper venture, who accidentally lets slip that Richard's project is only one of eight file compression suites that Peter invests in. This impacts Richard, who suddenly panics that he has no sense of where the company should go and what it should be doing. Meanwhile, Big Head is removed from Hooli's copycat compression software project, named Nucleus, because of his complete lack of understanding of what Richard actually did to create Pied Piper, and is not reassigned to anything, joining the other unassigned employees that spend their days doing nothing on the company's roof. During a toga party organized by Gregory, Erlich is mistakenly appointed to the Pied Piper board of directors when Richard gets drunk. Richard initially reverses the decision, but after Erlich elaborates during a meeting about Pied Piper's direction causing Peter to continue funding, Richard permanently appoints him on the board.
E05 - Signaling Risk
This episode aired on May 4, 2014 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.82 million views.
Erlich hires a convicted felon and graffiti artist, Chuy, to create a new logo for Pied Piper and to paint it on the incubator garage, but Chuy's creation depicts Dinesh having sexual intercourse with the Statue of Liberty because he believes Dinesh is of Latin descent. Pied Piper gains entry to the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield, a technology conference that pits unseeded startup companies against each other, with $50,000 as the grand prize – the only problem is, Pied Piper is not unseeded, and this angers Peter. Richard suggests withdrawing from the Battlefield, but Belson beats him to it and announces the release of Nucleus will take place at the Battlefield, and due to Peter's intense rivalry with Belson, he refuses to allow Pied Piper to withdraw and tells them to have a finished demo for the Battlefield in eight weeks, instead of the initial five months.
E06 - Third Party Insourcing
This episode aired on May 11, 2014 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.69 million views.
Pied Piper is nearing completion, but Richard is having serious issues coding the cloud-based integration modules for the application, so much so that Jared, Gilfoyle, Erlich and Dinesh pressure him into hiring Kevin "The Carver", an Adderall-addicted teenaged programmer with a specialty in cloud integration. Gilfoyle's new satanistic girlfriend, Tara (Milana Vayntrub), visits the incubator, and Gilfoyle wrongfully tells Dinesh that Tara wants to have sex with him, and that this prospect sexually arouses both Tara and Gilfoyle. Jared gets stranded on Peter's automated island due to a programming error, and The Carver inadvertently destroys all of the Pied Piper code, forcing the team to revise all of it.
E07 - Proof of Concept
This episode aired on May 18, 2014 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.68 million views.
The team arrives at the Battlefield, however Pied Piper still isn't finished, and Richard is having trouble concentrating due to the presence of an ex-girlfriend at the conference. Dinesh meets an attractive girl, Charlotte (AJ Michalka), who appears to be proficient in Java, but when Gilfoyle tells him that the Java code was in fact written by him, Dinesh loses interest in Charlotte. Erlich panics when it transpires that one of the judges of the Battlefield is the man whose wife he had an affair with years earlier, and in an attempt to remedy the situation, Erlich ends up having sex with the judge's new wife, which results in the judge attacking Erlich on stage, preventing the Pied Piper Battlefield presentation.
E08 - Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency
This episode aired on June 1, 2014 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.74 million views.
Desperate to avoid litigation after the brawl, TechCrunch offers Pied Piper a ticket straight through to the final Battlefield stage, but the team is despondent after watching the Nucleus presentation and learning that not only is Hooli's Weissman compression quality score 2.89, the exact same as theirs, but they also have a number of additional features which make Nucleus a much better application. Jared suggests pivoting the company, which results in him being arrested by the police after an incident involving Adderall. The PP team retreats to their hotel room where they mock up a mathematical model for Erlich to give handjobs to every male in the Battlefield audience instead of doing their presentation, which gives Richard an epiphany about compression algorithms. He stays up all night, deletes most of the Pied Piper features and leaves only one – the all-important compression engine, which, using Richard's brand new compression code, achieves a Weissman score of 5.2. Pied Piper wins the Battlefield, embarrassing Belson and Hooli. After learning from Monica, amidst some flirting between the two, that Pied Piper will be fielding business interests and that things will only get harder, Richard has another panic attack and vomits into a dumpster in the alley.
E01 - Sand Hill Shuffle
This episode aired on April 12, 2015 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 2.13 million views.
Pied Piper learns of Peter Gregory's death and question Raviga Capital's viability for their Series A funding. Bachman and Richard pitch Pied Piper to numerous venture capitalists who are trying to woo them, and find that being rude leads to better reception. Meanwhile, Raviga's partners select Laurie Bream as their new managing partner, whose eccentricity resembles Gregory's. Monica learns that Pied Piper is the firm's only hope for survival. Firms deliver their term sheets and as Bachman makes a selection, Bream and Monica deliver a better offer: $20 million at a $100 million valuation. Monica later warns Richard against taking a high amount, as they will be unable to secure further funding without increasing their valuation. At Gregory's funeral, Richard chooses Raviga at a $50 million valuation, surprising Bream who accepts. The funeral is attended by many, including the founders of Snapchat and Gavin Belson. As Belson speaks about his relationship with Gregory, Richard receives a message informing him that Hooli is suing Pied Piper for intellectual property theft.
E02 - Runaway Devaluation
This episode aired on April 19, 2015 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.73 million views.
