> Dimitry, what you wrote is what I remember when Steve Jobs was pushed out.
> This case represents the problem. The fact that you have the votes does not mean
> the decision is correct. And the company almost failed, but when Jobs was brought
> back it flourished.
Not the most convincing example, I'm afraid.
First of all, Jobs wasn't expelled from the company. He was fired from executive positions, but kept his shares and his chairman position. Later he quit on his own, and according to interviews it was a very happy moment for him to get rid of all this burden and start a new.
Secondly, all this happened long after Apple stopped being a startup, and 5 years after IPO, so it doesn't apply to our case at all.
And finally, we don't really know what would have happened if Jobs hadn't left, but it is very possible that in such case Apple would have torn itself apart and died altogether. As one of the witnesses had put it, ousting Jobs was a bad decision, but it was better than any alternative at the time.
In any case, this way Jobs got some time off, gave us Pixar, and then returned with a whole new vision and perspective, so I don't see any downside at all.
Returning to our discussion, the ability to fire a founder is a "necessary evil", or else an otherwise promising startup is likely to die for nothing. Since it is impractical to define objective criteria for the lack of motivation in a startup (performance is unpredictable and milestones are fluid), I know of no better solution than to make such a decision subjectively, i.e. by a vote of other stakeholders. In other words, I don't know exactly how to define a bad co-founder, but I know one when I work with one long enough.
Of course, as I said before, I think it's a good idea to compensate the outgoing co-founder for his trouble, if only to avoid revenge lawsuits (or, in some cases, shootings).