Clef Interview

Brennan with Clef explains how they are changing the way we user names and passwords work.

Transcript

Marcus
All right. Well, hey Brennan, tell us the name of your company and what your role is in it.
Brennan
We are Clef, I’m the CEO and we are building a replacement for user names and passwords on the Internet.
Marcus
Can you give us a quick demo?
Brennan
Yeah, absolutely.
Marcus
Cool.
Brennan
So when you get to a site that uses Clef, you’ll see a button that looks just like a login Facebook button, but it’s login with your phone. Click that and a QR Code comes up. The QR Code is telling us where you’re trying to login, which computer and which website. Then, on your phone, you set up an account, so we know who you are in our App. Then we hold that up to the screen, scan the QR Code. We’re pairing up that who you are with where you are and you’re going to be logged into our entire network. So one scan gets you into every website that uses Clef. We’re also able to use the hardware of the phone to give really secure cryptography. It keeps you much safer than a user name and password can.
Marcus
Cool. And how long have you guys been around?
Brennan
So we’ve been working on this for about 8 months, but we launched the product into the IOS Android App Stores about 6 weeks ago.
Marcus
So, you’re the Founder, right?
Brennan
Right.
Marcus
And what’s the story about how this thing came into being?
Brennan
So, there were 3 of us working on this project originally. We were all mobile developers. We have really been interested around the mobile apps that took something unique about a phone and did something awesome with it. So like InstaGram with a camera or Foursquare with location but we really thought the coolest thing about a phone was the identity aspect. When I hand my phone to someone else, I feel awkward, uncomfortable.
Marcus
Yeah.
Brennan
It’s because it’s a piece of me. Around that time, LinkedIn lost all of their passwords and we realized that there really was a huge problem that people weren’t addressing in a new way. Everyone was trying to build on top of passwords. We thought the phone was really a great opportunity to replace passwords altogether.
Marcus
So does your team have a security background?
Brennan
So, we have a—I have a security background, I’ve actually written a paper about Clef that we’re working on getting published about Clef at a security conference. We’re all still pretty young, so we are looking for someone with a little more experience to add to that, but we’ve done a lot of research in this space.
Marcus
What are you guys hoping to do here at Launch Conference this year?
Brennan
So, at Launch we were looking for two things, one is developers who are running sites that might be interested in integrating with Clef.
Marcus
Oh.
Brennan
We’re a solution that anyone can work with. It takes about 20 minutes out of their site, so we’re looking for those developers. We’re also just opened a seed round of funding. We’ve been bootstrapped for the last 8 months, but we’ve launched the product and it’s time to focus on growth, so we’re raising some money as well.
Marcus
Nice. Is this your full time job?
Brennan
It is my full time job, absolutely.
Marcus
How much have you risked to start this company?
Brennan
Monetarily, or just—I mean----
Marcus
Holistically?
Brennan
I would say that I’ve risked all my savings and, you know, a couple of years of my time—or a year of my time.
Marcus
Nice. If Clef were a Super Hero, what would its super power be?
Brennan
If Clef were a Super Hero, what—its super power would be to see through disguises I guess. So it would be able to----
Marcus
Nice. Like X-ray vision I guess?
Brennan
Exactly! X-ray vision’s a great—great—X-ray vision would be it. That’s right.
Marcus
If people are interested, how do they get a hold of you or start using the product?
Brennan
So it’s available in the Android IOS App Stores, you can also check us out at Clef.io or GetClef.com. I’m Brennan so e-mails to Brennan@clef.io or info@clef.io would get to me.
Marcus
Great. Thank you very much.
Brennan
Thank you.