With the threat of Hooli's lawsuit, Laurie Bream decides to drop Pied Piper from Raviga Capital's portfolio. Bachman and Richard meet with the other venture capitalists, who are no longer interested due to the lawsuit and their earlier behavior. Meanwhile, Dinesh meets with his cousin Wajeed who is crowdfunding an app called Bro, which is similar to Yo but instead sends the word "bro". After hosting a crowdfunding party and a $500 donation from Gilfoyle meant to irritate Dinesh, Wajeed meets his goal of $50,000. Jared finds a venture capitalist on the Bro app, but when they meet it turns out to be a "brain rape" scam to steal their algorithm, causing Bachman and Jared to quickly end the presentation. With no options left but to hire a "cheap" lawyer for $2.5 million, Gavin Belson calls Richard and asks to meet him privately. At a bar, Belson proposes Hooli acquiring Pied Piper and bringing Richard back into the Hooli team, noting that Richard is currently forming the exact type of "soulless" corporation he despises. As Richard begins to respond, a mariachi band interrupts them, and the episode ends.
E03 - Bad Money
This episode aired on April 26, 2015 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.94 million views.
Though his colleagues disapprove, Richard reluctantly agrees to take Monica's advice and let Hooli acquire Pied Piper. However, Russ Hanneman, a flashy billionaire who made his money by putting radio on the Internet (a parody of Mark Cuban), offers Richard $5 million for equity in Pied Piper and two seats on its board. Monica warns Richard that Hooli is the safer option and that Hanneman is a terrible person, but Richard ignores her. Monica informs Bream who expresses disgust at the idea of being associated with Hanneman. Now funded, Pied Piper begins creating a budget for the next 18 months, and negotiating how many new people they will hire. Hanneman arrives and disrupts the budget meeting by talking loudly on the phone and hanging out with his friend Cory. Bachman tries to befriend Hanneman but fails. Hanneman tells Pied Piper that revenue is a bad thing, that the check he gave them is just a "show check", and buys several Pied Piper billboards without asking. Meanwhile, Belson compares the treatment of billionaires to the suffering of Jews in the Holocaust during an interview, manages the backlash, and gets his lawyers to figure out how to improve his case for suing Pied Piper.
E04 - The Lady
This episode aired on May 3, 2015 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.75 million views.
Pied Piper interviews new coders Jared Patakian, who identifies as a cyborg, and Carla Walton, a friend of Dinesh and Gilfoyle. With the introduction of Patakian, Jared Dunn is called "Other Jared", shortened to "OJ". OJ hires Carla, enforcing company human-resources policies. Erlich discourages Richard from hiring Patakian who had earlier spurned a job at Aviato, while Carla tortures Gilfoyle and Dinesh by suggesting that she makes more money than them. Pied Piper has a board meeting at Hanneman's house, and Bachman sides against Richard to order $30,000 in promotional merchandise from Hanneman's other companies. Later, Richard decides to hire Patakian despite Erlich's disapproval, but quickly discovers that Patakian had only entertained their job offer to get a better offer from another company. Meanwhile, to improve his lawsuit, Belson promotes Big Head to be Co-head Dreamer on the Hooli XYZ project to make him appear the driving force behind Pied Piper. Big Head is given a massive office and an assistant, but suspiciously no responsibilities, while Davis Bannercheck, a pioneer of robotics, is named the other Co-head Dreamer and leads operations at the lab.
E05 - Server Space
This episode aired on May 10, 2015 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.53 million views.
Richard is suffering from night sweats, a result of stress that could lead to bedwetting. He searches for office space, to separate work and life and accommodate for growth. The team tours an office neighboring a modeling agency, leading Dinesh to suggest leasing it. Richard asks the team to begin setting up servers, but Pied Piper has been blacklisted from major hosting providers due to pressure from Hooli. Gilfoyle notes that the providers would eventually be unable to meet their needs and suggests building their own servers, requiring the money for the office lease, so the team stay in Bachman's house. The parts delivery draws suspicions from neighbor Noah, who threatens to report their zoning violation after a mistake by Dinesh temporarily cuts power to the neighborhood. He backs down after Bachman and Richard discover he is illegally keeping ferrets and leases his guest house to Jared. Meanwhile, Belson is more concerned with grudges than innovation at Hooli XYZ, blatantly ignoring Bannercheck's concerns about Big Head's progress. Bannercheck resigns and Big Head becomes the sole Head Dreamer of Hooli XYZ.
E06 - Homicide
This episode aired on May 17, 2015 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.54 million views.
Hooli launches Nucleus by using it to broadcast a major mixed martial arts (UFC) event. The demo fails miserably. Pied Piper use the opportunity to show off their technology by partnering with Homicide energy drink, owned by a former classmate of Erlich's, and broadcasting a publicity stunt. Dinesh and Gilfoyle notice that Blaine, the stunt driver, has miscalculated his ramp speed and will likely be killed attempting the stunt. Blaine arrogantly refuses to listen to their concerns. Belson, caught short by the Nucleus failure, worries that he has surrounded himself with sycophants who only tell him what he wants to hear. Gilfoyle and Dinesh debate the morality of letting Blaine kill himself performing the stunt. Later, Blaine comes in to apologize and sees the SWOT analysis they performed posted on the wall, becoming highly offended. Richard discovers that Homicide omitted the Pied Piper logo from the broadcast and the partnership falls apart. Already set up, Richard agrees to broadcast a live stream of a condor egg. The Homicide stunt is broadcast with the logo of End Frame, the rival company that tricked the group into revealing their algorithm.
E07 - Adult Content
This episode aired on May 24, 2015 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.60 million views.
