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This Fake Infomercial Shows What’s Really Wrong With Every Tech Startup

Adult Swim’s latest fake infomercial disrupts disruptive tech companies so hard.

Adult Swim’s 11-minute parody of ’80s credits sequences captured the imagination of the Internet last week with its sheer outrageousness. The latest item to emerge from the programming block’s experimental 4am slot is a fake infomercial that’s so true to life, it’s unbelievable.

“Smart Pipe” is a parody of so-called disruptive technologies, and it’s the smartest commentary on these sorts of companies since the HBO series Silicon Valley debuted earlier this year. Recently, Adult Swim has been airing faux-infomercials at 4 a.m. once a week–a move that went relatively unnoticed until Too Many Cooks blew up the spot. (Although not an infomercial, Adult Swim threw Cooks into the mix because it shared a sensibility.) The new video follows around a character named Sascha Kemmis-Powers as he gives a facilities-tour of Smart Pipe, a stand-in for basically every social media and tech company currently operating.

The product is a piece of plumbing equipment that examines your waste for information, which would have seemed beyond ridiculous just five or six years ago, but who knows these days. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Smart Pipe also has a social media aspect that handily lets users know when their aunt has flushed a bunch of blood down the toilet. “When you use Smart Pipe, you become a piece of valuable, sellable information,” the company’s social media guru assures us. This is where the video transcends the realm of goofy poop joke, and enters timely critique territory. If your company talks about its tech with similar terminology to Smart Pipe, it’s possible that what you’re making belongs down the toilet as well.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.



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