Clinkle Goes Clunk

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We begin with this photograph of Lucas Duplan, entrepreneur extraordinaire:

I first wrote about young Mr. Duplan in this post nearly two years ago. My post was about this new firm, Clinkle, garnering tens of millions of dollars in funding to create an app which would let you give little goodies (they called them “treats”) to your friends based on how much you used your credit card.

It seemed like a moronic idea to me, and when at last the product was launched, the reviews were – – how shall I put this – – chilly:

Lucas saw things differently, however. When describing his firm and its product, he stated: “Clinkle is a movement to push the human race forward by changing how we transact.”

Let’s take that one sentence and focus on two of its bits: first off, “movement”. Clinkle is (or was, as you shall soon read) a “movement”. To which my only intelligent reply is: like what, a bowel movement?. The Bernie Sanders campaign is a movement. The growth over the past twenty years of organic produce is a movement. Putting out some lame-ass app no one uses is not a movement. Sorry, sweetie.

The second bit – “push the human race forward” – is, of course, ten times worse. I am compelled to guzzle down a bottle of ipecac syrup, vomit into a bucket, and invert the aforementioned bucket on top of Mr. Duplan’s arrogant, self-aggrandizing head. But, again, as you shall soon see, none of this is necessary anymore.

Because, as you might guess, Clinkle and its $40 million of funding has yielded nothing more than a puddle of piss evaporating in the midday summer sun of 2016. This should come as no huge surprise, however, given some of the earlier assessment of Duplan’s management prowess:


And the above headline wasn’t apparently the view of just some crank; employees seem to chime in with similar feelings as well:


And, thus, the combination of a ridiculous, useless app and ham-handed management yields different Google results than I suspect Duplan dreamed he would be seeing these days:


There are some more self-aware societies when the instigator of such a mess would have committed seppuku, but the Silicon Valley is famously forgiving, so if you hop onto LInkedIn, you’ll find Lucas’ smiling face, ready for action.


Take note of the portion I highlighted above, however. “Low margin, high cost business so discontinued.” Do you sniff the faint stench of non-responsibility here? Does it seem rather astonishing a person would brush off this multi-zillion dollar fiasco with a shrug of their shoulders.

It’s almost like the synopsis of a failed blind date (“Yeah, she looked hot in her picture, but when I met her, she was 300 pounds, so we just went to Chipotle’s.”)  I guess putting “Product laughed off the face of the planet and investors left behind choking in the midst of scorched earth.” doesn’t lend itself to a good LinkedIn profile. But his explanation (as if anyone was asking) seems awfully goddamned flippant.

Of course, I was naturally curious to see what the former CEO of Clinkle was doing, and right there on his page it shows he is in fact the CEO of Treats (which, I suppose, could be considered a lateral career move, what with being a CEO and all).

There’s one problem, though. As far as I can see, there’s no such thing as Treats, Inc. Well, there is, but I don’t think it’s what this guy is claiming to be the leader of……….


……nor do I think it’s this one………..


What I do know, however, is that the $40 million (or whatever the figure ultimately turned out to be) has resulted in the following home page for Clinkle.


For every success in Silicon Valley, there are a thousand failures. I only hope in sharing this example of one of them, I’ve managed to help push the human race forward. It’s what I do.