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How We Fight

Hey everyone!

Our cofounder/CEO, Jessica <http://www.twitter.com/jalter>, was invited to
write a guest post for Steve Blank <http://www.twitter.com/sgblank> on
finding a cofounder. You probably know who Steve Blank is, but in case you
don't, he is most widely known as the person who developed the Customer
Development model/process, which later led to the development of Lean
Startup by Eric Ries.

The post is entitled "How We Fight - Cofounders in Love and War<http://bit.ly/T5rUDn>".
Jessica suggests that a key indicator of founding team success that is
often neglected is the idea of how we fight. I would strongly recommend reading
the article <http://bit.ly/T5rUDn> - this is really relevant for all you
cofounder seeking members out there.

What do you think? Agree/disagree? Let's discuss!

Cheers,
Hayden
Community Manager
FounderDating

14 Replies

Jeff Whelpley
0
0
Jeff Whelpley Entrepreneur • Advisor
CTO at GetHuman.com

I like the idea of working together with a potential co-founder before you
make commitment. I sort of think the same way about living with a potential
spouse before you propose.  In both cases, there are just certain things
that will never become clear until you are there with the other person on
an every day basis. For example, someone may seem very accommodating,
willing to hear your point of view and come to a compromise, but only after
working with the day in and day out would you gain insights like "hmm,
well, he is saying that he agrees with me and will work toward helping me,
but the last 5 times this happened he never actually did anything so likely
he is just full of B.S.".

Jeff

On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM, Hayden Tay <hay...@founderdating.com>wrote:

Craig Brenner
0
0
Craig Brenner Entrepreneur • Advisor
Technology Executive, Product Management and Business Development Leader

Go on lots of extended dates with a potential co-founder first. Get intimate
with each other's style, decision making, values, how they handle
challenges, etc.  Do some real, valuable work together on the business for
an extended period of time. Something that I have done in previous startups
and I'm actually doing right now with my current business.  Don't get
married without dating for a while.

How you accomplish this depends on what stage you are in with your business.
In my case, I am over 8 months in plus some and we are quite far along. In
my case, setting up a short-term, nominal fee/equity consulting relationship
with a potential  co-founder or 1st employee with well-defined scope of work
(for us to collaborate) which is both tangible and will has near-term value
is a great way to put some immediate fire into relationship and do a
real-world test run. For others that may be closer to day "0" you probably
don't need the consulting arrangement as not much (if anything) is formed
with the business and you are likely both about equally invested.

If your prospective co-founder is not willing to make this type of
investment, I would suggest you part ways as this already indicates a
philosophical divergence.

Just my 2 cents.

Craig Brenner

CEO and Founder

Tacii, Inc.

From: [removed to protect privacy] [mailto:[removed to protect privacy]]
On Behalf Of Hayden Tay
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 6:53 AM
To: [removed to protect privacy]
Subject: [FD Members] How We Fight

Hey everyone!

Our cofounder/CEO, Jessica <http://www.twitter.com/jalter> , was invited to
write a guest post for Steve Blank <http://www.twitter.com/sgblank>  on
finding a cofounder. You probably know who Steve Blank is, but in case you
don't, he is most widely known as the person who developed the Customer
Development model/process, which later led to the development of Lean
Startup by Eric Ries.

The post is entitled "How We Fight - Cofounders in Love and War
<http://bit.ly/T5rUDn> ". Jessica suggests that a key indicator of founding
team success that is often neglected is the idea of how we fight. I would
strongly recommend reading the article <http://bit.ly/T5rUDn>  - this is
really relevant for all you cofounder seeking members out there.

What do you think? Agree/disagree? Let's discuss!

Cheers,

Hayden

Community Manager

FounderDating

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David Langer
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0
David Langer Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur

Great article, Jessica!

In my experience (both my own and other startups), the part of choosing a
co-founder that's most often overlooked is the softer stuff. I really liked
this paragraph:

*"What's difficult is making sure you?re aligned on the softer side: Why do
you want to build a company? What kind of company you want to build? What
are your working styles? What are your values?  What are your other
priorities (family, etc.)?  We <http://www.founderdating.com/> don?t care
if entrepreneurs want to build lifestyle businesses or go for IPOs, if they
are tethered to their email or check out at 7pm ? that?s a personal
decision. But you better make sure you?re on the same page as your
potential cofounder about those topics. These are the issues that break up
relationships, not button colors."*

Almost everyone tries out working together on some sort of project as it's
such an obvious and comfortable thing to do. You're only risking your time
spent, there's hardly any fear associated with the process. It's diving
deep on the difficult questions and pushing your potential co-founder on
points of conflict that bring out people's true colours. If you can get
comfortable on that level, that is what lays the strong foundations for a
successful long-term relationship.

