On April 13, 2015, HBO renewed Silicon Valley for a third season. It premiered on April 24, 2016 at 10 pm, and like Season 2, also consisted of 10 episodes. It concluded on June 26, 2016.
After failing to convince the board of directors to keep him on as Pied Piper CEO instead of demoting him to Chief Technology Officer, Richard threatens to quit and sue to regain his intellectual property. Richard meets with a company called Flutterbeam that wants to hire him as CTO. However, after being disappointed by their work, he rejects the offer and decides to stay with Pied Piper. Afterwards, Richard meets with Jack Barker, Raviga's choice for the CEO of Pied Piper. Richard struggles under Barker's leadership, which includes spending money on extravagant offices, completely changing the business model to one that goes against the company ethos, and later forcing Richard to work on an idea that he himself came up with as a demonstration of his frustration. Eventually, when the time comes to pitch the idea to the board, Monica sides with Richard and votes against it. Subsequently, Laurie fires Jack in response to his mocking that she could do nothing to stop him, and reinstates Richard as CEO.
Meanwhile, at Hooli, Gavin Belson discovers that the now invalid employment contracts would allow him to fire affected employees without severance and take back unvested stock options. Belson fires the entire Nucleus team, and uses the profits from the reclaimed stock options to offer Big Head a $20 million severance package in exchange for non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements. The fired Nucleus team goes to work for Endframe, and manage to set up a rival product to Pied Piper, which Gavin purchases for $250 million, inadvertently placing a value that allows Jack to be fired, although Gavin is completely oblivious to the fact that the people he has just hired were the same programmers that he had previously fired. Big Head uses his $20 million to build his own Incubator, prompting Erlich to form a partnership with him, while exploiting his lack of business savvy to take a dominant role. However, because of Big Head and Erlich's spending habits (including a multi-million dollar Luau on Alcatraz) they declare bankruptcy, and Erlich is forced to sell his stake in Pied Piper to repay the debts. Meanwhile, after a story about Gavin scrubbing the Internet of bad press about himself is leaked by Big Head, and an attempt to steal a copy of the Pied Piper beta leads to the resignation of all of the Endframe, the Hooli board of directors vote to remove him as CEO. After being removed as CEO, Gavin decides to go on a holiday to take his mind off everything. At the airport which hosts his private jet, he bumps into Jack Barker, the now-fired CEO of Pied Piper. They have a little chat, wherein Gavin incorporates Jack into his Hooli revival. Gavin now makes a new presentation in front of the board of directors. where he tells them of his "strategy" to keep up with the industry. He introduces Jack Barker as the new head of development and starts working on the "box" that Jack had set his mind to at Pied Piper.
After regaining his CEO position, Richard fires the staff members Jack hired and moves the company back into Erlich's house. The company hires contract engineers from around the world to help construct their application platform. Dinesh becomes attracted to one of them, a woman in Estonia, and initially she seems to reciprocate his feelings; he hacks together a superior video chat application using Pied Piper's algorithm to better pursue her, only to have her lose interest when she sees what he looks like over high-fidelity video (also revealing that she is married).
Eventually their platform reaches a point where they invite friends in the industry to test it, to universally positive reviews. The only negative response is from Monica, who says that she just doesn't understand how it works and that it seems too "engineered". She encourages Richard to trust his own instincts and release the platform if he feels it is ready, which he does.
After release, hundreds of thousands of people download the Pied Piper platform, leading to thoughts of a Series B funding round, and a sense of triumph when the Hooli board decides to allow it to be sold in the online Hooli Store. However, only a small fraction of the people installing the platform remain as daily active users. Focus groups investigating why this is the case reveal that Monica's instincts were correct – although it is an engineering triumph, most people do not understand how the platform works and find its design confusing and counter-intuitive. Richard decides that the best way to address this is through an outreach program to try and better explain the system, but this effort fails. Despondent, Richard expects the company to close down, but regains confidence at a sudden uptick in usership – which was due to Jared secretly employing a click farm in Bangladesh to artificially inflate usage statistics.
