S3E9 Daily Active Users: The Tables Have Turned
This episode reminds me of a story. A story of people who are more intelligent than you trying to help, but still trying to retain their upper intellectual superiority. In my sophomore year of High School I was in a difficult AP World History class, so I liked to do half of my homework and then copy the other half off people in the hallway before class. This sometimes worked, but it sometimes lent to a tutoring session. During the Safavid period I was trying to pull some answers from a friend, but the soon to be salutatorian of the class passed by. He as a nice guy and he could’ve totally ratted me out, but instead he took this as a time to tutor me. Throughout the fifteen minutes of nonsense I understood nothing because I was so livid that every time I said Safavid, he would calmly correct me with Suuhfahvid. This is what Richard’s doing with his push to explain Pied Piper to normal people of the world. Monica was right about things, basically.
Installs Aren’t Active Users
Pied Piper is on the up and up, but that’s only a facade. As the group gathers to celebrate the 500,000th install,
Richard tells Monica that they barely have Daily Active Users, which is required for them to get the next batch of funding. Jared is having difficulty holding in the truth as he eats finger foods. Monica calls up a marketing person and bam, focus group is set up.
Focusing on the wrong thing
Everyone in the focus group is Beyond Scared Straight of the platform. Like the enabling parents that send their kids to Beyond Scared Straight, he wants to step in and save them from the scary things. So he walks into the focus group and spends possibly hours explaining the platform to them. By the end they have eaten pizza and (especially Bernice) love Pied Piper. This is the most Richard way of dealing with this. Most CEO’s would have taken the focus group data and used that to form a new ad campaign, or redesign the platform. Richard is a stubborn engineer who has the backing of all his Silicon Valley friends, and is clueless to how the common non-engineer user thinks about computing. Richard is also a sweet crew neck sweater wearing marshmallow. So he sends him and his team to do informational workshops at various locations.
As Erlich predicts, it fails. So Richard goes back to his ad team, with the last of their funding.
It’s the tipping point of RIchard’s hope. He wanted to do things his way, he got to, and now it’s falling a part.
This is while Gavin and Jack have teamed up to make the Hooli Box, which is already being lauded as a success by the Hooli board.
These companies are the crossroads of doing things for profit, and doing things for the greater good. Unfortunately the high road needs some help from the low road of outsourced poorly treated workers. The Daily Active Users are climbing, but it’s only because Jared has hired a click farm to increase the numbers. It looks bad, and it’s setting up a season finale that is vastly different than the one I thought was going to take place. We have moved from the complex workplace drama of a start up, to the moral gray area that Silicon Valley inhabits, that we choose to ignore.
Article Submitted by Kevin Cucolo