“Minimum Viable Product”
Written by: John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky, and Mike Judge
Directed by: Mike Judge
Kid Rock plays to an unenthusiastic crowd at a party in Silicon Valley where four nerds -- Richard, Big Head, Dinesh, and Gilfoyle -- meander around in awe of a celebration for a company acquired by Google for $200 million. Gilfoyle eats liquid shrimp made by Wylie Dufresne that costs $200 a quart. The guys’ landlord at the Hacker Hostel, Erlich, appears and tells them they need to network with the dozens of tech power-players around them.
At the Hacker Hostel, Erlich talks to Richard about his project, Pied Piper, which he originally pitched as “the Google of music.” Erlich says he needs to get the project moving, like Big Head has done with NipAlert. Later, while on the bus to their day jobs at Hooli, Big Head and Richard watch a video of the company’s chief innovation officer Gavin Belson talking about Hooli achieving greatness through goodness. At Hooli, a couple of “brogrammers” tell Richard they’ll help him with Pied Piper, but it turns out they’re just messing with him.
Richard and Big Head listen to tech investor Peter Gregory as he gives a Ted Talks presentation about how college has become a “cruel joke on the poor and middle class.” Afterward, Richard approaches Peter to pitch Pied Piper, and his assistant Monica tells him, rather unconvincingly, that she’ll look it up as Peter drives away in his mini car.
At Hooli, the brogrammers are stunned at how “loss-less” the compression is on Pied Piper. The news gets back to Gavin Belson, who’s intrigued and sets up a meeting with Richard. Peter Gregory is also interested in Richard’s algorithm. A bidding war starts -- Gavin Belson ultimately offers $10 million, while Peter Gregory goes in a different direction and offers Richard $200,000 for five percent of Pied Piper. After a panic attack -- and an impassioned pitch from Monica -- Richard chooses to go with Peter’s offer and build Pied Piper with the help of Big Head, Dinesh, Gilfoyle, and, of course, Erlich.