What’s Luck Got to do With It?

In a recent post by my buddy @jamesoliverjr, founder of WeMontage, he asked if successful entrepreneurs are just lucky. He concluded success boils down to luck, and he is not alone.

From a distance, some success stories defy logic, but a consistent pattern emerges upon closer examination. This is true for a number of successful entrepreneurs and peak performers of all types.

luck

photo credit: wilhei55 via photopin cc

Let’s see if we can uncover this mystery by dissecting one of these “lucky” individuals. For this experiment, Bill Gates is the perfect specimen.

So, what is the pattern?

Obsession

Many talk about following your passion but the ultra successful have something closer to obsession. To understand the difference, study the lyrics of the 1980s hit “Every Breath You Take” by The Police:

Every breath you take

And every move you make

Every bond you break, every step you take

I’ll be watching you

 

Every single day

And every word you say

Every game you play, every night you stay

I’ll be watching you

 

Oh can’t you see

You belong to me

How my poor heart aches

With every step you take…

 

Clearly, this guy needs a restraining order.

A passion is something you love but can do without, while an obsession is something you have to have now and will do almost anything to get. The word obsession carries a negative connotation, but how else would you describe someone like Gates? Judge for yourself.

In interviews, Gates describes his early exposure to programming and how he coded for up to twenty to thirty hours a week in his early teens. While his parents slept, he would sneak out in the middle of the night to code at a nearby university. The fact he did not have permission to use the university computers was not enough to stop him. He needed to code. By the time he was seventeen, Gates logged thousands of hours of programming experience. This during a time when few others had access to computers at all.

Passion? This behavior sounds like something much stronger and puts the next trait on autopilot.

Insane Effort

This is not ordinary effort but painstaking, tedious work that would make most people want to yank their eyeballs out. You would think this obsessed group has a special contract with the universe granting them 30 hours in a day. The difference is they steal time where others kill it. Instead of playing Farmville while standing in line at the DMV, they read, research, plan and write. They start the day hours before everyone else and stay up long after their friends enter dreamland.

Quick Action

An obsession is difficult to hide, because the obsessed become so consumed in the activity. If the need arises for someone with his or her skills, everyone knows whom to call.

This happened with Gates during his senior year of high school when he was asked to work on a project with TRW. He jumped at the opportunity to further pursue his obsession. He spent the spring coding under the tutelage of a much older and seasoned programmer, like the young padawan Sky Walker learning at the feet of Yoda.

Surely, those around him marveled over his stroke of “luck,” but he was not lucky. He was ready!

When opportunities come along, there is no need for the obsessed to get ready or prepare. Preparation happens years in advance.

Balance

Though this group is anything but balanced, they recognize the need to have others around them who are. Gates started Microsoft with Paul Allen, who was three years older and more mature. He later hired his friend Steve Ballmer to manage the business side of Microsoft. Would Gates have been as successful without his team of balancers? We can never know for sure, but I doubt it.

What’s Luck Got to do With It?

Even Gates describes himself as lucky because of the access he had to computers, but his small group of piers had the same access. What they lacked was the obsession.

We can all learn a lot by studying the lives of the so-called “lucky” instead of attributing their success to the alignment of the planets. Then, we need to analyze ourselves to see how we measure up.

If your obsession involves standing outside of Macy’s for hours watching the girl at the counter, seek professional help. If it is a skill or talent with the potential to provide value or solve problems, go for it. But find some strong personalities who can pull your head out of the weeds and provide you with a balanced focus.

Godspeed and I look forward to seeing you in The Players Lounge.

What do you think, is success dependent on luck, or the right sequence of actions? Please leave your comments below!

Elevator Pitches: A Waste of Time For Entrepreneurs?

Elevator Pitches

Photo: D.H. Parks

 

Who?

This post is for entrepreneurs who’ve had to painstakingly craft an effective 90 second elevator pitch to raise money from investors, and for those investors who’ve had to sit through what I’m sure have been both killer and horrid elevator pitches over the years.

What?

Two weeks ago I was flattered to have my startup, WeMontage, be selected as one of 15 companies to participate in an “Elevator Pitch Olympics” (EPO) at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, which was sponsored by the Wisconsin Technology Council. Initially, I hesitated to participate, but after thinking about it for a second I quickly realized I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The reason I hesitated is because I initially thought an elevator pitch competition in which no real money is awarded would not be a productive use of my time. After all, I’ve got my head in the weeds trying to get these darned Ukrainian developers to finish the last few minor changes to the WeMontage website, so I can finally release the beta.

