03x01 - Founder Friendly

I just got fired.

And what about me?

What about you?

What about me?

Okay. That's it.

I'm going over there right f*cking now, before they leave.

Erlich, I'm gonna use your car.

Jared, you call Ron LaFlamme, tell him to meet me there.

f*ck these assholes!

Wait. Richard, I'm coming with you.

Here. Jared, clear this.

Get all the smoke out of it.

Otherwise, it damages the device.

Umm...

Don't be a pussy.

Richard: How could they do this?

How could they fire me from my own company?

Erlich: Just stay calm. We're gonna fight this.

Jesus, Richard, slow down.

Stop, stop, stop!

Did I just hit a deer?

No, goddamn it!

f*cking Stanford Robotics.

sh1t. Is this gonna make us late?

Oh! They killed the Bam-bot.

f*ck your Bam-bot!

You little Stanford c**ts f*cked up my grille!

f*cking piece of sh1t!

Wait.

You little c**t!

f*ck!

Richard: Hey.

This one's for your mama.

Erlich, stop. Come on. Erlich, we've got to get to Raviga.

Hey, no, no. Hey, hey, hey.

(THEME MUSIC PLAYING)

Richard: Thanks for coming, Ron.

Ron: I'd bail on spin class any day for you, Richie.

Richard. Richard.

I kept calling, you weren't answering.

Talk to the hand, Monica.

Richard, can you stop? I can explain, okay?

It's pretty self-explanatory, Monica. You voted to fire me.

What the f*ck?

I mean, there is no way I'm letting you push me out of this.

Our intention is not to push you out.

We wish rather to transition you to a more appropriate role within the company.

A new CEO will be brought in to manage day-to-day operations while you assume the role of Chief Technology Officer.

Congratulations.

CTO? Yes.

You want me to be an employee at my own company?

You would still be in charge of the engineering, and you'd continue vesting your shares, and keep your board seat.

The same seat I had an hour ago when you voted to fire me as CEO?

That came in handy.

Richard, please.

I realize this may be bittersweet, but earlier this evening Raviga decided to officially fund Pied Piper Series A Round at $5 million at a $50 million valuation.

Essentially, you have created a company that is too valuable for you to run.

You should feel good about that.

Are you kidding me? I made the company, okay?

I'm the one who came up with the name "Pied Piper."

Yeah.

Ron, can I have a word please?

They can't really do this, can they?

I think they just did.

You remember that sh1t deal you brought me from Hanneman, and I said, "Hey, Richie, this is a sh1t deal," but you took it anyway because you wanted to do something crazy for once in your life?

Yes, I remember.

Well, you basically just loaded a gun and handed it to Hanneman, and Hanneman sold that gun to Raviga, and then Raviga just f*cking pistol-whipped you.

But hey, at least they're letting you keep your shares and your board seat.

You lose a little blood with the dilution for the new CEO, but I've seen worse.

Like that sh1t deal you brought me from Hanneman.

(CHUCKLES)

If we give Richard a little bit of space, he'll be able to wrap his head around this, and a smooth transition to a new CEO will be possible.

To wit, I served as the CEO of Aviat...

Mr. Bachman.

In the version of Pied Piper in which I am invested, you will not be CEO. Not now. Not ever.

Well, you, madam, are a shrew of the first order.

Okay. I'm not gonna let you do this.

I'm gonna fight it.

I understand you're upset.

As you can see, this is a very emotional time for me as well, but we have some very strong candidates coming in for the CEO position, and we would so appreciate your input.

My input?

Mmm.

You want me to help you pick my new replacement?

I'd rather quit.

And I don't care how much money I lose, because I am gonna get it all back when I sue the living sh1t out of you!

Okay. All right. All right.

Ron, let's go.

Sorry, I'm forced to inform you that I can no longer provide you with legal counsel.

What are you talking about? You're my attorney.

No. Technically, I'm Pied Piper's corporate counsel, and you just declared your intention to walk.

So, in effect, you kind of just threatened to sue me, and I don't take kindly to threats, Mr. Hendricks.

"Mr. Hendricks"?

What happened to "Richie"?

Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to discuss him with you either, Mr. Hendricks.

♪ ♪

Monica: Richard, if I didn't vote to remove you, then Laurie would've adjourned the meeting, replaced my seat on the board with someone else at Raviga, and then they would've voted to remove you.