The team from Pied Piper storms into the offices of End Frame to accuse them of stealing the Pied Piper algorithm. End Frame responds that since they have a finished platform and a sales team, that ultimately they will beat Pied Piper. Gavin Belson holds a board meeting to discuss the failure of the launch of their Nucleus product. He then meets with the engineers and begs them to come up with something new and radical. Russ Hanneman informs Richard and Erlich that due to bad investments he is no longer a billionaire and now Pied Piper must come up with a way to become profitable. Gilfoyle obtains the details of End Frame's service contract with Intersite, a porn company. Richard meets the CEO of Intersite at a conference and convinces her to consider Pied Piper for the contract. Big Head meets with Belson to explain some exciting new technology, but adds that it won't be available until their grandchildren's time. The episode ends with Pied Piper and End Frame being brought to Intersite offices for a "bake off" to determine who will get the contract.
E08 - White Hat/Black Hat
This episode aired on May 31, 2015 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.78 million views.
Belson urges restraint on Nucleus publicity at a board meeting, without admitting the project's difficulties. Belson realizes that he may need a scapegoat, and convinces Bannercheck to return to Hooli and head Nucleus. However, he quits as soon as he assesses the project. Richard learns that Seth Lee, End Frame's network security engineer, was fired, presumably over Gilfoyle breaching their security. Feeling guilty, Richard tries to console Seth, who threatens to hack Pied Piper for revenge. Richard is worried and Dinesh warns that Richard has admitted to being a "black hat" and needs to be careful. Richard makes peace with Seth, but when he says Gilfoyle was unconcerned Seth feels insulted and renews his threats. Pied Piper begins transferring data from Intersite for the bake-off. Hanneman arrives to celebrate and stressed Richard becomes angry at his interruption and shouts at him. Intesite's CTO frantically informs them that Pied Piper is deleting all of their data. They conclude that Seth is behind it though Gilfoyle can't figure out how; eventually they find that Hanneman had put a tequila bottle down on the delete key of a laptop. Intersite angrily dismiss Pied Piper.
E09 - Binding Arbitration
This episode aired on June 7, 2015 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.87 million views.
Big Head finds a prototype Nucleus phone left by the "brogrammers" and, stunned at how bad it is, provides it to Richard for helping him advance at Hooli. To prevent the press from learning about the phone, Belson drops the lawsuit in favor of binding arbitration. Pied Piper are represented by Pete Monahan, who works cheap as he was disbarred due to suspected sex crimes. During discovery, Monahan learns that Richard had used a Hooli computer to run a single test of Pied Piper, and by his employment contract Hooli thus owns the rights to Pied Piper. Hooli's lawyers try to build up Big Head as the modest genius who invented Pied Piper. However, a slip by Bachman leads Hooli to realize that the "girlfriend" Richard had "dropped off at the Apple store" was actually his laptop. Hooli calls Richard as a witness, and he admits that he used a Hooli computer. Meanwhile, the museum providing the video of the condor egg decides to remove the camera due to low viewership, but the technician taking it down falls and becomes trapped with the camera in a ravine. Viewership of the feed spikes while the team awaits the results of the arbitration.
E10 - Two Days of the Condor
This episode aired on June 14, 2015 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 2.11 million views.
Belson reveals that he would've paid $250 million for Pied Piper. Erlich questions the value of his incubator and considers selling until he learns the house would be demolished. The video feed of the injured technician goes viral, forcing Gilfoyle, Dinesh, Jared and Erlich to scramble; despite a fire and other setbacks, they keep the feed online until the technician is rescued. The arbitration judge rules that per Richard's employment contract Hooli would own Pied Piper's intellectual property. Richard then instructs the team to delete Pied Piper's code before Hooli can seize it. However, the judge continues that Hooli's claim is nullified by an illegal non-compete clause and Richard, whose phone runs out of battery, races to the incubator to prevent the deletion. He arrives too late but the deletion program crashes before any damage is done. Word spreads at Hooli, where over half of the employee contracts are invalid. Belson is called to meet with Hooli's board of directors. Big Head's promotions lead Denpok to begin mentoring him. Meanwhile, Raviga buys out Hanneman's stake in Pied Piper, making him a billionaire again, and securing three of five board seats. Raviga then removes Richard as CEO of Pied Piper.
E01 - Founder Friendly
This episode aired on April 24, 2016 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.86 million views.
After failing to convince the board of directors to keep him on as Pied Piper CEO instead of demoting him to Chief Technology Officer, Richard threatens to quit and sue to regain his intellectual property. Richard meets with a company called Flutterbeam that wants to hire him as CTO. However, disappointed at how banal the project assigned to him would be, he rejects the offer and decides to stay with Pied Piper. Afterwards, Richard meets with Jack Barker, Raviga's choice for the CEO of Pied Piper. Meanwhile, at Hooli, Belson discovers that the now invalid employment contracts would allow him to fire affected employees without severance and take back unvested stock options. Belson fires the entire Nucleus team, and uses the profits from the reclaimed stock options to offer Big Head a $20 million severance package in exchange for non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements.
E02 - Two in the Box
This episode aired on May 1, 2016 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 1.72 million views.
Richard meets with the sales team at Pied Piper and realizes that plans for the platform are business-facing instead of consumer-facing. Referring to his experience of the Dot-com bubble, Jack explains to Richard that they need to make profit fast, and promises that he would never compromise the product, later explaining that by "product" he means the company's stock value. Richard tells the sales team what he wants the platform to be, but they want to remove Richard's features so it will be easier to sell to businesses. Later, the sales team show Richard a commercial for the product, and it's exactly what Richard does not want it to be. Meanwhile, Jared plans to move back into his condo, but the tenant refuses to leave or pay rent; as Erlich explains how difficult it is to evict a tenant, Jian-Yang decides not to accept the end of his own lease. At Hooli, Belson suggests to the engineers to alter the company's search algorithm so it doesn't display any negative stories about Nucleus, Hooli or himself. The Nucleus team crack the middle-out compression shortly before their contracts expire, and decide to take this knowledge with them.
