Clinkle's disconnect deepens

March 5, 2014: 4:17 PM ET

Stealthy payment startup hires former Twitter designer.

FORTUNE -- Last month I wrote about stealth payment start-up Clinkle, and the disconnect between its Silicon Valley reputation (a well-funded joke) and its successful recruiting of big-name executives. In short, if Clinkle is so bad, then how does it keep hiring good people?

One response I heard a lot was that my argument's focus was on C-suite hires, rather than product/engineering hires.

Well, today Clinkle announced that Josh Brewer has joined as VP of design. He previously spent nearly three years as principal designer at Twitter (TWTR), before leaving last summer ahead of the company's IPO.

In a prepared statement, Brewer said:

"When I look at things we do every day that mobile will transform, nothing stands out like payments, and Clinkle is poised to be a leader in the space. Like me, Clinkle believes that engineering and design are two sides of the same coin. This philosophy, along with Clinkle's technology, team, and vision, make it an irresistible opportunity. I'm excited to be joining Clinkle, particularly during this period of forward momentum."

Again, people are not the same as product. And the company still hasn't launched (despite promises that it would open up on at least one college campus by the end of Q1). But today's news reminds me that either this company is successfully pulling the wool over some very smart people's eyes, or the rest of Silicon Valley has prematurely jumped to a negative conclusion.

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