Boy, was I wrong.

The EPO is like the tv show, Shark Tank, minus the über ”prickliness”/”slimyness” of the judges. Oh, and there’s one other difference: no one on the panel invests! But the panel is comprised of professional investors who score your pitch and provide extremely valuable feedback. And did I mention you get the practice of pitching and controlling your nerves in front of 500 people?!

Elevator Pitch Resources

With a quick Google search you can find a few dozen resources that help you prepare an effective elevator pitch. I used an Inc. article as a guide, but I found this article most helpful. I also referenced this handout I received at a panel discussion about elevator pitches at last year’s WI Early Stage Symposium:

Elevator Pitches

 

The Pitch

I mentioned there were 500 people in the audience; it was probably more like 750! Here’s a pic I took from the back of the room. Gulp!

Elevator Pitch

I was in awe of the size of the audience, entertained by all the nervous body language of some pitchers, and amazed at how composed and effective other pitchers were.

As for me, I was totally nervous. One woman sitting next to me who already completed her pitch, which, by the way, the judges weren’t too keen on for some reason, said  to me, “Don’t shit yourself.” To which I replied, “too late!” Ha!

My pitch went over well and I received mostly 3s and 4s from a scoring system of 1 thru 5. I was pleased with this result given the visual nature of my product and I didn’t have any video, pictures, or slides to show them (props were allowed but no use of the projector).

There was the one judge who, after I explained how I got the inspiration for WeMontage from an episode of HGTV and mentioned I have a patent pending, blurted out, “you know they’ve patented that, right?”

My response: “who?”

His reply: “the people on HGTV?”

Me: “what exactly have they patented?”

Him: “the whole thing?”

Me: “what do you mean?”

Him: “oh, I’m just kidding! Hahaha!”

Seriously, dude? What a jackass.

Here’s a youtube video of me practicing my 90 second pitch for the 50th time (no exaggeration):

[youtube http://youtu.be/GCy14rKAte0&w=560&h=315]

 

Whaddaya think? Good? Great? Sucks? Lemme know by leaving a comment.

The Answer To The Question

I got a lot out of this experience and am thankful I was asked to participate. It’s incredibly difficult to distill your biz’s story down to 90 seconds and explain what you do, why it’s different, who the competitors are, how you’ll make money, and what the market opportunity is.

I also got to meet entrepreneurs who are working on some pretty kewl start-ups. For example, I met the founder of a company, Iristocracy (love this name!), which is building technology that lets you virtually try on a pair of glasses while sitting at your computer and see how they look in 3-D, from all angles. How kewl is that?! Actually, they won the competition.

I met another guy whose company, Novo Luggage, solves the problem of your luggage looking like everyone else’s at the airport by letting you add a custom skin to it.

So, are elevator pitches a waste a time for entrepreneurs? Absolutely not!

Have a thought about elevator pitches, how to best prepare one, or their effectiveness? Please share by leaving a comment.

Suerte! (Good luck!)

 

Don’t Should On Me: Stop Giving Entrepreneurs Unsolicited Advice

Snark alert!

If you’re averse to snark, now might be a good time to redirect your browser away from this post.  If you’re still reading I assume you have a penchant for snark consumption, and to you I say, welcome, friend.

If you’re an entrepreneur working on a start-up or a bold new project, I’m sure you’ve met someone–probably a total stranger and possibly in a bar–who thinks they know so much about your business they start telling you what you should do. On behalf of entrepreneurs everywhere I say: stop shoulding on me. And please keep your advice to yourself…unless, of course, I ask you for it.

unsolicited advice

Evernote CEO Offers Advice

Before I get into all the shoulding, I’d like to point out the obvious: being an entrepreneur is challenging. So much so, Evernote CEO, Phil Libin’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is, “don’t do it.” Phil points out there are four reasons many people he meets want to be entrepreneurs, all of which he says are wrong:

  • They want to make money;
  • They want to be in power as CEO;
  • They are bored and want to do something different; and
  • They want more flexibility in their schedule

