Somewhere deep inside I disrespect my co-founder. I think all the problems we have with our startup root in that…
I started my startup in FinTech over 2 years ago. I can’t say I’m a snob… But thinking that I could be a snob makes me feel bad.
Ok, here is the story. I’m not from the US, I’m from one of the former Soviet countries to be exact, neither is my co-founder, despite that, we were able to build a fairly successful Fintech startup. It is very hard, indeed both financially and emotionally.
I started it with one guy, and then this guy joined us 2 years ago. I don’t know why I invited him but it is what it is. The first co-founder dropped along the way so it is only 2 of us left, the third guy and me.
This third guy is not a tech person and did not have experience running a startup, just another Finance student like me. We both went to a fairly good school in NYC, nothing too exciting.
Although we are pretty much from the same place, we have very different backgrounds, I went to one of the top schools in the country based on my academic merits, I am from a liberal family and from the kind of an upper-middle-class social background (don’t get me wrong I am not saying it with any sort of pride or prejudice). I grew up in that environment where your friends are all bright exceptionally intellectual kids with vision, highly opinionated and political.
And then my co-founder (again I am not trying to be a snob here); he wasn’t intellectual, he grew up “on the street”, fighting and admiring Putin. He is from a very conservative family with very conservative views on everything, from gays to women, from family to politics. I will give it to him he is tough, but I can’t ignore it anymore, I don’t like it.
Those fundamental differences lead to enormous misunderstanding of everything from brainstorming ideas to execution. I can say that I was pushing this startup all the way along for past 2 years.
Here is an example: we saw a marketing video from Apple, the one about 1984 and my co-founder didn’t even know Orwell.
I want a co-founder I can look upon and be admired by. It is hard, It will only get harder…