The overwhelming evidence against giving a 20-something Stanford kid millions of dollars for a startup and letting him run wild continues to pile: an anonymous post by a former employee says Clinkle's CEO screwed his staff out of money.
"The previous answer," the Quora-er says, "is accurate but not very specific." They're referring to this previous bit of dish. "It also comes off as a bit disgruntled. I'll offer a different take as a former employee who hopes for the best."
If this is from someone hoping for the best, just imagine the other end of the spectrum:
Lucas is distrusted for allegedly lying about the size of the employee stock options pool, the amount of money raised, causing half the company to exit in a single day (referring to the October 2012 incident), and for poorly setting expectations.
Employees took it on faith that the employee options pool would be at a minimum 5% and at a max 20% after the seed round closed. The employees who were fired after drafting a letter to Lucas asking for more transparency — on this among other matters — alleged that the employee pool was far below the promised minimum.
At one point during the company's history every new hire was told that everyone would receive a $40k salary; the first round of employees who left in 2012 claimed Lucas took a six figure salary during the same time he was asking everyone else to go lean.
Employees worked for far below market rate with the understanding that there was minimal funding and they were making personal sacrifice to keep the company afloat. Salaries were only bumped to near market rate when half the employees departed in a single day. The salary raise was a maneuver to keep more employees from leaving.
The launch date for the product changed countless times during my tenure at the company. Many people do not enjoy doing work that does not see the light of day, especially when the expectation keeps getting set that we're launching "next month."
The original banking partnership with Zions is alleged by those who left en masse to have fallen apart due to Lucas over-negotiating with Zions. I'd hold less judgment on this last account as everyone else at the company who worked with the bank had difficulties bridging the startup->big institution gap. In addition it was Lucas' family connection that led to the initial Zions investment and partnership; it might just be that the business relationship was never meant to be.
The details of the original cofounder's departure are sparse.
There are a number of great engineers and designers who continue to work at Clinkle. I know some of them and believe their great design and engineering work can overshadow a rough start.
Lucas Duplan: you're still a little young to be dicking over your employees. Wait until you actually release your app.