According to Phil, the only reason to be an entrepreneur is to change the world. So, you need to have an idea the world is missing and will fill that void; it doesn’t have to be a really big idea.  If your motivation meets Phil’s criterion, he thinks this is the best time in the history of the world to be an entrepreneur. See Phil wax philosophical on entrepreneurship in the following video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-8xAUx5Y6s&w=560&h=315]

 
In addition to Phil’s take, thanks to social media influencer,  Steve Farnsworth, I recently discovered a great blog post titled, The Stockdale Paradox, written by globe trotter, Niall Doherty, which perfectly articulates the way I view the challenges of entrepreneurship.  According to Niall,

“Always take honest stock of your current situation. Don’t lie to yourself for fear of short-term embarrassment or discomfort, because such deception will only come back to defeat you in the end…You must combine optimism with brutal honesty and a willingness to take action.”

For me, these are words to live by.

Back To The Snark

Groupride.me unsolicited advice

Ridiculous pic of Mark DesJardin, Founder, GroupRide(dot)Me Getting a Bike Fitting.

My buddy, Mark DesJardin, inspired this blog post; he called me after talking with our friend, Brian, also an entrepreneur, about the frustration of strangers telling him what he should do.  Mark started a website, GroupRide(dot)Me, for cycling enthusiasts to find other riders for group rides. While talking to Mark, he said the following about strangers offering unsolicited advice:

“Don’t should on me. Don’t use the phrase “you should.” Don’t tell me what I should do; especially when I never asked for your opinion. Instead say, “have you considered…” Find out what the entrepreneur already did in the way of research, testing, etc. before you offer unsolicited advice.”

I thought Mark’s comments were so funny-mostly because I could totally relate to his point – I decided to call a few other entrepreneurs and get their take. I called three other people and once I told them the post title they immediately started laughing, and said they agreed. Here are the comments they each shared with me:

“People say things like, “you think you could do THAT?!”  Don’t make comments that are projections of your own limitations and insecurities. Talk candidly about your successes and failures, so I can learn from them.” — Chuck Bush, CEO, Great Road Capital

My favorite is, “if I were you…”  Oh, I can’t stand that one! If you haven’t successfully raised money for a start-up or are not interested in investing in my project, I’m not terribly interested in your advice.” — Anonymous Entrepreneur (she chose to remain anonymous because she didn’t want to seem too snarky! Ha!)

And finally, there is my buddy, Alan Stewart, who recently left a law firm to start his own intellectual property law practice:

People always assume what my business is like and what my limitations are. It’s a professional services view-point vis-a-vis a sales point of view.  The most irritating thing people are doing is telling me how to focus my practice without understanding my planned focus. I want to be the best individual patent attorney money can buy; that’s it. So, please stop telling me I should be a corporate attorney and all this other crap.”

Bottom Line

All of my entrepreneur friends are open to engaging in meaningful dialog about ways they can enhance their business model or improve their skill set. But they are only interested in doing so with people who really care about them and their business, or who are truly interested in helping them take their venture to the next level.  So, please, before telling an entrepreneur what she/he should do try to see things from her/his perspective.

Has anyone tried to tell you how you should manage your business and it rubbed you the wrong way? I would love to hear about it in the comments section. Snarky and funny comments are most welcome!

Godspeed

If you could start over with your business, what would you do differently?

Are you thinking about starting a business or have you recently started a business? You may want to take a look at the following answers from our SteamFeed authors for some tips and advice.

Here is the question we asked some of our authors: If you could start over with your business, what would you do differently?

 

Albert Qian (@albertqian):

If I could start over with my business, I would probably be doing JUST my business instead of my 9-5 job.

 

Randy Bowden (@bowden2bowden):

I would go all-in with more confidence in myself and my abilities and not worry about failing! I already knew how to fail, doing nothing or doing something stupid because of my fear. So I would figure out exactly what I need to ensure success and go after it with greater self-assurance in my ability! Believe in success.

 

Keri Jaehnig (@connectyou):

My business has evolved from where I was in the non-profit sector, honing in on demand and what was working, to where my business is now – Online marketing for business brands, non-profits, and political candidates. What I did then has gotten me to where I am now, so no — I would not change that. If I were to do anything differently, I would have started blogging sooner. And I recommend to any small business owner not to delay in launching their blog!

 

James Oliver, Jr.(@jamesoliverjr):

Have a capable, technically-oriented, founding partner.