At least this way, I'm still in the game.

No. You mean, at least this way, you kept your job.

At least the actual Judas had the courtesy to kill himself after betraying his leader, Jesus Christ.

He's the CEO of the world. Ever heard of him?

Yeah. Got it. Went to Catholic school.

Really? How long?

Look, I'm still on the board of this company.

I'll be in all of the meetings.

Maybe I can be helpful at some point.

You wanna be helpful, Monica?

Convince Laurie to keep me on as CEO.

Look, I know I made some mistakes. I wasn't perfect, but I'll get better. I'll even go to one of those CEO coaches, like that guy at f*cking Twitter.

Richard, it's done.

Laurie already found a new CEO.

What? Already?

You said that you didn't want to be part of the interview process, so they picked someone this morning.

Jack Barker. He's an incredibly skilled, top-notch CEO.

I don't care who he is, okay? None of us do.

(KEYBOARDS CLICKING)

"Action" Jack Barker?

Seriously? They picked that gray-haired fossil over me?

You said you turned the job down.

I said it was mutual.

Oh.

What? That's accurate.

He ran Entercross Systems.

They IPO'ed in 1998 for more than a billion dollars.

Yeah, 20 f*cking years ago.

Tech 1.0. What has he done lately?

After that, he ran Turnwire for four years until it was acquired by Microsoft for $2 billion.

Holy sh1t. This guy's a hitter.

He was, in the oughts. What's he done in the 20-teens?

Looks like he started a foundation in his mother's name to cure cancer.

Yeah, how's that going? (SCOFFS)

Yeah. I bet his mother's dead.

Yeah, that's probably why he started the foundation.

Richard, Laurie's meeting with him tomorrow.

You should come in and talk with him.

No f*cking way.

Think this through. I mean, you have to know that you can't start another compression company.

No VC will fund that out of fear of being sued, and unless you have some totally different, game-changing idea lying around...

So you're saying that I'm f*cked if I leave?

No, I'm saying that...

Okay. Well, then I guess I'm f*cked, because I'm out.

And when I leave, Jared's out, Dinesh is out, Gilfoyle is out.

Everybody's out.

So good luck with the company there, Monica.

It'll just be you, Laurie Bream, and some f*cking asshole who can't even cure cancer.

He's right.

Where Richard goes, I go.

Monica, excuse how high I am, but are the uniforms in Catholic schools as low-cut as they are online?

f*ck off.

Did you tell Richard you were out?

No. Did you?

No.

Are we out?

Hmm.

♪ ♪

(MURMURING)

Did Gavin tell you what this is about?

We haven't spoken in some time.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you all for coming on such short notice.

I have a difficult announcement to make.

We, in the tech business, often refer to failure as a good thing.

Failure is growth.

Failure is learning.

But sometimes failure is just failure.

I think...

♪ ♪

I'm sorry.

I didn't think it would be this hard.

But goodbyes are always hard, especially when I am the one saying goodbye.

Today, effective immediately, I, Gavin Belson, founder and CEO of Hooli, am forced to officially say goodbye to the entire Nucleus division.

(MURMURING)

All Nucleus personnel will be given proper notice and terminated.

But make no mistake.

Though they're the ones leaving, it is I who must remain and bear the heavy burden of their failure.

It is my fault.

I trusted them to get the job done.

But that is the price of leadership.

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

That was the gutsiest thing I've ever seen.

Amazing.

So, wait, does that mean...

Uh... Denpok?

Can I have your Big Gulp?

♪ ♪

I know we keep saying this, but even though Richard is a great guy...

And a brilliant coder.

He's wonderful.

Nevertheless, he is lacking in certain... managerial capacities.

Totally fair.

It's fair, right?

He's still a great coder.

And an amazing human being.

Okay, look.

Such...

We have a lot of sh1t we want to say about him.

Do we have to keep prefacing it with all this nice-guy stuff?

I mean, if so, we're gonna be here all night.

Yeah, we kind of do, though, just to offset the shittiness of all the shitty stuff.

What if we use like a dictionary patch?

To compress all the nice-guy stuff.

Like an acronym.

Exactly.

"Richard is great, but you know"...

R-I-G-B-Y.

Rigby.

