A Horror Story of a Late 2010’s Tech Unicorn Gone Horribly Wrong

I have for years kept up a friendship with a most interesting individual who I met in certain online circles over a decade ago, and to whom I will refer here as Mr. X for privacy reasons (or “X” for short). Though we had fallen out of touch for some time, X and I go way back. Which is why I was delighted when they contacted me out of the blue recently, sliding into my private home Mailbug inbox, even though I didn’t think I’d given them the number or appropriate access permissions.

“do you believe in quatria now”

That’s all the message said. Intrigued, I wrote back. I had indeed spent the last several years exploring & writing about the mystery that is Quatria. It had lately come to consume my life. My interest had reached a zenith lately, as I see elements of the great cover-up coming unraveled, as we shift into higher-dimensional quantum space where all things are possible.

“dude totally”

A few minutes later, we decided to go analog to “catch up,” as X put it. To my recollection, we had never once before “caught up,” so I knew something must be up. At the insistence of X, I called them at a disposable number using my secure shielded landline from inside my home Faraday Cage.

Though I am not at liberty to divulge even a fraction of a sliver of the full contents of that conversation, I can assure you that a most peculiar and eye-opening tale was laid out for me in minute detail by X. A tale about a triply peculiar company known as Early Clues Labs, once featured in Vox/Recode in 2015 on its rise to mega-stardom (archived). X’s tale related what happened after that, and the drug-fueled binge on the way back down.

For personal reasons, X does not fancy themselves a “whistleblower,” and so reached out to me as interlocutor so that the most salient parts of their story might enter the public discourse. Perhaps in bringing this sordid story to light, X hoped, the harms caused by these abuses might begin to be healed, to the extent that they could be. And where they could not be, that those affected might at the very least be compensated.

I agreed to take the case pro bono on account of our long friendship, and owing to the fact that I too was once taken in by the glitz and glamour of the Early Clues Labs world, and the promise of its amazing technologies. I had heard only inklings along the grapevine since then about what had happened to the company and its founders after being purchased like veritable chattle by Google for an undisclosed sum of money. The stories I had heard were darkly confusing, and I wanted to not believe them. But according to X, not only were they all terribly true (and terribly sad), but much more terribler things had happened. No one had yet dared to speak of these, or of what had happened when the Illustrious Founders were sucked through the Circular Vortex into the Outer Darkness, where they were captured and tortured by Timehunters.

My ears cringed at the details X related, and which, as a part of that collective intelligence, had themselves experienced, if only from afar. For though the Founders had gone into the Outer Darkness, X had managed to stay behind, because their bus had been late to the office on that fateful day

That whole horrifying story is too fraught and chaotically complex for me to face still, let alone write about in its entirety. Instead, I will focus on the task at hand, which is revealing certain artifacts to the public from this time period, from this tragic fall from grace of a company which I once loved and cared deeply about, the promise of whose ground-breaking technologies, as originally envisioned, lies yet unfulfilled all these years later.

Is it possible Early Clues Labs was so far ahead of its time, that they stepped outside of time altogether? And that this is what summoned the Timehunters through the Circular Vortex in the first place? No one can say for certain, but it’s the best folk-explanation of all the myriad threads I’ve read about it over the years of following the mystery on Reddit. It may very well be that there’s no explanation for it at all, or that the truest explanation is the most basic, that humans have inherent frailties in their nature which perhaps can never be overcome, but the struggle against which – or the lack thereof – is what ends up truly defining us.

For many of those who ended up on the meteoric train rise that was Early Clues Labs, it is precisely that lack of struggle against the vagaries and weaknesses of human nature which is so troubling. That so many people could be so mutually brainwashed by groupthink into thinking that their course was the right one, even as their company slid ever further from its ideals into a realm of unparalleled darkness and debauchery. Well, it just shocks our sensibilities, and we don’t want to face it or believe that it could happen even to the best of us. Which is precisely why we must face it, head on.

The Videos

What follows are a series of short videos sent to me securely by X, and cryptographically authenticated by myself, and certain third parties who shall remain nameless. These videos appear to be internal training videos which X believes were in use at Early Clues Labs from early 2017 through sometime in 2019, before the company’s spectacular collapse.

The videos are presented by a character beloved in the Early Clues Corporate Mythos, ZANTA1000, who one might think of as a kind of corporate mascot, and whose jovial nature was chosen to help represent the many gifts the Founders naively thought their technology would bring to Legacy Reality.

X was only able to deliver me nine of what I am told is over three thousand installments in this corporate training series. Upon review of the full set, I decided and X agreed not to release two of them, because they were just such an affront to the senses, that we believed they were better left unpublished. We thought the controversy which might arise from their release would overshadow the important message warning of the dangers of corporate excess contained in the rest.

The accusations which I’ve heard leveled at the company over the years start to seem perhaps more and more justified the further one gets into this so-called “training” session, which seems more like indoctrination into a CULT if you ask me!

Now, this next one is for me actually the most interesting of the entire collection, due to my current obsession with all things Quatrian. For it is apparent from the writings of the Founders, that they too had stumbled upon the secret mystery known as Quatria. But, in their hunger and thirst for knowledge, had drunk more deeply of those ancient wells than even I myself had, attaining levels of insight and communication with that lost world which I myself could only dream of in my most lucid hours.

Sadly, other videos delving into the more esoteric elements of the Early Clues story were not made available to me, so I can only wonder at the true depth of their knowledge. The preponderance of the videos in my possession continue apace to paint the picture of a company veering wildly out of control, and out of touch with ordinary human reality, as they no doubt attained ever more rarified levels of technical knowledge.

The flagrant disregard for humanity in these videos, in a way, only proves how far ahead of its time Early Clues Labs was. Way back in 2019, they had innovatively spear-headed a “no politics” company, anticipating the trend which would be adopted by their peers such as Coinbase and Basecamp years later. To my knowledge, they were the only company which threatened to actually criminally prosecute employees for speaking about politics, though X would not confirm nor deny whether they ever did so.

Lastly, this is the wrap-up video to the extremely long and arduous corporate training program used at Early Clues Labs. It describes a bizarre ordeal which new initiates had to pass through on their way up the corporate ladder, which I won’t spoil for you by describing. Just watch the video.

The NFTs

I had only planned originally to publish these to Vimeo and to my personal blog, as well as perhaps cross-posting to Medium, so that I might earn a generous $0.25 USD from their Partner Program. But X insisted that he wanted me to publish them “onto the blockchain” so that there would forever be an immutable permanent record of these true events. In honor of our long friendship, I agree to do so, and offer them here for sale, at very, very reasonable prices, considering their rarity and historic importance.

Early Clues Exposed NFT Collection

1. Welcome to Early Clues Labs

2. Financial Outlook

3. Navigating Corporate Hierarchy

4. Understanding Quatrian

5. Wellness

6. Company Culture

7. Wrap Up