 

Gerry Michaels (@gettysburggerry):

I would have started sooner and definitely kept my blinders on, trusted in myself more from the begining.  If what you are doing is working, don’t stop doing it because someone who thinks they know it all tells you you are “doing it wrong.”  You know YOU best, and if what you are doing is working, build off of it. It is smart to listen to advice from others, but it is smarter to think that advice through and be sure it works within the methods that you employ. In short, don’t be afraid to believe in yourself. I lost time growing my business by trying to mold my business to someone else’s idea of what my business should be.

 

Derrick Jones (@djoneslucid)

Surround myself with more advisors and get a better understanding of the mental game. The mental game is an aspect of entrepreneurship that is not talked about enough. That is why I spend considerable time talking about it in my book.

Still have questions? Or want to give some advice? Leave your comments below.

Are Successful Entrepreneurs Just Lucky?

Welcome to the Platitude-Free Zone

This blog post is intended to start a conversation with entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and the people who invest money with entrepreneurs. I would like us to have a real discussion about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur (however you define success)–free of platitudes and “conventional wisdom.”

My vision for this post is, via your comments, we will inspire one another to reach a little higher for our goals, dig a little deeper for strength, and reflect internally a little more deliberately for clarity of purpose and mission.

You’ve Determined You ARE an Entrepreneur. Now What? 

I’m no expert on entrepreneurship. Really, I’m just a dude with a dollar-er-fifty cents-and a dream. And I am working incredibly hard to launch my start-up, WeMontage.

Maybe you determined you’re an entrepreneur after reading one of the many blog posts that force you to ask yourself a few tough questions before you take the plunge. Or maybe, like me, you knew all along, but forgot the truth and suddenly had an “epiphany” that led you back to it.

Either way, once you take that first step toward entrepreneurship, there is no guarantee you will be successful.

So What Does It Take To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?

This question seems to be the rub.

We’ve all read the self-help books and seen pithy quotes from our heroes about what it takes to be successful (here’s a great site for quotes and inspiration). Maybe some of you, like me, keep up with the latest trends in the “science” of entrepreneurship (e.g., The Lean Startup movement) and know the importance of having a great team and a killer business model.

I’m sure some of us lean on our faith or spiritual teachings to shine the light on the path to success and rely on blessings to lead us on the way. I’ve done all of the above, yet I am no closer to a definitive answer to the question. Am I cynical? Perhaps.

I did, however, stumble upon the following quote and it struck a chord deep within me:

“A true entrepreneur can’t imagine living a life any way other than on their own terms. Their success is, metaphorically, a life or death situation. If you feel the entrepreneur inside of you screaming every time you’re forced to suppress an idea, then it’s a matter of life or death for you. Every time you suppress your inner entrepreneur, a piece of it will die.” – Liz Seda, Lifestyle Designer and Entrepreneur

So, after speaking with several entrepreneurs over the years and taking my shots at entrepreneurship, I’m left with only one reasonable answer to the question: luck. You need to be lucky. I’m ok defining luck as a blessing from God, or being in alignment with ‘The Universe,” or it’s where hard work meets opportunity. However you want to define it, I’m good with that.

After you’ve gone all in with your resources for your idea, put together the best possible management team, worked tirelessly, turned over every stone, designed a killer business model, and tested and validated your idea, I believe it takes luck to be successful; something that is completely out of your control. Luck. That’s it.

I’m not saying I’m right about this. It’s just my opinion and I’ve got lots of them (just ask my wife :-) ). If you have a different one I’d love to read it in the comments section below.

My Biggest Start-Up Challenge? Software Development.

I blog for three reasons. (1) It’s fun working on a start-up, but it’s also extremely challenging and frustrating at times. So, blogging is a catharsis. (2) I blog to share the kewl things I learn and the bone-head maneuvers I make, so that others might benefit. And (3) I blog to connect with entrepreneurial-minded people.

Last night, while having dinner with friends in Chicago, someone asked me, “what was the most challenging aspect of working on my start-up, WeMontage?” Without hesitation, I replied, “getting the software developed to bring my vision to life.”

Startup ChallengeI recently discussed the challenge of finding a founding partner with a tech background – someone who complements my skill set.  While navigating said challenge, I discovered three key things about the software development process and, most importantly, about myself.

I Can Have It All. Just Not Right Now!