Rigby is all the nice-guy stuff.

Okay. Rigby.

But he just assumed we were gonna leave with him, which is kind of total bullshit, right?

That's really arrogant.

Rigby. We gave up our own apps... so that we could bust our asses for him.

Why the f*ck should we give up our Pied Piper shares right when we get funded because he's too much of a prima donna to let someone experienced come in and run the company the way its supposed to be run.

Rigby.

Rigby.

Now I'm actually getting kind of f*cking angry!

I mean, we put in so much work for no pay, and now he thinks he's gonna walk out on us?

I mean, seriously, f*ck that guy.

f*ck him. Rigby.

What are we gonna do?

Rigby.

Rigby.

Richard, I have something that might cheer you up.

What is this?

Go on, Gloomy Gus, open it.

Okay.

So this is a box of files with companies' information on it?

No. These are all companies that I took the liberty of reaching out to that are actually offering you the job of CTO.

Really?

Some of these companies are pretty good.

Flutterbeam's like... really good.

Of course it is. They all are.

You're the belle of the ball, and these are all your swains, hoping for a glimpse of ankle.

♪ ♪

Ah. The nest wherein the asp doth coil.

Where's Richard? Is he coming?

Nope.

Congratulations, you've successfully broken a good man.

Is that Barker?

Uh... yeah.

What are you gonna do?

I just spent the last 16 hours cherry-picking Friars Roasts for the premium old-man jokes.

Essentially, I'm going to beat him to death with his own titanium hips.

Not just for me, but for Richard.

Jack Barker, aka Action Jack.

We meet at last.

Erlich Bachman.

Mr. Bachman.

Pleasure to finally meet you.

I'm a big fan.

Oh, really? Of what? Metamucil?

Polio? The phonograph?

A nice piece of fish?

Segregated water fountains?

Senior citizen discounts at Perkins Family restaurants?

Erectile dysfunction because of corroded penile arteries?

Deviled eggs as an entrée?

Liking Ike?

No.

None of those, Mr. Bachman.

I am a fan of yours.

Have been ever since you were at the helm of Aviato.

You know Aviato?

Yes. Aviato.

My Aviato?

Is there any other Aviato?

Well, legally, there cannot be.


Mr. Barker, pleasure to meet you.

Is that a poppy seed muffin?

Yes, sir.

Well, Poppy wants one 'cause Mommy already got hers.

(LAUGHS)

Hooli stock jumped seven percent today on this news that Gavin Belson is writing down the entire Nucleus project.

What's happening here?

It was a courageous move.

He's a straight shooter, and obviously Wall Street is responding to that.

Woman: So, what else do you think...

So, by our account, just under 50 percent of Hooli employment agreements include a non-compete clause.

The same clause that caused us to lose the Pied Piper lawsuit in arbitration and are thus legally invalid, calling into question some of our IP ownership.

sh1t. I was afraid of that.

But hypothetically, this also presents an opportunity.

Any of those people could be dismissed with no severance.

Any unvested stock would return to the company option pool.

So, in other words, we have the right to terminate any of those people with no repercussions whatsoever, and we'd actually make money?

Correct.

You know, our annual individual performance reviews showed a 20 percent incidence of sub-standard work.

So essentially, one out of every five Hooli team members deserve to be fired.

Oh, I'm sorry. What?

So, are you nervous?

No, actually. I feel pretty good.

Flutterbeam was the best company we looked at.

Their tech is great. Their offer is amazing.

Actually, I'm kind of pumped.

Well, your pumpedness makes me pumped.

You just got... okay.

I'll do it.

Yeah.

All right. Well, Jared... we gotta one day figure out what we're gonna do for you for a job.

Richard, you'll go. You'll establish yourself, and when the time is right, you'll send for me.

Richard, you have to talk to this man.

Who, Barker? Pass.

This guy is real, okay, Richard?

With his managerial skills and your talent as an engineer, we could be talking about the D-word here.

Dick?

No. Decacorn.

A company that's valued over $10 billion before its initial public offering.

All right?

He's still at Raviga for another hour.

Please go talk to him.

Sorry, I can't do that. I'm already set up at Flutterbeam.

Whose CEO, unprompted, said, "A brain like Richard's comes along once in a generation."

Sorry. I'm just proud.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Richard, I'm not asking you to spoon with the guy or even fork him.