Github founder Tom Preston-Werner made a similar point in his talk at
Startup School yesterday. He posited that people, product and philosophy
are the only things that matter in a startup. Many people will say that
your product, or who you hire are the most important elements of a startup.
However, not many would put philosophy as high up the list.

--
David Langer
Founder
Hasty, Inc.

http://gethasty.com

US: +[removed to protect privacy]
UK: +44-[removed to protect privacy]

Jimmy Jacobson
0
0
Jimmy Jacobson Entrepreneur
Full Stack Developer and Cofounder at Wedgies.com

Craig,

This is great advice. Is there any difficulty transitioning from a
boss/consultant relationship to a cofounder one?

Jimmy

Jimmy Jacobson
0
0
Jimmy Jacobson Entrepreneur
Full Stack Developer and Cofounder at Wedgies.com

I really liked the point about using fights as smoke signals for skill set
overlaps or other logistical problems that don't derive from personal
issues.  Just like in real dating, it's often important to do things you
are uncomfortable with (at least once, and maybe drunk) to grow the
relationship.

Jimmy Jacobson
Wedgies.com

Craig Brenner
0
0
Craig Brenner Entrepreneur • Advisor
Technology Executive, Product Management and Business Development Leader

Hi Jimmy-

Co-founders don?t mean co-CEOs or equal authority (or at least shouldn?t) and probably not even equal ownership. In the end, one of the founders needs to be the CEO so one of you will have to work for and take direction from the other.  Absolutely needs to be addressed upfront and early. Yeah, I know that there are arrangements where there are co-CEOs but these are rare and I don?t know of any that stayed like this for too long.

To answer your question. No, I haven?t had any difficulty in this transition as the roles were very clear in advance.

-Craig

From: Jimmy Jacobson [mailto:Ji...@founderdating.com]
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 12:42 AM
To: [removed to protect privacy]
Cc: 'Hayden Tay'; cr...@tacii.com
Subject: Re: [FD Members] How We Fight

Craig,

This is great advice. Is there any difficulty transitioning from a boss/consultant relationship to a cofounder one?

Jimmy

On Sunday, October 21, 2012 12:55:21 PM UTC-7, craig.brenner wrote:

Mike Chan
0
0
Mike Chan Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur, Startup Dude, Podcast Host, Marketer

Hi All,

This topic is near and dear to my heart, as I learned about this the hard
way. Read my blog post here:

http://mikewchan.com/2012/09/27/in-the-startup-world-they-say-to-fail...

Basically, as a first-time entrepreneur, I wanted to move so quickly that I
brought on co-founders prematurely (not enough dating before getting
married!). We couldn't get on the same page on many, many things, so we had
to divorce. It sucks but at least 1) I found out very early in the process
and 2) I've learned a really valuable lesson!

Let me know if you have any questions about my story; I'd be glad to help
anyone avoid this. Thanks!

Mike Chan
Co-founder and CEO
Dokkit
[removed to protect privacy]
mchttp://dokkit.com/> I @DokkitCal <https://twitter.com/dokkitcal>

Hayden Tay
0
0
Hayden Tay Entrepreneur
Marketing and Customer Success Manager at ChargeSpot Wireless Power

Thanks for sharing Mike, that is a definitely a story to learn from!

Does anyone else have stories to share? Would love to hear about the "good"
or "bad" fights you've experienced and how that affects and changes your
team.

Sari Louis
0
0
Sari Louis Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur

Some really great thoughts and ideas here, thanks folks!

I'm a first-time entrepreneur, single founder in the DC area, and I have
been struggling with this for a while. The problem is that since I'm
technical, I just started building the product without putting to much time
and effort into finding a co-founder. Now I'm far enough along (product is
live in beta <http://yumvy.com>, would love some feedback :) that I need to
move fast, but I'm not willing to compromise on the co-founder issue, and
it's hard managing how much time to spend on it. Going back to Craig's
comment, perhaps "setting up a short-term, nominal fee/equity consulting
relationship with a potential  co-founder" is the way to go at this point.

Any other advice on the subject of finding a co-founder a little later in
the game than from day 0 would be greatly appreciated.

Sari Louis | Founder & CEO | YumvY, Inc.

On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:47 AM, Hayden Tay <hay...@founderdating.com>wrote:

Dave Angelow
0
0
Dave Angelow Entrepreneur • Advisor
Board Member at HAND Austin

Great discussion and the sharing ideas is fantastic.  The idea of getting
married too fast is one that resonates and seems to be a common theme.

Question for the group - has anyone developed a checklist of what your
company should look like (values statement) that can be used as a tool to
screen/evaluate fit?

While finding a founder is different than an employee or looking for a job,
the concepts of value alignment seem similar.
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/28/is-it-better-to-hire-for...

Curious if anyone uses testing tools anything other than dating to
determine fit.

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