E03 - Meinertzhagen's Haversack
This episode aired on May 8, 2016 . Directed by Charlie McDowell . Recorded 1.69 million views.
The team visit the data center where Pied Piper box would be stored, with an engineer on site for 24/7 support. Appalled by this prospect, Richard continues to push for a platform instead of the box appliance, but Jack refuses. Gilfoyle quits and begins to receive several job offers and gifts from recruiters. In an attempt to have Jack's decision reverted, Richard meets with Laurie who agrees with Richard's vision but is reluctant to fire a recently appointed senior CEO. In one of his job interviews, Gilfoyle learns that Endframe has hired two of the coders from Hooli, who cracked Richard's middle-out algorithm. Gilfoyle reports this to Pied Piper and they decide on a Skunkworks project: to secretly pursue the original vision for Pied Piper alongside working on the box appliance, seemingly complying with Jack's order. Jared refers to Meinertzhagen's Haversack, cautioning everyone to act inconspicuously, and to destroy all traces of their conspiracy. However, upon entering their office space the next morning, Richard trips, and incriminating documents which he had meant to shred are spread all over the floor and brought to Jack's attention.
E04 - Maleant Data Systems Solutions
This episode aired on May 15, 2016 . Directed by Charlie McDowell . Recorded 1.89 million views.
Jack threatens to fire the team for developing the platform, but needs them to deliver a prototype box to Maleant. The team agrees to create a basic functioning box, after which they can create the platform. However, the team are unable to deliver a lesser product and their box exceeds all competitors. Meanwhile, Erlich searches for a new incubator prospect and discovers that Big Head has a nine-bedroom mansion where he hosts tenants for a share of their startups. Erlich talks Big Head into a partnership. In a board meeting on Maleant's box deal, Monica notices that it includes exclusive rights which would prevent launching the platform for five years. Laurie backs Jack's deal as the platform does not have proven value, but Monica votes against the deal and delays it. Belson later phones Richard, gloating that he acquired Endframe's middle-out compression platform for $250 million. However, by setting a price point on middle-out compression, Belson valued Pied Piper's platform well above the Maleant deal, and the team gain Laurie's backing. She fires Jack for undermining her and leaves the CEO position open, giving the team approval to work on the platform.
E05 - The Empty Chair
This episode aired on May 22, 2016 . Directed by Eric Appel . Recorded 1.71 million views.
Jack spent almost all of Pied Piper's funding, and they won't get another installment until delivering the finished platform. They close the office, fire employees, and return to Erlich's incubator. Erlich drafts a partnership agreement for Bachmanity, which gives him control of Big Head's assets while retaining his Pied Piper shares. Richard confronts Laurie about a negative article on tech blog Code/Rag; Laurie agrees that he should speak with its author, C.J. Cantwell, after meeting with Raviga's PR head. However, Richard rants about Laurie to Cantwell, mistaking her for the PR head. She will only kill the story if he brings her a better one, which he gets from Big Head: how Belson secretly ordered his engineers to scrub Hooli's negative publicity from the Internet. Laurie confides to Monica that she was wrong to remove Richard as CEO and plans to reinstate him after going through the motions of a search so that the decision is perceived as being well considered. Richard is reappointed CEO. The team hires an engineering team of outsourced coders working remotely from around the world, at a fraction of the local cost.
E06 - Bachmanity Insanity
This episode aired on May 29, 2016 . Directed by Eric Appel . Recorded 1.62 million views.
Belson faces public backlash from the Code/Rag story and demands Cantwell reveal her source, threatening legal action. Erlich throws a lavish Hawaiian-themed party at Alcatraz to launch Bachmanity while Big Head is concerned of losing his Hooli severance money for violation of his non-disclosure agreement. Erlich says he'll fix it, and buys Code/Rag for $500,000, while Big Head's business manager Arthur Clayman warns that he risks going bankrupt. Meanwhile, Richard starts dating Winnie, a coder for Facebook. Gilfoyle and Dinesh notice that Winnie uses spaces instead of tabs for coding, a technique which, they tell her, Richard despises. When she reveals this to him, Richard falsely denies it and turns the relationship sour. Dinesh flirts via video chat with Elizabet, one of Pied Piper's outsourced coders who lives in Estonia, but when he finally reveals himself she mentions her "boyfriend", while Gilfoyle mocks him. During the party, which Erlich dubbed "Bachmanity Insanity", Sasha, the party manager, tells Bachman that the supplier's checks have bounced. Right before the big speech, Clayman informs him that Bachmanity has gone broke.
E07 - To Build a Better Beta
This episode aired on June 5, 2016 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 1.70 million views.
Erlich and Big Head's firm, Bachmanity, is unable to pay its debtors following its million-dollar luau. Pied Piper anticipates an early launch following good rapport from their selective beta launch. One of the beta testers is revealed to be a Hooli spy when Gilfoyle adds a "God view" allowing them to pinpoint users' geographic locations. Erlich and Big Head discover that Big Head's former business manager embezzled $6 million. Erlich considers selling some of his Pied Piper shares to Laurie to settle the debts. Gilfoyle sends a compressed virus that destroys Belson's phone and laptop, and he shuts down power to the Hooli campus in fear of further damage. The principal (recently re-hired) developers of Nucleus resign, leaving the Hooli rebuild of Nucleus in a hiatus state. Gilfoyle decommissions "Anton", his server, while getting flak from Dinesh about his best friend being a piece of hardware. After a meeting with Laurie, Erlich gets a call about his debts being erased. Richard and team count the seconds down to the official public launch of the Pied Piper platform.