What I'm asking for...

What is that?

Forking is when you use your dick and your two legs to stab him in the lower torso.

I'm asking for you to take 10 minutes and talk to him before you throw everything that we built away.

And yes, I did say "we."

I mean, if you want to stop by Raviga, it's on the way to Flutterbeam.

I mean, I threw some Tyson-level haymakers at this guy.

Richard, he didn't flinch.

He floats like a butterfly.

Hey, Richard.

What's going on?

We've been talking.

Richard: Okay.

Guys, this isn't really a great time. Richard.

We wanna tell you something. Right?

Yeah, it's something important.

Maybe later. So, Richard?

Guys, come on.

We know you're leaving...

Yep. Well aware.

...but...

We're not. Yeah.

...we're gonna stay at Pied Piper.

(LAUGHS)

Really?

Why are you laughing?

I'm sorry. Wow.

Well, it's just that you really think that you're gonna be able to scale the platform without me?

Goddamn it!

Yeah.

You don't think we can?

Well, I know you can't.

That's a bold statement.

Richard.

We have massive tech debt.

You really think that you can scale and deploy my library without any input from me?

Are you serious here?

Yes, we do.

Yeah.

Then I guess you are truly delusional.

Well, I think you're an arrogant prick.

I'm the arrogant prick.

Okay. This is coming from two people who think they know everything about code they didn't even write.

We wrote a lot of the code.

You wrote some of it.

You know what? We're gonna stay, and we're gonna build Pied Piper just to prove you wrong.

Okay. Thank you for the solidarity by the way, and sticking with your friend.

You know what, Erlich?

You can tell Barker to go f*ck himself, so I can go to Flutterbeam and then watch these two assholes crash and burn trying to build out Pied Piper by themselves.

This'll be great.

(SIGHS) Great timing, guys. Thank you so much.

Premium stuff, Dinesh.

Richard. Richard?

(DOOR CLOSES)

Well, we are now living in a post-Rigby world.

♪ ♪

Man, this place is amazing.

Yeah. We raised a sh1t ton of money.

We're growing fast as balls.

But we're not exactly super psyched with the quality of our engineering.

Well, it's a good thing I'm here then, right?

Yeah.

All joking aside, I actually have a few thoughts on your video platform if you...

We're pretty happy with the basic platform.

We want to hand you something way cooler.

It's kind of like a secret project.

I got to warn you, though. It's pretty rad.

Sit right here.

Okay.

All right.

Oh. Hello.

This is the present.

You ready to go to the future?

Sure.

Three, two, one.

Bam!

Oh. I... I have a mustache.

f*ck yeah, you do.

And check this out.

Turn your head. See that?

Compositing perfect 3-D holographic mustaches using depth-sensing cameras in a live video chat.

And no one's doing it.

Nobody.

Sorry. This is the... this is the rad thing?

Look, Richard, we agree, okay?

We're not there yet.

We're using a crappy plug-in, so the latency is bad.

You turn too fast, that mustache is on your ear.

But with your help, we think we can cut our 'stache lag to just... 20 milliseconds motion-to-photon in... nine months?

Just in time for Movember.

So, which one do you want on your employee badge?

Tom Selleck?

Computer: Aloha.

Ooh, Fu Manchu.

(GONG PEALS)

John Waters.

Not bad.

Alex Trebek. Hitler.

Probably not Hitler. Skip him.

Oh yeah.

Bam. Sam Elliot.

Computer: Howdy.

Sure.

(PHONE BUZZING)

Oh. Uh...

Okay, so we've got to hop on a call with biz dev...

Okay.

...but feel free to keep on 'staching. Okay?

There you go.

All right.

Hey, if you want to have your attorney look over the employment agreement and the stock option grant, it's cool by us, all right?

Just sign it. You're in.

We'll see you Monday, man.

We're pumped.

Okay. Well, your pumpedness makes me pumped.

(SIGHS)

Uh, uh...

Pete Monahan, please. It's Richard Hendricks.

I just need him to go over a contract for me.

What?

(BUZZER BLARES)

Are you an attorney here to see a client?

No. Actuallt, I'm a client who is here see my attorney.

Okay. Follow me.

It began as a innocent celebration of our arbitration victory.

