Picking a co-founder is one of the most important things you can do. I’ve founded companies with a friend, with business associates and with my wife. Your relationship before you start a company together isn’t as important as making sure you find people who have skills that you don’t have. In my experience it’s bad to find someone who is exactly like you.
At 7, I’m usually the one in group settings who speaks and doesn’t listen. My co-founder Nags is the one who listens well.
It’s difficult to undo a founding team once it’s come together. These are people who share the same dream. So often you fall into the trap of keeping them on even if they don’t share the same values.
But in order to succeed it’s sometimes necessary.
When I started 7, it took us about a year, but we ended up asking one of the founding team members to leave. He didn’t share the culture and the values that we prized.
For instance, we don’t talk a lot about ourselves. This one person, though, would take credit for everything. One day, I was in an all hands and someone asked me how do I put up with someone like this on the founding team? I couldn’t explain. That’s when I realized I had to make the hard decision.
You’ll know you have to do it when you are in a meeting and the person says something that makes you uncomfortable. And it’s not uncomfortable like you’re wrong; let me show you the data. They’ll make you feel creeped out, like you can’t stand it. When it’s about an attitude you just can’t fix it.