WUPHF.com is supposed to be a revolutionary new tool. When one sends a WUPHF, it will go through to every single place that one can get messages. Not only does it come through via e-mail, it is also sent to cell phones, home phones, the computer, e-mails, and on Facebook and Twitter. If someone actually developed this technology, they could be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. However, since WUPHF is actually a Ryan Howard creation, with Michael Scott as the main investor, it went under quickly on The Office.
Warning: Spoilers follow
In the past, Ryan has failed as a temp, as an executive, and as a salesman. His latest bad idea involved a brand new Internet company, although he claimed that he already had buyers interested. But first, he and main investor Michael had to get more investors in the office – preferably before they went bankrupt.
Although WUPHF is just a plot point for an Office episode, NBC went all out to make it look real. The company even has an official website with a self-serving biography about Ryan and the profit projection sheet seen in the episode. Of course, a few things like accuracy and reality are not represented on that chart.
The premise seems to be a takeoff on The Social Network,which likely just came out as the episode was being constructed. The website even promises that the site is as good as the movie, yet Ryan is no Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael is more like manipulated best friend Eduardo Saverin – only without the billions he eventually got.
The impending failure of WUPHF, and Ryan’s manipulations to keep Michael on board, almost taught Michael a lesson about his one-sided worship of Ryan. He is running out of time to learn those lessons, since his final season as Dunder Mifflin manager is almost halfway over.
However, not all new businesses near Dunder Mifflin are destined to be failures. Dwight found success outdoors with his new “Hay Place” attraction, as he got to relive and correct some childhood memories. Yet doing so may have put him in another, more personal business deal.
In the end, Ryan finally had to give up the WUPHF dream, although the fake website is still up in real life. But such an idea probably won’t seem so crazy in the years ahead, as the technology to send messages like this likely isn’t that far off. It will just take a leg up from someone who doesn’t work in a closet, and who hasn’t done jail time.
Now that Michael and the WUPHF.com investors have their money back, they can blow it again during Thanksgiving week, before The Office returns on Dec. 2.
Hulu- “The Office: WUPHF.com”