Founders · Cofounder

How We Fight

Hayden Tay Marketing and Customer Success Manager at ChargeSpot Wireless Power

October 21st, 2012

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

Jimmy Jacobson Full Stack Developer and Cofounder at Wedgies.com

October 22nd, 2012

Craig,

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

Jimmy

Jimmy Jacobson Full Stack Developer and Cofounder at Wedgies.com

October 22nd, 2012

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

Clynton Caines SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies

October 22nd, 2012

Great read Jessica!

Another good read on the subject - painted with a broader brush:
http://venturehacks.com/articles/pick-cofounder

Plus you can always Google \'cofounder checklist\' or similar for those
seeking same...

Thanks
Clynton

Jeff Whelpley CTO at GetHuman.com

October 21st, 2012

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:

Hayden Tay Marketing and Customer Success Manager at ChargeSpot Wireless Power

October 22nd, 2012

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

October 22nd, 2012

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:

Seth Kaplan Healthcare Technology Executive, Product Manager, Enterprise Architect, IT Strategist and Intrepreneur

October 25th, 2012

Replying to the question about good/bad fights - I\'ve been an intrapreneur
for 15 years and ALL fights have the potential to be bad unless someone
takes the high road in the end.

Like fighting with a spouse - if you\'re at each other\'s throat about
lighting fixtures (hypothetically of course!) it means you\'re both
passionate about interior decor. That\'s only a good thing if someone takes
the high road and contextualizes the argument. "I guess each of really
cares. That\'s awesome. <take the high road here>".

In my experience, unless someone\'s willing to do that, a fight is therefore
just another fight leading to another and another.

And no, compromise isn\'t necessarily taking the high road. But having to be
the one to continually do it also points out that maybe your cofounder is
just a selfish jerk. Get out of that relationship immediately.

I think it\'s naive to say that some fights are good while others are bad.
It\'s how you handle it after the fact that matters, no matter what or how
bad it is. And if your partner recognizes that selflessness when it counts
too.

Just my $0.02 since you asked :)

-- Seth

On Oct 22, 2012, at 9:48 AM, Hayden Tay <hay...@founderdating.com> wrote:

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.

David Langer Entrepreneur

October 21st, 2012

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: +1-310-658-8713
UK: +44-776-222-2381

Mike Chan Entrepreneur, Startup Dude, Podcast Host, Marketer

October 22nd, 2012

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
415.710.3339
mchttp://dokkit.com/> I @DokkitCal <https://twitter.com/dokkitcal>

Craig Brenner

October 21st, 2012

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: founderdating@googlegroups.com [mailto:founderdating@googlegroups.com]
On Behalf Of Hayden Tay
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 6:53 AM
To: founderdating@googlegroups.com
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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