A good friend of mine, Neil, a software engineer who wrote the iPad and iPhone app for Pandora, shared a lil’ wisdom with me about writing software. He said, “you can build it fast, cheap, or really good. Pick any two.”

Ugh! Seriously? Now u tell me. :-)  Can you guess which two it’s gonna be for this guy? Here’s a hint. I’ve got champagne taste on a PBR-er-Pabst Blue Ribbon-budget. Nothing against PBR, but it ain’t the lovely bubbly!

So, it’s the cheap and really good options for me. Thus, my awesome web design and development firm is in NY, but they are project managing software engineers in the Ukraine. Ukraine?! Yep, the Ukraine. And that’s why WeMontage has been in development since January. Yes. Since January.

Enjoy The Journey. Don’t Focus On The Destination.

Two of my heroes, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra, preach the mantra of staying in the present, and enjoying the process without attachment to the results; this is incredibly hard for me. I truly aspire to be more virtuous, but I often fall short of the mark.

So many of my friends are über supportive of WeMontage and think the project is super-kewl and I’m doing a great job. But I’m always surprised to hear this because sometimes, I’m just in the weeds trying to get things done.

From finding the right founding partner; to early on, trying to understand why I should build the software in HTML5 vs. the soon-to-be-dead, yet ubiquitous, Adobe Flash; to understanding if the developers say it’s gonna take two weeks, it’s really gonna take 5-6 weeks; It’s hard to enjoy the journey and not focus on the results and road toward the destination.

will do better.

#Nevergiveup

Despite my the challenges I’ve faced, the concept of WeMontage was pure inspiration, and I’m trusting the Universe to support it, and to do so abundantly. So strong is my faith, I’m launching a crowd funding campaign on IndieGoGo.com, which competes with KickStarter.com, to give WeMontage a jolt.

Below is a brief demo of the web application that is part of the IndieGoGo campaign. I’m incredibly pumped about the simple, clean, and elegant website and web application we’ve built!

If you’re interested, you can check out the WeMontage IndieGogo crowd funding campaign by clicking here. If you like it, please share it across your social media platforms.

My amazing wife is pregnant with twins and I’ll be a first-time dad in March. When my kids are older, I will teach them many things. But one of the most important things I’ll teach them is Never Give Up. Ever. 

Have you had challenges starting a new biz? Please leave a comment and tell me about them and what you did to overcome them. What did you learn about yourself? 

To Take Investor Money, Or Not? That Is The Question.

My friends know I love to celebrate the joys of being an entrepreneur, riffing on the challenges, and seeking opportunity within said challenges. As I am in the midst of raising seed capital for my latest venture WeMontage, I am reminded almost daily of the need to meet and connect with so-called smart money investors (i.e., investors who understand what I’m doing and can add real value). However, I seem to mostly meet people who like to invest money in start-ups, but don’t really understand tech-related businesses or my industry.

Money HandLike most other start-ups, I’m bootstrapping my biz and have a limited amount of time for which I can continue to do so. The dilemma is do I try to hold out to connect with the perfect investor or cut a deal with an investor who doesn’t understand my business, can’t offer real value, and, in the worst case, is extremely nervous about losing his/her money.

Put another way, do I take the money, or do I not take the money? That is the question.

A Cautionary Tale

I was speaking to my buddy, Mark, who founded GroupRide(dot)Me, a tool for cycling enthusiasts to find comparably skilled cyclists to go on group bike rides, when he started telling me a story about a friend, call him, Bill, who created a niche pharmaceutical biz and had invested $500k of his own money. But Bill desperately needed a cash infusion, so he took $300k from a guy, let’s call him, John, who knew nothing about the pharma biz.

Shortly after investing in Bill’s business John lost his job and decided he wanted to take a hands on role in Bill’s business. And because John was now unemployed, he was more concerned than ever about losing his money. Bill says this was the worst decision he ever made.

This is a cautionary tale, which many of us would be wise to heed.

An Alternative Capital Raising Step

In addition to speaking with smart and not-so-smart potential investors, I am contemplating putting WeMontage on KickStarter. I’ve completed the profile and have submitted it to a few trusted friends for their feedback. The goal is to raise money in lieu of a traditional friends-and-family capital raise. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee KickStarter will accept my project . But I’ll keep you posted!

