Things are going well for Krablr, the crab pricing messaging app for millennials. Now that the app has managed to attract millions of crab lovers the company faces more scrutiny. That’s why Krablr CEO Paul Paulson Black III just released the company’s first ever diversity report detailing the demographics of its employees.
“We fully recognize that our millions of daily active users expect us to set a positive example. They don’t just want to stuff their face with fresh crab,” he told us.
The startup has a predominantly white and male workforce, according to the report, with 37.1 percent female employees — of whom only 16.4 percent are in a tech role.
“Hey, at least we did better than Uber,” Paulson Black III told TechCrunch. And it’s true that Krablr beats Uber’s gender breakdown by one percentage point.
When it comes to race, 55.7 percent of Krablr is white, 28.6 percent Asian, 7.2 percent black, 5.6 percent Latinx and 2.9 percent two or more races.
Frankly, this is yet another dismal performance by a technology startup. And one that fails to be reflective of the diverse population of crab consumers around the world. Krablr advisor John Blarggs was in the room during our interview and couldn’t stop rolling his eyes. We share his sentiment entirely.
When we made these points, Paulson Black III shifted uneasily in his designer office chair, and said the leadership has recently hired an external consultancy to look into whether or not it should relocate its Friday beer-pong team-bonding sessions at ‘The Saucy Mermaid’s Tail’ to somewhere less douchey.
“We’re open to looking less like a bunch of stupidly successful dudebros,” he added.
The CEO became much more animated discussing the company’s ambitious plans to build an in-house artificial intelligence engineering division this year.
“We think we’ll have what it takes to dominate the competition while it’s still in diapers playing with those learn to code pre-school toys that people are giving their kids nowadays,” said Paulson Black III. “Successful crabbing is one part art, one part blind luck. But with all the machine learning experts we’re sucking up from Uber’s driverless car division we’re very confident we’ll be able to predict crab migration patterns with up to 86.7 percent accuracy in future.
“Truly, we think we’ll have what it takes to crack this market right open.”
And it’s true that Krablr has an innovative approach. The AI team uses machine learning on existing machine learning algorithms to select the best machine learning algorithm — in real time. They call this patent-pending technique the “double pincer machine learning inception” — or, colloquially, the ‘Krablr club sandwich’.
In order to feed the model, Krablr had to amass a ton of data about crab migration patterns. The EFF has since published a statement warning that crabs should encrypt their migration patterns to protect their privacy (and their lives, really).
In other news, Krablr just dropped support for its chatbot. It turns out users would rather share Snapchat-like stories than enter command lines into a chat interface.
“We want to think entirely outside the text box,” said Paulson Black III. “I personally believe the future will be 110 percent video, 0 percent sound. People want to experience the crabs they’re thinking of purchasing in immersive 360 video before they commit. We tried VR but it just made people sick. No one wants to eat crab if they’re feeling sicker than a dog.”
Another new focus for the team is crab kits. They’re planning to launch a home crab kit delivery service called Red Apron — penciling in a launch for three apartments in a street in Greenwich Village, New York in summer 2019.
Customers will be sent a box containing all the crab parts needed to reconstitute a crab at home. “Just add salted water!” enthused Paulson Black III. He said the company intends to work with drone companies to airfreight crab kits to customers in minutes. (Though he cautioned drone delivery might not be universally available.)
“Obviously Red Apron will only be available to a minuscule fraction of our most elite and discerning urban consumers. But we think not everyone needs to eat crab so quickly,” he added.
Asked about his long term vision for Krablr’s future, Paulson Black III returned immediately to the topic of diversity — saying he is committed to changing the direction of the company eventually. Ideally before he hands the CEO’s chair to his son, Paul ‘Paulie’ Paulson Black Jr.
“I recognize we might not be coming up with all the best ideas. Frankly, there’s only so many crab-based products a bunch of dudebros can think of. Can you give me the number of a good HR manager?”
Krablr has been funded by $5 million from investors including Scranton Angels. It’s not expecting to be profitable before the next century. Paulson Black III said it’s looking to raise a ton more cash, and very soon.Featured Image: David Stanley/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE