Frat Brothers Do Not Make Good Business Partners

The two Yik Yak founders are embroiled in a lawsuit by their fraternity brother, who claims he helped create the fast-growing app.


Yik Yak
Bros are really good at creating apps and startups. They are not so great at sharing the wealth. First, it was Facebook. Then, Snapchat. But this Yik Yak lawsuit sure sounds like it would make a better movie, right?

Here are some things we can learn from this lawsuit:

1) The three frat brothers created an app called Dicho, before Yik Yak, that I want, right now:

From 2012 to 2013, they worked on an app called Dicho, which featured opinion questions — posed by users — that have only two answer options. (Who is better Michael Jordan or LeBron James?) Dicho allowed users to post annonymously, like Yik Yak, the lawsuits says.

2) Is it really about the money? This part just makes it sound like he’s dealing with classic rejection. The guy didn’t take a hint:

By December 2013, more than two months after Yik Yak’s launch, Droll and Buffington approached Warstler about buying him out. He said no.
This is where Warstler’s attorneys are claiming there was a coverup. In January, Droll and Buffington created a whole new company for Yik Yak without Warstler, and said the original Locus Engineering owned no part of it. The lawsuit called it “highway robbery.” And, “worse, this was committed by Plaintiff’s close friends and fellow fraternity brothers and partners.”

3) If Yik Yak really is “the fastest growing app” on the market right now, why don’t they just give the kid some money?

When Yik Yak launched, the three made a new agreement, spinning off Yik Yak from Locus Engineering, and redividing the shares of the company based on who contributed what. Fifteen percent of Yik Yak earnings would go to Locus Engineering, where the proceeds would split three ways, and the remaining 85 percent of Yik Yak profits would be divided accordingly.

It makes me feel like when starting a tech company, you should work “possible lawsuit from former friend” into the budget and the valuation. Then at least you’re prepared.

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