I ordered a kombucha, which I did not realize contained alcohol.

It was described to me as a healthy, organic tea.

Next thing I knew, I was 70 miles away, wrapped naked in a blanket, shaking off a meth high, and facing charges for attacking a police horse with a shovel.

Oh. Holy sh1t.

From a legal standpoint, it was a clear violation of my parole, and I must now serve my entire sentence...

Okay.

...and any additional time stemming from the new charges, which continue to accrue.

But I'm owning my mistakes.

Oh.

I am staying positive.

Enough about me.

Let's take a look at that contract.

Okay.

I would red-line it, but...

I'm not allowed to have a pencil.

Oh.

♪ ♪

This makes less sense the more I look at it.

Okay. What's this number over here?

I don't know.

I didn't handle the compression library.

Neither did I.

You're telling me Richard did this all on his own?

sh1t. I thought you did it.

Now I respect you even less.

We each know 90 percent of the platform... but it's the same 90 percent.

Maybe that arrogant prick was right.

We can't scale it without him.

We are so f*cked.

Wait.

Yeah?

I got it.

♪ ♪

We quit out of solidarity with Richard.

That's interesting.

So even though he said all that horrible sh1t to us, we take the high road and we get his back.

Yeah.

Maybe he'll even hire us at his new company.

Flutterbeam.

Mustaches?

Yes.

Doesn't necessarily have to stop at people.

They can put mustaches on their pets, too.

It's actually pretty fun.

So, soon you'll be putting mustaches on cats and dogs and... snakes.

Snakes, yeah, yeah.

I mean, it's a little tricky because they don't have a philtrum, so finding an anchor point for that mustache is actually... gonna be quite of a technological challenge.

It's exciting stuff.

It really is.

Richard.

Let me ask you something.

Why are you leaving Pied Piper?

They pushed me out.

I thought they offered you another position.

Yeah, CTO. It's a demotion.

Well, wouldn't you be CTO at Flutterbeam?

Yes, but at least this way, I don't have to eat sh1t.

Richard, let me tell you something I learned here on the inside.

Swallow your pride, or soon you'll be eating something far worse than sh1t.

Believe me.

Don't you think you should at least meet this Barker fellow?

(SIGHS)

♪ ♪

(MURMURING)

So where are we?

Seventeen hundred people slated for exiting.

Their negated options total 780,000 shares.

That money can be allocated anyway you see fit.

Employee bonuses, renovations to the day-care center.

What have you. What should we prioritize?

Big Head: Sorry, I don't understand.

It's all in the document.

You take that severance package, and you leave Hooli immediately.

But the most important aspect is the non-disclosure, non-disparagement clause, in which you agree not to say anything negative in the press, in public, or in private about Hooli or Gavin Belson.

Okay, I won't.

You will not discuss anything you did at Hooli at all, in perpetuity, throughout the universe.

I didn't really do anything at Hooli, so...

Good. You're getting the hang of it already.

So, can I keep my Hooli ID, though, so I can still come and hang out with my friends on the roof?

You cannot.

Officially, you will no longer have any friends here.

Shoot.

I have to think about this then.

This settlement offer is quite generous.

I know, I know. I mean, $2 million is a lot of money.

Two? No. It's...

It's $20 million.

Twenty?

So they fired me before they hired you, so it's not your fault. I just...

I feel like this... can't really work.

Do you understand?

I do, Richard.

It's like... can I really be expected to do my best work when I am constantly feeling undervalued at the company that I started?

Does that make sense?

It does, Richard. Absolutely.

I hear each and every one of your concerns loud and clear, and I appreciate your position.

Mm.

So, I guess we just won't do it.

Come on, I'll walk you out.

Wait. What?

Sorry. You what?

Jack?

Sorry, I don't understand.

You're not gonna take the job?

Not if you're not.

Without you handling the tech, I don't see how this company works.

Wow. I mean, yeah, I agree.

Richard, it's hard enough running a business when everyone is on the same page.

And clearly, we are not.

Well... yeah.

No, no, it's fine, and I appreciate you being so honest with me.

I mean, better we find out now, right?

Yeah.

Anyway, I hope we each find a good fit somewhere.

Thanks for coming up.

You got a hell of a brain there, Richard Hendricks.

You drive safe.

Yeah.

♪ ♪

sh1t.