Academic co-founder from hell

So in order to produce some valuable data, I (a developer) partnered up with a data science guy at my local university. This guy has all the academic credentials you can wish for. He spent his entire career so far (early 30s) in academia and is attributed in a decent amount of publications relevant to our startup goals.

Thing is – he never had to work in a commercial environment.

His confidence in his abilities is so strong, that he will literally advise on everything and anything without flinching. Often getting into fights over how development should be done with myself or other industry veteran developers.

He will commit to delivering results for a specific deadline and not deliver even the most basic amount of output. When asked about results he will drone on at length about his ‘process’ and then, if pressed, get really angry about you for not understanding that the results are all there in the raw data.

Eventually when he acknowledges, after lots of arguments over many days, that the raw input data is not the same as the desired output data, he will ask for a couple of weeks of extension time during which he will disappear for some days of vacation – not answering emails, texts, calls etc. of course.

When he eventually comes back into office, he will ask for more extension time and repeat that circle.

Needless to say, our Startup is fucked and the old adage “Academic performance is not an indicator for workplace performance” will be forever etched into my brain.

What a waste.

  • Choice is obvious. Split up ASAP. I can totally see this kind of guy sulking and complaining after realizing that he’s wrong.

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