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" Last night I was watching my friends here have this argument. About, you know, manipulating data And, you know, how many datas could one guy manipulate at once and, uh And I was just I was thinking. Maybe it could be another way, you know? Something that I would call, "middle out"."
―Richard during Pied Piper's presentation

Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency is the eighth and last episode in season 1 of the HBO series Silicon Valley. It originally aired on June 1, 2014.


Poised to compete at TechCrunch Disrupt, the guys of Pied Piper become worried after an impressive presentation by Gavin Belson. As Jared tries to pivot the company, Richard is inspired to make big changes at the last minute. [1]


Desperate to avoid litigation after the brawl, the head of the Disrupt apologizes to the Pied Piper gang for the attack by Dan Melcher while they were presenting. The guy says that Dan Melcher will never be a judge again and that he was fired from Oracle and his wife left him. To dissuade the guys from taking legal action against TechCrunch, the guy says he’ll send Pied Piper straight through to the finals, where they will compete for the grand prize. Erlich gets the boys’ hotel accommodations upgraded as well. 

Back in the presentation hall, Gavin Belson is presenting Nucleus. Richard assures Dinesh that Nucleus can’t come close to Pied Piper’s Weissman score, a measure of how well files compress. Gavin Belson reveals that Nucleus’ Weissman score is the best in the history of compression: 2.89, which happens to be the same as Pied Piper’s. “Anyone who tells you that their platform is faster than ours better have good lawyers,” Gavin Belson says. His presentation ends with a performance by Shakira.

Richard is depressed because Hooli reverse-engineered Pied Piper’s compression algorithm. “At best, we’re a worse version of Nucleus,” he tells the guys. Erlich says they’re fine and heads off to “get inside” Gavin Belson’s head, while Jared suggests all they have to do is pivot Pied Piper into a product that people want. Jared heads out to poll people on the street about what Pied Piper should be, a creepy situation that eventually finds him apprehended by cops.

While walking around among the booths at TechCrunch, Gilfoyle and Dinesh see the company Kwerpy. “That could have been us,” Dinesh says of Kwerpy. The pair talk about how it would be a “dickhead move” to leave Richard before Pied Piper even goes under. Just as Dinesh and Gilfoyle are about to ask the Kwerpy founder if he’d hire them, the Kwerpy founder asks them to hire him at Pied Piper -- Kwerpy is about to go under itself. 

Richard runs into Monica as she heads out of the conference -- Peter Gregory called her back to Palo Alto after seeing the presentations by Erlich and Gavin Belson. Monica says that she’d like to get a drink with Richard, especially now that they won’t be working together anymore. 

Richard is fretting about the Pied Piper presentation, but Erlich is still very positive about the whole thing. While listening to Gilfoyle, Dinesh, and Erlich talk about a silly formula for jerking off an entire room of guys, Richard is struck by an epiphany about Pied Piper, which inspires him to rework his product. Richard programs through the night and says the changes are significant enough that he should present. Monica is about to text Richard a good luck message, but then she decides to head to the presentation. 

Richard is nervous and seems like he’s going to blow the presentation, but then he starts to explain Pied Piper, saying that they used to be cloud-based, user-focused compression. He continues by saying that Hooli did everything they were trying to do, so he changed what Pied Piper is. He rebuilt the algorithm and tells the audience he got a Weissman score of 3.8, far beyond what was formerly the theoretical limit of 2.89, which Hooli achieved. The crowd gasps, and one of the judges asks him to repeat that stat. The judge gives Richard a file to compress without any degradation: a 132 gigabyte uncompressed 3D video. The file compresses, but Richard is sure that something is wrong as the file is only about half the size it should be. He runs a Weissman test, and the score is far better than he expected: 5.2, double the best Weissman score ever. Pied Piper wins the competition’s cup and the $50,000 prize. 

After the win, Monica shows up to congratulate Richard. Overwhelmed, Richard runs out the back door and, yet again, barfs in a Dumpster.[2]


Main cast

Supporting cast

  • Asif Ali as Kwerpy Guy
  • Jessica Chaffin as Zenella Presenter
  • David Fabrizio as Police Officer
  • David Goldman as Andy Stafford
  • Chase Kim as VC Guy
  • Jason Kincaid as Himself
  • Ben Zelevansky as Stage Manager
  • Michael Arrington as Himself
  • Andy Buckley as Carl Fleming
  • Andrew Burlinson as Nathan Gallagher
  • Aly Mawji as Aly Dutta
  • Kara Swisher as Herself
  • Brian Tichnell as Jason
  • Matt Ross as Gavin Belson