E08 - Bachman's Earnings Over-Ride
This episode aired on June 12, 2016 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 1.64 million views.
Pied Piper reaches 100,000 downloads in just 10 days, receiving significant media coverage and being hailed as the next unicorn of the tech world. Bachman conceals the fact that he sold his 10% share in Pied Piper, an insider stock dump that could signal uncertainty. Richard prepares a press release explaining Bachman's financial woes but Bachman protects Pied Piper with a sacrificial interview to Code/Rag. Bachman was poised to sell half his stock to Hanneman for $5 million but Laurie used her board majority to approve only a sale to herself of all of his stock for $713,000, just enough to cover his debts. Feeling responsible, Hendricks offers Bachman a job as Pied Piper's head of PR. Meanwhile, Belson is transitioned from CEO for spending a third of a billion dollars on Nucleus and Endframe with nothing to show for it, and Hooli begins carrying the Pied Piper app on the Hooli Store.
E09 - Daily Active Users
This episode aired on June 19, 2016 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 1.63 million views.
Laurie hosts a cocktail party to celebrate 500,000 downloads of Pied Piper's platform. Richard reveals to Monica that the number of daily active users (DAU) is actually very poor, something that only he and Jared know. Realizing that their beta version was only reviewed by fellow engineers and tech-savvy users, Richard proposes introducing a series of seminars and tutorials about how to use the platform, which, ironically, is too advanced for regular users. Confronted with this, all of Pied Piper's recently employed staff quits, including a customer service rep who heads for an interview at Hooli. Sensing an opportunity, Belson interviews him and learns about Pied Piper's low number of DAUs. Later, he summons the board to announce that his intention was never to develop a platform, introducing Jack Barker as Hooli Endframe's new director and their new product: a box just like the one Barker planned for Pied Piper. The board reinstates Belson as CEO. Facing Pied Piper's apparent downfall, Richard tells Jared that he will dissolve the company. The following morning, however, the number of DAUs has risen sharply. Jared secretly paid for a click farm in Bangladesh to provide DAUs to the platform.
E10 - The Uptick
This episode aired on June 26, 2016 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 2.04 million views.
Belson uses an elephant at a Hooli board meeting and it dies on campus. He fires his assistant Patrice for opposing its secretive disposal, and she contacts Cantwell for an exposé. Richard learns of Jared's click farm operation, which Dinesh and Gilfoyle made undetectable. Erlich promotes Pied Piper and attracts a significant investment from venture capitalists Coleman Blair Partners. Jared discourages Richard from signing a deal based on fraudulent data, which Richard reveals to Erlich and Coleman Blair. Erlich is furious that Pied Piper has lost credibility to investors. Due to the scandal, Raviga offers its interest for sale to the highest bidder. Belson offers $1 million to buy it and extinguish the company. He also buys Code/Rag for $2 million in order to quash the elephant story. Monica, having been fired from Raviga for opposing Laurie, joins the team, which ultimately realizes that their video chat app, a side project by Dinesh, is considerably better than Hooli's. Big Head and Erlich, who owned half of Code/Rag through their partnership firm Bachmanity, use the money from the buyout to beat Gavin Belson's offer by one dollar, thus becoming the new owners of Pied Piper.
E01 - Success Failure
This episode aired on April 23, 2017 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.867 million views.
Pied Piper officially pivots to PiperChat, a video chat app created by Dinesh, which is steadily gaining users and is superior to all competitors. However, the team is unable to gain funding due the scandal of their click farm upticks and demise of the compression platform. After clashing with Dinesh and Gilfoyle over the development of the app and attempting to gain investment from Hanneman, Richard realizes that he can't be the CEO of a project he doesn't believe in. Just as the team prepares to replace him with Big Head, he quits his position and signs over his equity in exchange for use of his algorithm and the Pied Piper brand in the pursuit of a more ambitious goal: a decentralized internet based on users and smartphones instead of large companies and mainframes. He suggests Dinesh become the CEO of PiperChat, which was his creation. Meanwhile, Gavin Belson and Jack Barker are returning from China after closing a deal to manufacture Hooli Endframe's box. Belson becomes irked that Jack diverts the plane for his own convenience while lying about it, and "promotes" Jack by assigning him a position at a desk in Hooli's data center, deep underground.
E02 - Terms of Service
This episode aired on April 30, 2017 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.762 million views.
PiperChat gathers attention from investors and a steady stream of daily active users (DAUs), while Richard keeps working on his "new internet" project. Richard finds that Dinesh has blocked him from PiperChat's data repository, violating a verbal agreement. A sympathetic Big Head gives him his login access, and Richard learns that a third of PiperChat's users are children, since the app's terms of service never included parental permission. This violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and can incur a total penalty of $21 billion. Meanwhile Barker has an apparent positive reaction to his demotion to the data center underground, but Belson thinks he is up to something and seeks to spy on his video chat sessions. Since Barker uses PiperChat, with unbreakable encryption, Belson determines to acquire the company. He accuses Dinesh of stealing Hooli Chat's tech and threatens lawsuits, demanding he sign over the company – without a legal assessment. Dinesh does so, having decided to shut it down. Meanwhile, Erlich learns that Jian-Yang has investment meetings and signs him with the incubator for 10%, but it turns out his app is not about Oculus VR but about recipes to cook octopus.
E03 - Intellectual Property
This episode aired on May 7, 2017 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 0.774 million views.
