Sorry for the long story:
PeopleCount.org has a mission, involving feature set A and B, giving political power back to The People. (I know it's hard to believe- but suspend disbelief for a moment- we have a solid plan, plus a solid distribution plan, including a bit of market validation. PeopleCount is a CA Benefit corp currently. Going non-profit is an option if that's where funding comes from.)
I'm a back-end software engr (for 30+ years) working full-time on the marketing, and a friend of mine, a back-end architect, is available to help full-time for 6-weeks then part-time (unless we find funding).
Alex (full time, project mgmt & web UI skills) brings his friend (10hr/wk) and his team of 2 10-15 hour/week developers (front-end and full-stack). They're all 20-23 year old students. Alex is also an excellent networker - much better than I am.
They have a different vision. They want to use feature set A for all sorts of subjects. If done well, it could be big and could fit in well with our mission- helping educate people, getting them to participate, plus feeding the pipeline of issues on PeopleCount. They see the value in all the marketing I've done, as well as how PeopleCount has a great chance of working, involving them in a successful, very high-profile effort. Plus they value our expertise.
Clearly, we need to focus on PeopleCount's mission at least for 14 months (thru the election), and longer. I believe PeopleCount's mission must be our mission- clear and focused. This will be crucial for funders.
Alex is worried that his mission will be lost, so he wants some sort of guarantee. What kind of guarantee can I give?
I'm willing to say that he can start his project after the election, and give him a written guarantee that if he can't, he can take a copy of the software when he leaves as long as he doesn't compete in politics. But he wants to have some kind of independent company that PeopleCount does business with, so they'll naturally have rights to both the software and the database of customers.
Having 2 entities seems overly complex. Wouldn't it be off-putting to investors?
I feel sort of silly in indulging him, and I'll look for another front-end person. But he's been very resourceful and his team would be an asset, though more so if I can secure funding (small chance) so they can work full time. Advice?