Should I Start My Company With A Friend?

Business Partner or Great Friend?

Hey Friend – One of the basic startup tenants I push religiously is the idea of partnering with skilled and trustworthy people.  Startups are a team sport not a solo sport I share every day.Some of you think this way too and as your first move, you identify and join forces with old high school, college or work friends.  The notion is that you know these people intimately and thus have a pre-built trusting relationship.I am not opposed to that per se but there is a wicked downside to the surface level version of this thinking.When the crap hits the fan – which is more important, the friendship or the business?

There is only one good answer to this question and it is that the business has to come first.  Not to say that the friendship cant survive after but the business has to be the overriding relationship.

Best, Chris

P.S.  I have a whole chapter on partnering in Build The Fort, my 1st book on starting anything.

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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