Have you considered co-founding a new business with a family member or
friend? If so, you’re in good company –Fox Business reporter Susan Shreter
reports that about half of today’s startups are co-founded among friends,
family members or spouses.
business with a friend or family member? It certainly makes sense that one
would want to pursue their most ambitious goals with people they trust. But is
doing so good or bad for the relationship you have with your co-founder?
with friends, expectations of loyalty and understanding are higher than is
common among everyday work colleagues. And when friends let us down,
resentments can linger and cause a deep divide in both work relationship and
Here are five
ways startup misunderstandings can spiral out of control and potentially
end friendships, according to Fox
#1: Unmet Expectations. The
typical startup business will take a lot more time and money to become
profitable than anyone ever expects.
#2: Work Style Conflicts. Even
though friends get along great when hanging out at the bar, this compatibility
may not resonate in the office
#3: Business Strategy
Disagreements. New startup partners tend to be well aligned to the grander
goals of an organization, but rarely have worked through the nitty gritty
details of how to achieve these goals.
#4: Spending Conflicts. One of
the most common areas of disagreement is spending authority and budget
#5: No Way Out. What happens when one
partner wants to sell out, quit or reduce involvement in the business?
A recent Forbes article, titled “Co-Founding
With a Friend – – Without Decimating a Friendship,” shares a few words of
wisdom from successful businesses founded by friends. One startup says “when
making decisions, we make the conscious decision to not be disrespectful
because at the end of the day, we want to stay friends.” Another startup
recognizes the importance of keeping work and personal lives separate.
To avoid any
misunderstandings that could potentially end the business or the friendship, it
is important to discuss all issues that might interfere with productive
References: Fox Business
(June 13, 2011) “Why Co-Founding a Business Can Decimate
Forbes (December 12, 2012) “Co-Founding With a Friend – Without
Decimating a Friendship”