Richard was never going to take the Hooli buyout

first_imgRichard was never going to take the Hooli buyout. There wouldn’t be a show if he had. Though to compete against Nucleus with a multi-million dollar intellectual property lawsuit hanging over its head, Pied Piper still needs a big chunk of money.Big chunks of money are everywhere for a hot startup in Silicon Valley, but they never come without strings. Richard finally found US$5 million in Series A funding, but it came with bigger strings in the form of one-hit wonder billionaire Russ Hanneman (Chris Diamantopoulos).The man who “put radio on the Internet” 20 years ago is, as several characters throughout the episode state, possibly the worst person in America.Hanneman is painted as a bearded caricature of Sean Parker if he’d peaked after Napster and never had another original idea. He’s a man who drives a shiny sports car with Lambo doors in a custom burnt-orange color that he promptly scratches with his “really cool pants” and curses when he fails to nonchalantly put the car in drive. A man who stops Richard from walking into Hooli and woos him with dinner at a Japanese restaurant, where he’s happy to pay $800 to cook his own tiny piece of beef on a little grill because “he wants that meat.” Hanneman is, as Monica puts it, a boorish, pompous womanizer who got lucky 20 years ago and hasn’t done anything since. A man who’s proud of turning his $1.2 billion buyout from AOL two decades ago into a cool $1.4 billion, and whose $5 million “loan” can be repaid in equity while he gets immediate seats on the Pied Piper board. As Dinesh put it, “He’s the worst man in America, and now he owns us.”(Last week’s Silicon Valley: Pied Piper is frozen in legal limbo)But Richard took the money, which he now has to turn into a viable product and a profitable business. Half the funding goes to legal fees to fight the Hooli lawsuit right off the bat, before even turning Pied Piper’s compression algorithm into a usable piece of software, for which the show’s developer audience gets its first shout-out of the season.Dinesh lays out his proposal for hiring a dozen developers (he ends up settling for three): Four Web app developers, two on the front end and two on the back end; a “guy to turn your reference code into a production-quality library”; two more guys to do impression libraries and code Pied Piper’s iOS and Android apps; and a couple more guys to build out all of Richard’s APIs.last_img read more