I’m from Bangalore, India. I just left a startup I loved and cofounded and put in two and a half intense years into. Towards the end, my cofounder became a huge asshole. I left without telling him what I think of him. Learning experience.


  • You did yourself and your cofounder a great disservice and your complaint is not really valid since you never confronted your cofounder. What kind of relationship did you have if you both couldn’t talk honestly about serious business issues? I say business because when your personal relationship with each other starts impacting the startup (which I’m sure it did), then it becomes a business issue.

    Bottomline: whatever went wrong is as much your fault as it is your cofounder’s.

      • correction: nothing went wrong, except that he stopped listening to me and repeatedly told me i could leave if i didn’t like the way he took decisions. if i had stayed on, i would have been blamed if something did go wrong. so i left when my stock was highest. we are still “good friends”. right. -OP

        • Still makes you a bit of a hypocrite for never telling him what you thought of his behavior, even though you probably talked about it to everybody else.

          • nope. i didnt talk about it to everyone else. i would be a hypocrite if i stayed and felt the way i do. now i feel free to do whatever i need to with my life.

  • I also lean toward the belief that trash talk very rarely gets you anywhere. It is highly unlikely anything you say would actually convince your co-founder that he’s an asshole. So why try? Do well for yourself and move on.

    If it ever happens again, then you’re the problem. You need to make damn sure you learn a lesson from this and figure out how to better navigate your next venture. Try undertaking a lean startup next time and keep a majority interest for yourself while being generous to the right partner ONLY after you’ve spent a good amount of time together and are absolutely convinced of a common vision. NEVER EVER get into a company where you’re 50/50. That is absolutely ripe for an eventual explosion that leaves on staying and one going.

    • Thanks for the advice. I’ll never forget this one. This company is, in fact, a lean startup in which I hold a small but significant minority of stock. I certainly earned all of it though. I couldn’t/didn’t want to outgun him because a) it wasn’t worth it b) the rest of the board is his family c) we have hundreds of friends in common. I’d like to think that I “took the hint” and moved on at the right time. Next time I’ll do it with less compunction.

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