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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Here at, our three main strengths are our web-facing chairs, our huge collection of white papers, and the fact that we physically cannot die.
Title text: Here at, our three main strengths are our web-facing chairs, our huge collection of white papers, and the fact that we physically cannot die.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Needs to be expounded upon heavily.

Beret Guy's business, as previously seen in 1032: Networking and 1293: Job Interview, is going well, although it is unclear why. The common theme in these three comics is that Beret Guy misuses common business cliches. The following are examples and phrases that Randall is likely making a joke about:

  • "If you're reading this, the webserver was installed correctly." When a web server is installed automatically (like apache using apt-get), it typically comes with a minimal configuration meant to deliver a single page saying all is working fine. Usually, a company will then configure further the web server and provide actual meaningful content. It looks that, Beret Guy's company kept the page as is, but also trademarked the sentence making it the company's motto, and proudly displays it under the company's logo.
  • "Welcome to a meeting!" The usual way to start a meeting is to welcome the participants by telling them in which meeting they are (e.g. "Welcome to the meeting on ..."). Here, the complete lack of specifics in this sentence is an indication that the meeting has in fact no purpose at all, except to be just "A meeting". It could also mean that Beret Guy does not even know himself what the meeting is about.
  • "Just wanna touch bases." Often business professions will contact a customer to "touch base," meaning to check in for a status update. The use of the plural "bases" suggests Beret Guy does not know what this means. This could also be a word play on the expression "Cover some bases".
  • "the self driving car project" Google has been working on self-driving cars, which usually shouldn't be lost track of and found by the police. Given that the program was started "by accident", they may have simply lost control of the vehicle in some manner.
  • "Sales, any luck figuring out who our customers are?" In the real world, when companies want to find out "who [their] customers are", they refer to learning more about their existing customers in order to more closely match these customers' needs, and to discover ways to attract more of them. Here, Beret Guy and Ponytail apparently use the phrase literally. In a normal enterprise, however, money doesn't usually appear from nowhere, and most businesses would be very unsettled if their cash flow was from an unknown source.
  • "Bug tracker" usually refers to systems used to track discovery, analysis, and fixing of software bugs, not the location of actual insects.
  • "Web-facing" usually refers to software or a server that is connected to the internet using a web interface. However, in this case the term is applied to chairs placed in front of a computer with internet browsing capability.
  • "White papers" (title text) are usually policy recommendations, but we suspect the title text is talking about (near-worthless) blank pages.
  • "Main strengths" (title text) typically refer to one's skills, but "we physically cannot die" sounds more at home in a description of a superhero's strengths and weaknesses than a company's.

"" (which in real life redirects to and "If you're reading this, the web server was installed correctly" are both examples of generic placeholder text. However, given the trademark sign, it appears that Beret Guy is using these phrases as his company's legal name and motto, respectively.


Beret Guy: Welcome to a meeting! I'm almost out of words, so I'll keep this short. Just wanna touch bases.

Beret Guy: First, a few updates. We've learned from the state police that the self-driving car project we launched by accident during this morning's carpool has come to an end about 90 miles outside of town. Very exciting!

Beret Guy: Profits are up. Sales, any luck figuring out who our customers are?

Ponytail: Nope. Money keeps appearing, but we have no idea how or why.

Beret Guy: Great!

Beret Guy: Oh, and one last thing—I saw a cool red beetle in the hall. Can someone add it to the bug tracker?

[from outside panel]: Just did!

Beret Guy: Thanks!

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