Cofounder has 10% as a designer


I'm in the process of building a new responsive web/mobile app.

After I quit my job and now full time working on it, I decided it will be a good idea to get a designer.

I wanted her to be committed to the work, and made sure she likes the idea. Didn't read a lot about co founders agreement before hand, and agreed on a 10% reverse vesting (for 3 years) cofounders agreement with my designer.

Now, she's great. It just, that she doesn't do 10% of the work.

Assuming it's an email correspondence, how can we change that agreement?


asked Mar 16 '13 at 17:43
And Py
15 points

2 Answers


The answer depends, in part, on your jurisdiction, but also on how you proceed from here.

If you blatantly renege on your agreement, your designer may have a good case to withdraw the rights to whatever work has been done, which could be inconvenient. You may also leave yourself vulnerable to various lawsuits. This will likely destroy your working relationship. This is the worst case, but two better scenarios exist.

Firstly, you could see if they can be useful in other capacities, so that they can do more and (in your eyes, at least) earn their equity.

Secondly, you could try to re-negotiate, although this is likely to lead to a sub-optimal result, especially if your partner has no idea about how you feel.

As always, IANAL, IMHO, YMMV, etc.

answered Mar 16 '13 at 20:43
Steve Jones
3,239 points
  • Thanks! It's just that I did a mistake when not writing down exactly what is her responsibility. She's the designer in-case I need some design work.. I guess we can talk this out.. – And Py 8 years ago
  • Chalk it to experience and try to get her to be more involved. If things go well, even having someone answer emails/phone will be useful. Think of it this way, if it is a big success, you have 90%, if it fails, who cares how much you have. Good luck. – Steve Jones 8 years ago


I completely agree with Steve Jones.

There are couple of things which I would add:

a) "doesn't do 10% of the work." is in the eye of the beholder. She may think that she does 15% . It's impossible to measure.

b) Equity agreement isn't about who does more or less work. It's about negotiation and it's about potential value which each person can bring to the table.

c) If you had reverse vesting, you can actually buy back some part of her equity.

answered Mar 17 '13 at 03:41
Victor Ronin
146 points

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