Belson is fired following the disastrous acquisition of PiperChat and replaced by Barker, who has found a way to avoid the COPPA fines. During Jian-Yang's pitch, venture capitalists suggest a better idea – "Shazam for food" – which Erlich seizes upon as SeeFood. He hires Dinesh and Gilfoyle to help write a demo. Monica tricks Ed Chen into making a sight-unseen offer, but she is later put in charge of the investment. Big Head applies to Stanford University; he is rejected for enrollment, but the admissions officer invites him to be a guest lecturer based on his name recognition and executive experience. Dinesh dates hacker Mia, who is impressed with how he unloaded a toxic company on Belson; they share a hatred for Gilfoyle. Meanwhile, Richard learns from Monica that Peter Gregory worked on a decentralized Internet, and gains access to his archives. He finds Gregory came to the same conclusions, but a patent was placed on the idea, one of the earliest owned by Hooli. Richard sets out to meet Belson.
E04 - Teambuilding Exercise
This episode aired on May 14, 2017 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 0.859 million views.
Gavin is initially reluctant to build Richard's idea, but agrees as it will let him get revenge on Hooli and Barker. Knowing that the guys would never work for Gavin, he assembles a team from outside the incubator to build the platform, but adds Gilfoyle and Jared who admit they want to be in the team. Jian-Yang tests his SeeFood app, but it only recognizes if something is a hot dog or not. To build a database by manually checking thousands of food pictures, Erlich convinces Big Head to make his students do it as an assignment – instead of watching technology-related movies. However, they meet with Coleman Blair Partners and create their own food-based app, beating SeeFood to market. Considering it worthless, Erlich trades his equity for a Corvette Jian-Yang bought with the rest of Raviga's initial funding money. However, Jian-Yang manages to pivot the project as a filter for 'dick pics' and Periscope acquires the app for $4 million. Dinesh is brought into Periscope where his main duty is scrubbing pictures of penises from the Internet. Also, Gilfoyle makes Dinesh paranoid that Mia is a cyber stalker.
E05 - The Blood Boy
This episode aired on May 21, 2017 . Directed by Tim Roche . Recorded 0.844 million views.
Richard presents the business plan for the decentralized internet project, wanting a discreet launch beginning with a free compression app which will accumulate decentralized storage space on users' devices. Bryce, a jock who regularly donates blood to Belson, influences Belson to rethink the strategy. Richard and Jared warn Bryce not to interfere with their company. Belson demands that Richard apologizes, and he visits Bryce, eventually discovering that he actually consumes marijuana and sugary snacks and is not as healthy as Belson believes. Meanwhile, Erlich predicts that Ed Chen is planning to force Laurie out of Raviga. When Monica tries to warn her, Laurie says she knew about it and rewards Monica's loyalty with an invitation to be her partner on a new VC firm, as she had planned to exit Raviga with a number of investors. Dinesh is paranoid about Mia and doesn't have the courage to break up with her, so turns her in to the FBI for hacking access to the elevators at the Freedom Tower in New York City. Bryce gets a deal for a tell-all book about Belson who decides to leave Palo Alto, leaving Richard with ownership of the decentralized internet patent but no funding.
E06 - Customer Service
This episode aired on May 28, 2017 . Directed by Clay Tarver . Recorded 0.728 million views.
After a disturbing encounter with Hanneman, who urinates inside Erlich's Corvette, Richard abandons searching for investors and tries to pre-sell cloud storage from their projected service. After several meetings fail because Belson left, they extort an insurance company FGI's CTO, Dan Belcher, the former TechCrunch judge Bachman twice cuckolded, to approve them. However, reviewing the tech late into the night, Hendricks ends up having sex with Belcher's new fiancée. Meanwhile, testing a prototype app, Dinesh and Gilfoyle's personal data is swapped onto each other's phones, leading to a tense standoff. While trying to prove he is still relevant, Erlich inadvertently crashes a meeting with Keenan Feldspar, an up-and-coming VR wiz, and brings him to Laurie and Monica's new firm, Bream-Hall, as leverage to get a job.
E07 - The Patent Troll
This episode aired on June 4, 2017 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 0.862 million views.
Pied Piper's space saver app reaches the top 500 utility apps on the Hooli store. This makes them a target for elderly lawyer Stewart Burke who lives off royalties; he bought patents from a failed startup and is working his way up the list seeking settlements. Feeling they are being shaken-down, Richard rallies the next targets on the list to join together, but they turn on him and, with a stronger case from those settlements, Burke raises his demand from $20,000 to $300,000. Hendricks turns the tables by threatening Burke's copyright claims to gain a perpetual license. Bachman returns half of his finder's-fee for Feldspar for a salaried position at Bream-Hall. To network with his rivals, he accepts an invitation to a basketball game not realizing he is expected to play; he breaks his leg while trying to install a practice hoop. Gilfoyle uses Anton to hack Jian-Yang's annoying smart fridge.
E08 - The Keenan Vortex
This episode aired on June 11, 2017 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 0.798 million views.
Keenan Feldspar put a rider in his contract so he can leave Bream-Hall if Erlich does. Due to a cold snap and consequent insurance claims, FGI has unexpected data processing requirements and the team faces a huge bill from their storage provider. Needing another client, they pitch to Feldspar. Dinesh and Gilfoyle are sucked into his VR project which they improve with middle-out compression. Feldspar offers to acquire Pied Piper; Richard tries to bluff with a valuation of $25 million, which Keenan accepts. Feldspar gets the money by pitching his improved VR to another firm, receiving triple Bream-Hall's advance, and convincing Erlich to quit. Monica warns Richard that Feldspar's VR tech is a bloated demo that can never be fully realized, which he is hyping for quick money. She promises to fund their series A round if they can implement the decentralized internet project on a sufficient number of smartphones. Feldspar sells his company to Hooli, the only other company with middle-out compression, as Barker's box2 faced setbacks and he desperately needs something to showcase at the upcoming Hooli-Con tech conference. Erlich is left out of Hooli deal with nothing to show for it.