Richard soon discovers the deception and confronts Jared about it, and they agree to keep the secret to themselves, but Dinesh and Gilfoyle soon realize what is happening. Dinesh gives Richard a scrambling program which would hide the evidence in the case of an audit by future investors or regulators, which Richard seems prepared to use. Erlich, not knowing the real nature of the uptick, starts rumors about it and plays competing VCs against each other, leading to a very lucrative potential Series B funding deal from Raviga rival Coleman Blair. But before the deal is signed, Jared implores Richard not to take it, because it is based on fraud. An anxious Richard reveals the source of the uptick at the signing meeting, leading to the deal being scrapped and the company's reputation plummeting. Laurie no longer wishes for Raviga to be associated with Pied Piper and moves to sell majority control to any investor. At first the only person willing to buy seems to be Gavin Belson, who wishes to use the purchase to shut Pied Piper down permanently, but an unexpected windfall from the sale of a blog they bought while business partners leads Erlich and Big Head to buy control of the company. The original team (along with Monica, who was fired from Raviga for standing up to Laurie), having regained control, prepares to pivot again, this time to become a video chat company, based on the sudden popularity of Dinesh's video chat application.
|Picture||Episode Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Airdate|
|Founder Friendly||Mike Judge||Dan O'Keefe||April 24, 2016|
|After being unceremoniously fired, an angry Richard faces a tough decision: accept the diminished role of CTO, or leave Pied Piper for good. Erlich takes a shine to Jack Barker, Laurie’s new choice of CEO, while Dinesh and Gilfoyle weigh their options in Richard’s absence. At Hooli, Gavin tries to improve his image by admitting failure, and Big Head gets wind of major changes.|
|Two in the Box||Mike Judge||Ron Weiner||May 1, 2016|
|The new and improved Pied Piper impresses Dinesh and Gilfoyle, but worries Richard. Jared and Erlich both face housing issues. Gavin suggests a controversial move.|
|Meinertzhagen's Haversack||Charlie McDowell||Adam Countee||May 8, 2016|
|Richard searches for a way around Jack. Gilfoyle opens himself up to recruiters. Dinesh draws unwanted attention from a recent purchase.|
|Maleant Data Systems Solutions||Charlie McDowell||Donick Cary||May 15, 2016|
|Erlich has new competition. The Pied Piper staff has a hard time giving less than their all. Monica stands her ground. Gavin reaches a decision about Nucleus.|
|The Empty Chair||Eric Appel||Sony Lee||May 22, 2016|
|Richard's ego gets in the way during an interview. Erlich makes his pitch to Big Head. Dinesh, Gilfoyle and Jared lose track of some hardware.|
|Bachmanity Insanity||Eric Appel||Carson Mell||May 29, 2016|
|Richard's neuroses could ruin his new relationship. Big Head and Erlich's launch party goes awry. Dinesh is smitten with a foreign coworker.|
|To Build a Better Beta||Jamie Babbit||John Levenstein||June 5, 2016|
|A beta version of Pied Piper gets an unexpected reception as Dinesh's lack of friends worries him. A strapped Erlich mulls a big decision. The Nucleus team tackles a difficult challenge from Gavin.|
|Bachman's Earning's Over-Ride||Jamie Babbit||Carrie Kemper||June 12, 2016|
|Erlich tries to be honest with Richard, who has mixed emotions about their friendship and the future of Pied Piper. Jared's new company apparel turns heads but fuels yet another clash between Dinesh and Gilfoyle.|
|Daily Active Users||Alec Berg||Clay Tarver||June 19, 2016|
|Shocking stats are revealed and prompt Richard to bridge the gap between Pied Piper and its users, but Jared must go to extremes to keep everything intact. Gavin tries to recapture his former glory by bringing in new talent after discovering secrets about the competition.|
|The Uptick||Alec Berg||Alec Berg||June 26, 2016|
|With Pied Piper's future in question, Erlich's publicity success leaves Richard in a moral quandary just as Dinesh's video-chat app starts to pick up speed. While Laurie prepares to jump ship, Gavin's comeback at Hooli is threatened by his displays of grandeur.|