So by this time you might already know I am working on a startup. I have a question about Co-Founder. I know your co-founder shouldn't be doing the same thing you do. For example, If I handle marketing he/she should handle design/development.

I dragged my best friend into this but he has no knowledge what so ever regarding this. Heck, he lives a block away from me but comes online every other day..

I presented the idea to him and said he has 50% equity.. basically he is co-founding with me for nothing. I am basically just taking his advice he helps get rid of frustration.

I recently gave him Inbound marketing and some resources about other marketing. Is it a good idea just to force marketing knowledge on him? hehe :P or should I just ask him what he wants to bring on the table..

Should I just kick him out of the project? Should I keep him as a partner or lower his status to intern or something?

Co-Founder Equity

asked Aug 18 '10 at 05:53
Bhargav Patel
784 points
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3 Answers


I am basically just taking his advice
he helps get rid of frustration.

Why not ask your questions here (or in a startup focused advisory group) and keep the 50% for other purposes?

You can call him whatever you want, but 50% is 50% - he has equal rights in the company. Before getting in too deep into a startup relationship with a person who doesn't seem motivated - i would have a real sit down and determine whether he is actually interested in all the work associated with a startup, and if so determine how much he will contribute to the effort, and then mutually agree to a more equitable split. If you don't deal with it now it will only get uglier and more complex over time.

answered Aug 18 '10 at 08:33
Jim Galley
9,952 points
  • +1 for that. "Friends" asking for too much - are a reason to talk away from them (in the business idea). THat simlpe. N need to throw away things. – Net Tecture 13 years ago


I like this question as I am in the same situation with one of my websites. My partner likes the idea of the of the website but has little online knowledge. I am at the stage that I'm currently asking him what his interests are in the online business. I've laid out the areas that he would be able to work on as he comes from a business background Online Marketing, Analytics, Advertising, SEO and hoping to see what area he wants to learn more in.

At the end of the day we/you are going to need to split the workload 50/50 if the ownership is 50/50 so my/your partner will need to contribute 50% work somewhere and need to learn more knowledge about key areas to help the business succeed.

If he doesn't have any interest in learning any of these things it will make it harder for the business to succeed and make it harder for you with the extra workload.

Im also really trying to find out if he really has an interest in the online business or the main interest is the potential to make money. If the interest is just to make money and not in the online business itself I will probably sit down with him and let him know his not the right partner and he does not have the right mindset for the business to succeed.

answered Aug 19 '10 at 15:50
70 points


Ideally, I wouldn't want someone as a partner who has to learn how to do a critical role in the business. I would be looking to bring someone on board who already has that expertise. I would be clear about what skills I needed and seek out someone with those skills who believes in the startup enough to commit time to it.

A partner who has no specific role, skills or interest just leads to trouble - usually soon rather than later. Just search for all the posts with 'partner' in the title on this site to confirm that!!

answered Aug 19 '10 at 19:05
Susan Jones
4,128 points

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Co-Founder Equity