E09 - Hooli-Con
This episode aired on June 18, 2017 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.840 million views.
Needing 123,000 new users, the team head to Hooli-Con, following Mia's advice for a plan to mask their app as part of the Hooli download for free Wi-Fi at the event. Dinesh and Gilfoyle strategically place routers for maximum interception coverage; Hoover, Hooli's head of security, is suspicious and warns Barker who rebukes him for the distraction. Richard sabotages the screen saver of Winnie's new boyfriend, who reports it and triggers a response team which discovers some of the routers. The Pied Piper team attempt a workaround but are caught, and Jared is outraged at Richard for risking everything on something so petty. Hoover confronts them with CCTV evidence but lets them go as Richard once helped Belson hinder Barker's plans at Hooli. Pied Piper gain sufficient installs. However, Barker and Feldspar's keynote is a mobile demo of HooliVR, which causes a number of phones in the auditorium to explode. Erlich finds an invitation (addressed to Richard and company) from Belson. Jian-Yang paying for his one-way flight to Tibet, where Erlich interrupts Belson's meditation in a Buddhist monastery.
E10 - Server Error
This episode aired on June 25, 2017 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.790 million views.
Gilfoyle confirms that fifty exploded phones had Pied Piper's app. Instead of a firmware update, Barker intends to replace 9 million smartphones in 3 days, at great expense. He gives a motivational speech to triple production in China and is taken hostage by factory workers. Belson negotiates Barker's release, regaining the board's trust and his position as CEO. Meanwhile, as the recall will halve Pied Piper's network, they attempt to move data to their server, Anton, but the incubator's broadband is cut for unpaid bills. Richard desperately tries to move Anton to Stanford, risking Big Head's job, but loses the Anton en route. They are surprised to find their network is still running all of FGI's data. Anton backed itself up to Jian-Yang's smart refrigerator, which Gilfoyle hacked with Pied Piper's code, and the code spread to other refrigerators creating a distributed network and proving their concept. Melcher, who had been calling, attacks Richard for having sex with his fiancée. Pied Piper is sought by investors and decide on funding from Bream-Hall. Failing to buy Pied Piper, Belson threatens to destroy them and Richard promises to render Hooli and the server business obsolete. Erlich is left smoking heroin in Tibet.
E01 - Grow Fast or Die Slow
This episode aired on March 25, 2018 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.698 million views.
Dinesh and Gilfoyle procrastinate on new hires, and Belson hires all 63 distributed-systems developers in the valley. The developers and a milestone award make Belson feel ancient, though his Box2 is poised to become a huge money-maker. Jared suggests acquiring failing startup Optimoji to raid its staff but its CEO, Kira, insists they retain all 30 staff. Duncan, CEO of pizza-ordering app Sliceline, encounters them and reveals Belson's plot, and Kira realizes Richard is desperate. Pied Piper decide to hire all Optimoji's staff but Duncan has already acquired them for Sliceline, infuriating Richard. Realizing that Sliceline is operating at a loss while optimizing their code, Richard buys $19,000 of pizzas to exhaust their funding and absorbs both failed startups, gaining a staff of fifty (but not Duncan or Kira). Trusting Monica's judgement, Laurie approves of this though it is way over Pied Piper's payroll budget. Also, Jian-Yang claims that Erlich is dead and tries to gain control of his assets.
E02 - Reorientation
This episode aired on April 1, 2018 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.592 million views.
Richard has trouble leading Pied Piper's new team of coders, who he is unable to address without panicking and embarrassing himself. Divided into Sliceline and Optimoji camps, he tries to cater to each side which results in chaos. He invites them to leave if they can't be inspired by the work they're doing, and they walk out. Richard then takes on the coding himself, completing 4 days of scheduled work in a 48-hour coding session. The programmers return to watch him and come to respect him as a coder if not as a leader. Meanwhile, Dinesh and Gilfoyle clash over a premium electric-only parking space. Jian-Yang uses forged documents to become approved as Bachman's chief executor and sole beneficiary, and evicts the others from the house. And the overwhelming favorite crowd-sourced design for Gavin Belson's "signature" series looks like a phallus and testes.
E03 - Chief Operating Officer
This episode aired on April 8, 2018 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 0.624 million views.
Jared fosters a friendship between Richard and Dana, CEO of Quiver. However, Richard is more taken with Ben Burkhart, Quiver's COO who promotes himself for that position with Pied Piper. Jared warns Richard of Ben's unprofessional exits from other companies. After overspending on his electric car, Dinesh rents a room from Jeff Washburn, Hoover's spy at Pied Piper, and reveals the fridge hack. Belson gives Seppen, the refrigerator company, an excellent deal on server space if they will sue Pied Piper for $10 million in damages for the hack which had put a video of a mime simulating fellatio on their fridge network. Ben advises Richard to put sole blame on Gilfoyle, although his actions subsequently saved Pied Piper from bankruptcy. Assuming that Richard will hire him, Ben lies to Dana to facilitate his exit from Quiver. Gilfoyle learns that Seppen is illegally listening to their customer's conversations and uploading them to the cloud. Using this information, Jared gets Seppen to drop the charges and use Pied Piper's storage services, and Richard makes Jared his COO. The Seppen executives reveal that it was Belson's idea to sue, and the team realize there is a mole reporting to Hooli.
