Co-founder for 4 years. Is it time to quit?

The founder started the company about 5 years ago, and I joined about 6 months after. Then started really contributing about 1 year in. I’ve been with the company now for 4 years and have a sizable stake.

We are now on our 3rd pivot, haven’t ever been able to solidify funding, and have always had a problem with staying focused, which seems to be part of the reason for lack of funding.

I believe not focusing has been the biggest issue we have had in the past, but the founder/CEO does not agree and wants to be a company who puts out multiple products in whatever space the company finds interesting stuff at the moment. Right now the pivot is being made to focus on two totally different markets. I disagree with the approach and have tried to explain that we should focus. And that if we are focused and doing everything we can to succeed then there will be no downtime to do other work. He disagrees.

I still have a full-time job, he does not, but doesn’t really make much from the company because we still have very low revenue. I love the idea of running my own company, I have learned a ton and enjoyed the ride. But I’ve found myself contemplating for some time now if I should move on, and maybe start my own project/venture.


  • A sizable stake of almost zero is still zero. If you believe that you will go nowhere because of the lack of focus and that he will not change, it might be time for a hard discussion where you are ready to walk out. You don’t mention if there are other “employees” but I assume you’re the only one. If that’s the case, you may have more power than you think. That being said, you also have to assess if you believe he would make a good CEO. Even if you are able to make him focus for a while his track record doesn’t look too impressive.

  • He is not focused and you haven’t quit your job – so you aren’t all in either. Stop working on this and then find something that gets you excited enough to quit.

    Most startups need atleast a year of full time testing , tweaking etc before they have a good understanding of what to work on for next 5 years. Part time doesn’t cut it and is a time waster and you will see a burnout for no good reason

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