Startup co-founder is like soul mate and as experts also suggest you need to treat your co-founders as your spouse, when you almost share every detail with them. While everybody understands this right, but most fail while following this – as the figures say almost 62% of the startups fail due to conflict between co-founders. Just like a problematic marriage ends up with a divorce, co-founders end up quitting their startups due some critical reasons. We are listing out top 7 reasons of why your co-founders may quit.
It is certain that each co-founder will carry a major role in the startup, whether in sales & marketing, operations, client management or delivery. It is of course needed, that every co-founder needs to contribute their best towards the startup. But doing the same job every day-in and day-out is sometimes frustrating and can be assumed as unproductive as well. This leads to frustration, trust-issues and argument over minimal irritation which will ignite into a difficult situation.
Startup co-founders should ensure to take part of each other’s responsibility and attempt those tasks even it brings some negative remarks. By doing this – it not only helps each member to come out of their comfort zone but also reduces burdens through load sharing. Just imagine when you go on a trip and one of the friends only know how to drive the car. Would not that be better if most of them know driving and can take turns one-by-one? This way the journey will be longer.
Comparing Roles and Work
An entrepreneur’s life is not easy and struggle at each step is a necessary evil. While only few people are able to cope up and continue, many start complaining about success. The complaints usually start with “Are you/we doing this right?”, which sometimes can be a valid query as well. Then starts comparison of what you are doing and what other co-founder(s) doing. When co-founders start judging each other’s roles and start evaluating the work – certainly there is some level of trust issue. Although the concerns are valid, but yes this is the sign that your co-founder may quit soon if the trust issues are not resolved.
Whenever you are working with your co-founders, mention the efforts as a common effort instead of an individual effort. For example – “I am working hard to get us revenues from good paying customers” is an example of self-centered statement, which ignores the supporting effort from your co-founders. Some more instances of such will create a negative vibe and certainly bring up the situation when your co-founder will quit on you.
“Are you/we doing this right” is a valid and serious question which should have a justified answer. When you co-founder is asking this question who has been associated with you since the start, then something is not right. The process to achieve the goal could be different, but the vision needs to be intact. For many reasons, the vision usually gets diluted in the name of achieving short-term financial success. Your co-founder has joined you and aligned his priorities, plans and life with the vision of the startup. When the vision itself gets blurred, there is positive chance that your co-founder may quit on you.
One of the most common reasons of why your co-founder may quit is individual priorities. When you build your start-up, apart from the common goal each co-founder has their own personal goals. When these goals were not achieved while being a part of the start-up for a long time, people start to find alternative ways. The alternative ways are usually – starting something own or getting back to the job. As a co-founder, you can’t control the individual goal or priorities of every co-founder. But try to find out ways how to avert this situation or help your co-founder to handle the individual priorities.
If you will keep bleeding money and efforts behind your startup without success – then certainly it’s going to bring up the situation of despair. Your co-founder will quit on you if the results are not worth of the sacrifice you have been making. Every co-founder will want to achieve some personal and professional goals, for every sacrifice being made. It is critical for every co-founder to ensure each other’s growth and ensure the sacrifice is well received in terms of monetary benefits, respect and growth.
Your co-founder may not be excited anymore with the growth or success being achieved or foreseen by you in the next few years. This is usually an individual level problem – which happens with most of the co-founders, where it’s difficult to excite them. The company business model, customer experiences or operational process – might seems very well received at first. But as the startup ages, if these factors are not adding up new values – then certainly it’s going dry-up the excitement.
Finding Work-Life Balance
When you are starting something on your own, the barrier between personal and professional life has to be brought down. As an employee, there are certain level of working hours you commit yourself. But as a co-founder, your working hours are limitless. If your co-founder is looking for work-life balance and want to dedicate only to limited working hours, then certainly she/he is looking for a job. While she/he is passionate about the idea/vision – but the work-life balance overshadows the passion.
We will like to know if your co-founder(s) have left you and for which reason. How are you able to cope up after? Please leave your comments.