“Maleant Data Systems Solutions” (S03E04)
After he caught the team red-handed trying to develop the platform in secret, Jack threatens to fire them. Richard fires back, stating that without him and his team he won’t be able to deliver a working prototype of the box to Maleant before the planned deadline. The team agrees with Jack to create a basic functioning box to meet the requirements of the deal, after which they are free to create the platform. However, due to the team’s inability to deliver a lesser product on purpose, the final box ends up being far better than anything else available in the market. Meanwhile, Erlich keeps trying to rent rooms in his incubator. After a prospective tenant rejects his house in favor of another one, Erlich finds out that he moved to a 9 bedroom mansion which belongs to Big Head, who is hosting tenants for free in return of a share of their startups. Initially, he confronts him and leaves in a rage, but when his car doesn’t start, he turns back and proposes a partnership, to which an oblivious Big Head agrees. In a board meeting at Pied Piper to vote for Maleant’s box deal, Monica notices that the sales agreement includes exclusive rights to use Pied Piper’s algorithm for 5 years, which would effectively prevent Richard from creating the platform during that period. Jack admits he never specified a time frame when he made a deal with Richard. He also adds that neither he nor Laurie can do anything about it. Even though Laurie notices Jack’s low blow, she stands with him as she doesn’t have proof that Richard’s platform can be more valuable than the box deal. Monica ends up voting against it, alongside Richard and Erlich, effectively denying the motion, even if it means her job and board seat. Later that night, Gavin Belson phones Richard, triumphantly informing him that he just acquired Endframe’s middle out compression platform for $250 million. Unbeknownst to him, by doing this he also set a price point on Pied Piper’s platform, valuing it way above (and thus terminating) the box deal, rendering a new vote useless and saving Monica’s position. When the team returns to the office the next day, they find out Laurie fired Jack for undermining her at the meeting. She leaves the CEO position open, and gives them permission to start working on the platform.