Baby Tech Dude Has All The Monies To Make Crinkle, His Pretend Phone App Of The Future

Baby Tech Dude Has All The Monies To Make Crinkle, His Pretend Phone App Of The Future

We’ve written about Lucas Duplan, founder of Crinkle, before, because he’s a douchey manchild who was given a pile of money to make an app that was sorta imaginary, but involved something with your phone. Now we’ve sorta learned what the app is and confirmed that Duplan is still a terrible douche to work for!

First, so you’re not on tenterhooks, whatever the hell those are, about what the app is, we will do a big reveal for you. Thank us later.

In 2010, on a trip to England, Duplan decided there should be a better way to pay for things with your mobile phone: He came up with the idea to use sound waves to transfer money. Unlike with some other payment apps, the idea is that you wouldn’t need to scan your phone’s screen or rely on GPS to pay for things—it would all be done quietly via sound waves. In 2011, Duplan started hiring people and, like most entrepreneurs in the Valley, set about trying to raise some venture capital.

Wait, what? So it is like Paypal, but with sound waves? And we didn’t understand this before? This is not really a thing anyone needed, right? Is it just too fucking hard to look at your phone and tap a button to pay for something? Are millennials really that lazy? Is anyone really that lazy?

As you might imagine, being a dude with an outsized payday for doing nothing at all yet has made Duplan a monster in human form. He underpays his engineers and fires people who happen to express opinions that maybe things could be a wee bit different in the workplace. Also, for someone with all the money in the fucking world — a cool $25 million in seed money, with investments from Ross Perot and Richard Branson — Duplan is a fucking cheapskate.

[A] couple of the former employees said his frugality got him in trouble with his employees. One employee, for example, said Clinkle cut the company’s dental plan in December 2012.

“He’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, we had it, but not enough people were using it. A lot of people were still on their parents plan, so we got rid of it because we couldn’t get the group rate,’” one former employee told me.

Probably best that he’s pinching pennies, though, because it sounds like his app is going to be a big pile of fail.

But when I asked one ex-employee (who was employed at the company in late 2013) about Clinkle’s “breakthrough” technology, as Duplan had called it in his June announcement, that employee sighed. “It’s a mobile wallet app,” he said. “I mean, it focuses a lot on design and user experience.”

Another employee, who worked at the company in 2012, told me that the sound technology was tested on Stanford’s campus and that it technically worked, but not when there was too much noise in the room. If that’s true, it’s hard to imagine that it would be a viable payment option for most retailers.

Oh god, we can just see the douchetastic early adopters now, demanding that everyone be quiet so they can pay with fucking sound waves on their phone, holding up the line for the rest of us that just want a goddamn Jamba Juice and will pay with hard cold cash. We have seen the future, and we do not like it one bit.


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