Memorable Quotes

  • Jared: I'll admit I'm sleep challenged. I just spent 4 days trapped in a steel box out in an oil rig full of robot forklifts. But now I'm back, and I am recovering, and I am focused, and we're going to pivot. Don't lose faith guys. Look at me, look at me. We've got a great name, we've got a great team, we've got a great logo, and we've got a great name. And now we just need an idea. Let's pivot. Let's pivot.
    Dinesh: That might be the last time we see him alive.
  • Jared: Hi! I'd like to talk to you about a company called Pied Piper. What does it do? Good question. Maybe you can help us find an answer. What if Pied Piper was an app that could attract rodents? You know, like the fairy tale? For purposes of extermination or to feed your pet snake. We're not here to tell you what to do with your rats, we're here to get your rats, STAT. Would you be very interested, somewhat interested or not interested? Which one? Which one? Which one?
  • Jared: You've heard the phrase "Time to pay the piper", right? What if there was an app called "Pied Piper" that could tell you to statistical degree of certainty whether you were going to heaven or hell? Very interested, somewhat interested or not interested? Which one? Which one? Which one?
  • Jared: How much would it be worth to you if I told you I had a GPS app called "Pied Piper", tracking the location of your child? I can follow your child anywhere and there is nothing you can do to stop me. Most missing children are never found. Interested, very interested, or very interested?
  • Police Officer: Do you have any weapons or drugs on your person?
    Jared: Why, yes! Yes, I do!
    Police Officer: Adderall! This is a highly controlled substance. Are these yours?
    Jared: No, those belong to an underaged kid that I brought to my house.
    Police Officer: Okay, sir, I'm going to have to ask you to come with me.
    Jared: That's a kind invitation, but I have too much to do. I'm pivoting. I'm pivoting! [Runs away]
  • Erlich: Yeah, we're gonna win even if I have to go into the auditorium and personally jerk off every guy in the audience.
    Jared: That's a lot of jerking.
    Gilfoyle: And we only have ten minutes to present. So...
    Richard: So, we're fucked, aren't we?
    Dinesh: Yeah, even if he's jerking two at a time, there are, what, 800 guys in that room? So that's 400 times whatever the mean jerk-time is.
    Jared: The what?
    Dinesh: Mean jerk-time. I mean, it doesn't matter, but, hypothetically, time is equal to 400 total jerks at a two-dick rate.
    Gilfoyle: Unless Erlich jerks off four guys at a time, and then we can cut that in half.
    Dinesh: How would he do four guys...? He's got two hands, so that's two dicks at a time, right?
    Gilfoyle: Look, you have two guys on either side with their dicks, tip to tip, so you're going full-length. Four, see?
    Jared: Oh... From the middle out. That does make sense.
    Gilfoyle: Like two Shake Weights.
    Dinesh: Yeah, so what we're trying to do, hypothetically, is minimize which is 800 dudes, multiplied by mean-jerk time, divided by four dicks at a time. Of course, Erlich would have to pre-sort guys by height, so that their dicks lined up.
    Gilfoyle: Not by height, technically. The measurement that we're looking for, really, is dick to floor. Call that D2F.
    Erlich: You know, if a guy's dick was long enough, it would be able to reach up or down to another guy with a different D2F. The longer the dick, the greater the D2F bridge, but I would still be able to jerk it off in one smooth motion... I'd just have to jerk it on an angle.
    Gilfoyle: So D2F sub-1 needs to equal D2F sub-2, and D2F sub-3 needs to equal D2F sub-4, where length L creates a complimentary shaft angle. Call that theta D. Now, the orgasm threshold... as a function of Lamda sub...
    Jared: Guys, does girth-similarity affect Erlich's ability to jerk different dicks simultaneously?
    Erlich: Shit. Yeah, I think it would. Of course, it does. Time to orgasm, or T2O, has to be the same for each matching pair of dicks otherwise I'm wasting a lot of great strokes on a guy that's already busted.
    Gilfoyle: Unless you can hotswap dicks in and out. So on a downstroke, you get a new one in. So when you stroke up you're not wasting any energy.
    Dinesh: Even so. I think this is the most reliable metric for stamina.
  • Richard: When was the last time you slept, Jared?
    Jared: Absolutely, David.
  • Reporter: So Richard wrote the code?
    Erlich: Richard wrote the code, yeah, but the inspiration was clear. Let me ask you something. How fast do you think you could jack off every guy in this room? Because I know how long it would take me, and I can prove it!
  • Gilfoyle: Every day it feels like I've died and gone to hell.
    Booth Worker: Oh?
    Dinesh: He's a Satanist. It's a good thing.
  • Dinesh: I was already happy you got punched in the face, but now I’m super happy!
  • Dinesh: Look at them, all full of hope. Pricks.
    Gilfoyle: Oh look, Kwerpy's here recruiting.
    Dinesh: They just got 20 million in series A at a 280 million dollar valuation.
    Gilfoyle: Wow
    Dinesh: That could've been us.
    Gilfoyle: Too bad we already have jobs. We could easily go work there.
    Dinesh: Yeah. It'll be a real dickhead move to bail on Richard now, right? I mean before we officially go under.
    Gilfoyle: Yeah, yeah. Total dickhead move. Even though it is just a matter of days and we a so close.
    Dinesh: I mean, he is standing right there, but I'm not a dickhead.
    Gilfoyle: Neither am I.
    Dinesh: Just a couple of non-dickheads.
    Gilfoyle: My dick and head are totally separate.


  • This episode was dedicated to Christopher Evan Welch, who played Peter Gregory in the first five episodes of Season 1.
  • At the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, Alec Berg was nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for his work on this episode, but lost to Louis C.K. for Louie.
  • The concept of "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency" was actually written up as a 12-page paper that became the foundation for the dialogue the guys deliver during the hotel room scene. Following the episode, the paper was put online to prove its plausibility.
  • The Weissman Score is a fictional performance score for lossless data compression. It was invented by Tsachy Weissman and Vinith Misra at Stanford University specifically for use in the Silicon Valley series.

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