Google Uses 'Silicon Valley' Easter Egg To Announce Alphabet's Launch, A Meta-Moment That Won't Be Lost On Fans
As if breaking the Internet apart wasn't enough for a Monday afternoon, Google decided to use a Silicon Valley Easter egg to announce a newly formed parent company called Alphabet, ultimately stealing the biggest punch line of the day. That's right — if you were thinking about the similarities between Google and Alphabet and the disastrous misadventures of the cast of HBO's Silicon Valley, just go home. Google already made the joke for you. Your Tweet won't be revolutionary.
When Google co-founder Larry Page announced the search engine would be housed in Alphabet's portfolio, he included a hidden Easter egg on the new website that tech fans would enjoy. No, the joke doesn't involve the alphabet blocks that appear to spell out "mad sex." Instead it's a subtle nod to HooliXYZ and Google's attempt at a self-deprecating joke.
The allusion itself came in the form of a hyperlink to the website for HooliXYZ, a fictional company in HBO's Silicon Valley. According to Alex Weprin of Politico, the link can be found in the eighth paragraph of Page's announcement, at the end of the phrase "drone delivery effort." The hyperlink is attached to the period, and immediately redirects you to the HBO HooliXYZ site, which claims "it takes a big head to dream big."
If you're not a Silicon Valley fan, Hooli is the name of a Google-like company that serves as the center of the HBO comedy. At one point in the series, HooliXYZ launches as an experimental division that calls itself, "The midwife of magic. The womb of wonders." To top it off, the division is headed by "Sole Head Dreamer Nelson 'Big Head' Bighetti." XYZ ultimately is a disaster, failing to produce anything except a rogue potato canon that gets loose. Hilarity ensues.
Page and the other dreamers over at Google/Alphabet obviously caught the similarities, and wanted to cut the jokes off at the knees. Alphabet's Internet home is now located at abc.xyz, which is one of the best addresses ever (and rhymes!). But it does draw instant comparisons to Silicon Valley and possibly foreshadows disaster for the company.
The new company has already faced an onslaught of Sesame Street jokes and a chorus of confusion over the new organization. But Google's stocks have jumped since the announcement, which could lead to further transparency for Google stockholders and those wanting to invest in various aspects of Alphabet's holdings. The Easter egg joke was well played — Google poked fun at itself, then moved along. And the rest of the Internet probably will too.