Finally, in the book Rework, the 37 Signals guys say taking money is Plan Z. Perhaps that’s true for some, but I suspect it’s not the case for the average entrepreneur trying to make his/her dream a reality. What do you think?

Have you needed to raise capital for your start-up before and faced the dilemma of taking money from someone you weren’t sure was a good fit for you and your biz? What did you do and what happened next?

Please tell me in the comments section.

 

Desperately Wanted: Finding Start-Up Founding Partners

I read a lot these days about the importance of having both a hacker and a hustler as founding partners if you plan to raise capital and successfully launch a tech-related start-up. A hacker is basically someone who can write software and a hustler is a passion sharer (think Steve Jobs).

Founding PartnersBut what if you’re a hacker and don’t know any hustlers or vice versa? How do you make the connection you need to find viable founding partners to bring your idea to life? Do you go with someone you’ve known since kindergarten? This option is ideal, but probably unrealistic for most entrepreneurs. Do you rely on character references from other people you trust? Or do you use one of the new founder match-making services that are proliferating?

You Can Trust John. He’d Be a Great Partner For You!

If someone you trust suggests a person to you for whom they vouch, this can either be really great, or completely blow up in your face. In my case, the latter occurred.

I am a hustler and am working on a start-up, WeMontage, that allows professional photographers and interior designers to upload their client pictures, create a collage, and print them on large format wallpaper (yes, real wallpaper!). I came up with the idea, generated the business model using the Business Model Canvas, and created all the financial projections. But I don’t know jack about technology and desperately needed a partner who could either develop the software, or had technology relationships and could project manage a team of designers and developers.

WeMontage

Image via WeMontage.com

A dear friend recommended someone (let’s call him Bill) who had developer relationships and could project manage things. Bill and I talked for about a month then finally agreed upon an appropriate equity percentage for him since he was not committing any capital to the project.

KABOOM! Nine months later this relationship blew up in my face after Bill encountered a few “life challenges” and completely checked out of WeMontage. Now I’m trying to cut a deal with him, outside of the buy-sell agreement we signed, to buy him out of my business. Sucks, doesn’t it?!

I Trust You, But Let’s Take it Slow…

A good friend of mine, Mark DesJardin, started a website (GroupRide(dot)Me) for cycling enthusiasts to find other comparably skilled cyclists for group rides. Like me, Mark is a hustler and he already had someone developing an app for him that will allow users to find group rides. But he needed a founding partner with cachet in the cycling industry and money to invest in the start-up.

GroupRidedotMe

Image via GroupRide.me

Luckily for Mark, one such person lives in his local community (let’s call him Joe).  Mark met Joe at various cycling-related events and Joe immediately thought Mark’s idea was desperately needed nationally. Mark asked a mutual friend about doing business with Joe and Joe received two thumbs up. Over the next six months, Mark and Joe got to know each other on rides and by co-hosting cycling-related volunteer events like a helmet fitting program and bike safety checks.

BAM! The two decided they complemented each other and now Mark has a credible founding partner with industry relationships and who will invest money in the business.

Founder Match-Making

I recently discovered two web sites that aspire to connect hackers and hustlers:

Foundersync.com

Here is an excerpt from their site:

Recognizing that the “entrepreneurial match-making” websites fell far short of what is needed… It’s our goal to not just tell people “Here Is Someone You May Know…” but instead provide “Here Is Someone You SHOULD Know.

FounderDating.com

Here’s an excerpt from their site:

FounderDating is a network of talented entrepreneurs with different backgrounds and skill sets all ready to start their next company or project…We help you find cofounders with complementary skill sets.

I haven’t used these match-making services, but I would caution patience. After all, most of us wouldn’t propose to our boyfriend or girlfriend after dating for a week, right?  Well, I did propose to my lovely wife after 6 months and we’re still going strong after 7 years. But that’s another story. ;)

Rules For Founder Teams and Agreements

I also discovered a blog by Simeon Simeonov, at which he talks about proper ways to structure founder start-up agreements. I wish I’d read this a year ago!  Simeon has an interesting post If you want to build a better-balanced founding team where no one founder is irreplaceable.

Bottom Line

Choosing founding partners in your start-up is almost as important as choosing your spouse. So, be patient and choose wisely.

Have you had successes or failures finding a viable founding partner for your start-up? I would love to hear about it in the comments section!