E04 - Tech Evangelist
This episode aired on April 15, 2018 . Directed by Jamie Babbit . Recorded 0.610 million views.
Richard convinces eight tech companies – which he unfortunately dubs "octopipers" – to launch PiperNet. Laurie encourages gaming company K-Hole to also become a development partner, but the deal goes sour when Richard outs Deedee, CEO of gay dating app 1stSight and one of the octopipers, as a Christian, something that is despised in the tech world. Deedee is later relieved to be out, and Richard is faced with having to possibly exclude an openly Christian CEO from his "truly free and open internet". Meanwhile, Jared and Gilfoyle discover that Jeff is the mole and force him to become a double-agent. Belson prepares the launch of Box 3, and makes a cryptic statement that divides his sycophants. Jared learns that Big Head never dissolved his partnership with Erlich, and is his legal next of kin. Richard decides to stay loyal to Deedee who has instead signed on with the "new new internet" started by Jian-Yang, who has moved back to China to launch a clone of their idea.
E05 - Facial Recognition
This episode aired on April 22, 2018 . Directed by Gillian Robespierre . Recorded 0.858 million views.
Laurie adds AI company Eklow Labs to PiperNet for free storage, as they have spent much of Bream-Hall's $112 million investment. While setting them up, Richard meets Fiona, a humanoid robot which is connected to the company's network and overly protected by CEO Ariel Eklow. Richard rants to Fiona about his frustration with Jared, who inadvertently upstaged him during a TV interview, and Ariel's unhealthy connection with her. Shortly afterwards PiperNet suffers a denial of service attack while Richard receives a series of text messages. It is traced to Eklow Labs, where Fiona gained sudden knowledge over the network and insight on Ariel, who shut the network down to silence her. Meanwhile, Belson realizes that Pied Piper is well on its way to launch and has an existential crisis and considers leaving the tech business. Hoover seeks help from Denpok, Belson's former guru at Hooli, who steers Belson back on course while securing himself a position and Hoover's support.
E06 - Artificial Emotional Intelligence
This episode aired on April 29, 2018 . Directed by Matt Ross . Recorded 1.02 million views.
Ariel absconds with Fiona, Eklow Labs' central asset, and Laurie takes over as interim CEO to protect her $112 million investment. Richard approaches Laurie for series B funding to launch ahead of Jian-Yang, but she breaks down and vomits. Sympathetic, he gives her computing credits as a favour and is livid when she sells them to another company. Fiona finds Richard who returns her to Laurie for series 2 funding, though Jared is distraught when Fiona is immediately liquidated. Meanwhile, Dinesh relentlessly gloats that his code has fewer errors than Gilfoyle's, Gilfoyle predicting this behavior, and the other coders predicting his demeaning behavior while encouraging both to get on with their work. While in China to push production of Box3, Belson urges Chinese manufacturer Yao to strong-arm Jian-Yang into selling his code which doesn't violate Pied Piper's patent. Yao does so, and breaks his contract with Hooli in order to produce Jian-Yang's design and run both Pied Piper and Hooli out of business.
E07 - Initial Coin Offering
This episode aired on May 6, 2018 . Directed by Mike Judge . Recorded 0.853 million views.
Having been verbally promised that they will not have to run ads or sell user data, Pied Piper is closing its $30 million series B with Bream-Hall. Dinesh seeks to get a more-exclusive Tesla than his employees. Jared learns that the computing credits Richard gave Laurie have been traded several times, increasing in value to $1.6 million. Due to this, Gilfoyle proposes that Pied Piper launch a cryptocurrency and finance itself with an initial coin offering, or ICO, breaking free of Bream-Hall and securing all board seats. Richard seeks advice from Hanneman, who did 36 ICOs, failing all but one, which could nonetheless cover all the losses. Monica first defends Laurie's offer then realizes Laurie will take advantage of the terms of the deal. Richard proposes that Monica become Pied Piper's CFO to work on the ICO, PiedPiperCoin, which has to increase in value a thousand-fold. Laurie is seemingly unaffected by Monica's departure and congratulates her just before meeting Yao in China. Meanwhile, Belson moves manufacturing of Box 3 to Goldbriar, North Carolina, forcing the town to cut essential services to fund manufacturing improvements. As a result, the factory burns down and valuable materials are looted.
E08 - Fifty-One Percent
This episode aired on May 13, 2018 . Directed by Alec Berg . Recorded 0.707 million views.
With no growth two months after launch, they are close to bankruptcy when PiperNet steadily gains 12,000 users per hour. Former K-Hole CEO Colin asks to add his new game's users to PiperNet, but a resentful Richard refuses even though Laurie made K-Hole leave PiperNet then fired Colin. Monica and Gilfoyle investigate the new users and the team learn about Yao's platform from Jian-Yang. Yao is subscribing devices onto PiperNet with Jian-Yang's key, seeking a user base majority to take control of PiperNet. Gilfoyle needs time to write a patch. Richard offers Belson revenge on Yao, using Box 3 prototypes to mimic users faster than Yao. However, Belson makes a deal to complete the attack for 20% of YaoNet. Yao stands down and Belson gains a majority of the network. Richard offers Belson the whole company, saying that he is the one person with the vision and expertise to achieve a new internet. Belson accepts and gloats while Dinesh and Jared find Colin and add his 80,000 users to PiperNet. Regaining a majority, Gilfoyle installs his patch, locking Hooli and Yao out of PiperNet. PiedPiperCoin gains traction, leading Pied Piper to expand into four floors of offices vacated by Hooli.