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As a founder is it bad to start dating your employee?

Especially if there is uncertainty on whether things will work or not.


15 Replies

Stephen Campbell, PMP
2
0
Project Management Professional
yep
Dan Dascalescu
0
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Dan Dascalescu Entrepreneur
Developer Advocate at Google
https://pando.com/2014/12/24/startups-anonymous-founders-suck-at-relationships/

https://www.fastcompany.com/3046110/hit-the-ground-running/this-28-year-old-startup-founders-life-hack-dont-waste-time-dating

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-difficult-for-a-founder-to-manage-a-girlfriend-and-a-startup
Sophia Maler
1
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Sophia Maler Entrepreneur
Product Management and Marketing Professional. Message Alchemist.
Most definitely, unless you are OK losing both the relationship and the worker.
Syed Zaeem Hosain
1
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Syed Zaeem Hosain Entrepreneur
Founder, SVP Engineering and CTO at Aeris Communications, Inc.
Easy answer: yes.

Meaning: yes, it is bad.

Regardless of the "uncertainty on whether things will work or not". I am not sure if you mean the startup or the relationship is uncertain, but it does not matter.
Irwin Stein
1
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Irwin Stein Advisor
Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.
If you have to ask, you can't handle it.
David Albert
2
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David Albert Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & Principal at GreyGoo
As a founder, I just married a person who worked for me. We've worked, and dated successfully for nearly 3 years. The heart wants what the heart wants.

We both committed to the idea, very early, that we would be diligent about separating and compartmentalizing our work and personal relationship. We agreed it was important and have worked hard to set boundaries and never make anyone we work with feel uncomfortable in the office.

However, at first, my co-founder was NOT happy--it caused friction and stress. And from an outsider's point-of-view, it was irresponsible and misguided. Had it not worked out, all of it would have permanently damaged trust with my co-founder, and with other employees. I believe we were the exception to the rule and, at the risk of sounding mushy, meant for one another. While we still work together, we've both acknowledged at some point in the near future that should probably change.

So even with my experience, I think it's generally a bad idea. If you are dating an employee, or considering it, think long and hard about where it could lead. You have to have a great deal of faith and trust in yourself and the other person that you can handle it and conduct yourselves with maturity and respect for those who work with you--no matter the outcome. Ultimately, relationships can be messy. Know your priorities.
William Agush
0
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William Agush Advisor
Founder and CEO at Shuttersong Incorporated
It's one thing for peers to date in a company, it's another thing for a founder to even think of dating an employee. If it fails you are exposed to all kinds of internal strife including people taking sides, ruining your credibility AND a potential harassment suit. If you have to ask a question like this you need to get some management training or an advisor.
Angelos Kapatos
0
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Angelos Kapatos Entrepreneur
--
Rhetorical questions are always a bad idea. You were just hoping somebody would say it's right.
Teddy Matheu
1
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Teddy Matheu Advisor
CEO at Clear Idea Labs, LLC
This is the founder dating website, so go for it!
Martin Omansky
0
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Yes. And it might also result in civil or criminal charges. If you are highly motivated, however, the best policy is to find another place to work, and then follow your heart. Sent from my iPhone
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