Bringing new co-founders into your startup

I’m trying to get 3 new people to work with me but one of the guys I brought on board is a nightmare and instead of getting things executed and delivering on what he says he’ll deliver on….he’s trying to take over and turn the team on me. And…he trademarked the name behind our backs and took ridiculous equity.

I tried to be open and transparent but every time I give this guy room to fuck something up or take more power he does it.

Is being transparent and kind a rookie mistake?

I’m not sure about the startup culture because I’m so far removed but I created a situation in which it’s far easier for these new team members to just work with me then it would be to try to do things themselves…at least that was the idea. I’m thinking this was a dumb idea now because instead of just getting things done, this guy has driven a wedge between everyone and has taken advantage of my resources and connections.


  • Being transparent is not a rookie mistake, being trusting is.

    Transparency, niceness, fairness, openness are all a means to an end, and the end is to make the company successful. Be transparent, but you need to know how it benefits the business (gaining more trust/admiration/prestige from co-workers, customers). But doing it because “its right” is a rookie mistake.

    This is well played out with the recent Airbnb fight in SF. They’re sending heartfelt emails to their customers in SF to vote NO on measure F. They spin like they really care about making SF a nicer community through “sharing”, that they are all about community, authenticity bla bla… but behind all this is nothing more than $$. They’re playing it by the book and playing their customers like a fiddle.

    What about me? I’m voting F*** YES!

  • If the others agree that he’s not executing, get rid of him. Make sure the trademark and other IP is signed over to the company beforehand. Anyone who doesn’t execute on what they bring to the team is a piece of excrement that should be flushed to avoid contamination to the rest of the hard working team members.

    • This is awesome thanks for the response….so it sounds like startup culture is a massive game. In my case I can’t get anyone to really actually execute like I bring people on board and it really seems like they lose confidence in what I’m doing or what I’m telling them even tho the actual work is unbelievably easy to do. I alway have to keep saying guys I know nobody believes what I’m saying so let’s just look at this objective evidence….we have about 4 days left of development you guys are here bc I want to partners I can trust to move into the next thing immediately which again won’t take very long. I could do this all myself but I would slowly lose my mind and go crazy. You’re here more to create a family then a business bc I can outsource this stuff all day long but at the end of the day I want an awesome group of people who help each other achieve greatness. Is that an insane thought to have? Am I going about this all wrong? I’m physically a massive dude and I hate being an asshole to people but maybe I’m just being lazy. Maybe if I want to play the role of the founder I need to grow a pair of nuts and actually be that douche bag nobody respects but they actually listen to because he’s dominate. I can be that guy and make people’s lives miserable and make them feel shitty but that’s so opposite to my philosophy and I feel like at the end of the day that’s not going to get me anywhere I want to be.

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