This Startup Is So Stealth, Even The Founders Don’t Know What They’re Doing
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Lytton, a startup that was part of YC’s Summer 2015 batch, has so far kept quiet with the public about its plans. Their website sports only their logo and the text, “Building the future of enterprise health software!” Yet Lytton takes “stealth mode” to the next level compared to most startups. In fact, Lytton is so stealth that even the founders don’t know what they’re doing.
Employees and former employees told Halting Problem that the founders have little relevant work experience that would prepare them for leading a small technology company. CEO Jason Ericson reportedly told one employee that he founded Lytton to “make a fuckton of money.” The same employee later walked by Mr. Ericson’s desk on the way to the bathroom and saw him reading a Paul Graham essay entitled “How To Start A Startup.”
According to one person who interviewed with Lytton, the rank-and-file employees don’t seem to know what’s going on at their company either. “I asked my interviewer to explain to me what Lytton does [as a company]. She talked to me for about half an hour about how enterprise health systems suck and how Lytton is building a new value-adding paradigm-shifting product to make stuff suck less… but I still don’t know exactly what they do.”
Despite not having any idea of what the company is doing or should be doing, Lytton’s founders were able to raise a $5 million seed round earlier this year by selling investors on “the vision.” However, due to an over-extravagant celebration party and gross overhiring, Lytton is running out of money and the founders are taking steps to reduce its burn rate. As a first step, they have laid off the engineering team and offered the engineering intern the job as CTO. Mr. Ericson reportedly called the intern in an attempt to convince her to drop out of school to take the job, adding, “Unfortunately, we’re a little short on cash, so we can only afford to pay you in equity right now, but I have no doubt that Lytton will be a billion dollar company within a year.”
At press time, the founders are planning to execute a “stealth pivot” into “something that we can take to the investors for a Series A,” and have reportedly begun to draw potential business models out of a hat.