I work a full time job, which, unfortunately, is not watching tv or writing about it. So, I’m going to have to condense my thoughts about all the tv I watched Sunday night. And, yes, it is two days late. Like I said, I work a fulltime job.
Kevin, Sr. finally gets an episode all to himself. He’s still in Australia and his adventure starts off with him secretly recording song of the indigenous peoples. I get the feeling the writers thought it would be fun to watch Senior search for purpose in the Outback. I’m just bored.
Senior is stealing songs along a songline. They’re trails used by indigenous tribes to travel though and navigate the continent. A quick Wikipedia read lays it out pretty clearly: these are important to their culture and to their faith; they are not meant for tourists.
For people who don’t live in places with a lot of tourist traffic, tourist is probably not a bad word. But for the places where tourists flock, it’s a very bad term. Tourists come through, observe the surface, and leave believing they understand the place and the people. We’ve all been that tourist, too. I went to Seattle once and I liked it, despite its unusually warm weather, but I know fuck all about what it’s like to live there. Kevin, Sr. is the worst kind of tourist — he’s a spiritual tourist.
I’m sick of seeing these stories, too. I’m sick of seeing (mostly) white people travelling in other countries to find faith and purpose. It exotic-izes the citizens and the religion. If Kevin, Sr. really believes he’s the only person who can stop a flood, why does he think he has to use Aboriginal songs? Maybe Tony the Chicken was just trying to tell him to sing ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider’.
It was fun to see Dinesh as the person in charge since I think he’s always underused. Although, I was surprised to see how quickly the position went to his head. It’s only been a week and he’s already reneged on an agreement with Richard, broken a major federal law, and possibly fucked Richard over again.
I’ll get to that last part in a minute. I need to rant for a bit.
The number one thing I love about Silicon Valley is overall moral of the tale: not all creators should be CEOs. Just because you devise an algorithm or adapt a better way of using current technology, doesn’t mean you know how to run a company. Richard in season three is the perfect example of this.
Richard is all excited to finally develop and launch the Pied Piper app. When Jack Barker wants to create a black box to connect to existing server networks, everyone is like “Nooooooooooooooooo.” And, I must admit, I was saying the same thing. After nearly a year, though, I now think Jack was right (although he should have explained it better.) First, as CEO, Jack is responsible for making the company as profitable as possible. Pied Piper was still in its A-round of funding with no product to show to investors. To get the next round, they need to show than an algorithm and an elevator pitch.
Second, a lot of businesses make their money by having business and education customers. Google keeps its free apps free by leasing the Google Suite to businesses and universities (my work email, for instance, is Gmail with a .edu suffix). Richard wanted to keep the app free for everyone? Well, that black box is how you fund it.
Lastly, the launch of the app shows how ineffective Richard is as a CEO. When they were in beta, they sent the app to all of their friends — all of their engineer/developer friends — who came back with positive reviews. The one negative piece of feedback, from Monica, was written off as a statistical aberration. They don’t even do a focus group until after the app has launched and begun underperforming! Anyone who’s taken a business class knows the power of testing. All they had to do was hire a UX designer to make the platform more user friendly. Even a how-to video on YouTube would have helped.
Now Dinesh is in charge. He obviously thinks he won’t fuck up because he’s seen everything Richard did wrong. So, while it’s harsh that his screw ups are even worse, it’s also satisfying in the most Schadenfreude way. It’s his last act as CEO, though, which could really mess things up for Richard and his algorithm.
Tell me, when Dinesh signed PiperChat over to Gavin Belson, did he make sure that he was just signing over the user data? Did he really sign over the platform? The platform built using Richard’s intellectual property? Did Dinesh just sign over Richard’s life to Gavin Belson and Hooli?
You know who wouldn’t do that? Jarred. Because he reads the fucking fine print.
I need more time with this show. The premiere is still leaving my thought all a jumble. So, a recap/review will be on its way later this week.