Getting rid of a Bad Partner


I've been working with a partner on a startup site for the last couple of months. We're both still doing day jobs at the same company and are both technically adept.

The conflict comes in that I'm more technically skilled, and the Partner is "supposedly" more on the business end.

However, couple of months on, there's been no movement on the business side, and I'm doing all the technical work. So I'm getting fed up. I've had the confrontation and the shouting, which had, if anything, a detrimental effect.

I believe the idea has potential and could be successful, and I don't think the Partner is necessary to reach that potential. So I'm thinking of absolving the deal, and doing it on my own, but it could get tricky if they want to be spiteful and report to the day job boss.

Any suggestions?


asked Oct 13 '09 at 01:32
28 points

4 Answers


What does your partnership agreement say? Okay, that was meant to be rhetorical, since I'm asuming you don't have one. But this is just to reiterate the importance of said agreements.

If you can't come to an agreement over splitting up, then it will get ugly. Sounds like it already has. But, if there's no company and no assets, then what's there to split? The idea? The IP? With no agreement neither of you can really pursue eachother for it, so just go your separate ways.

As for the boss... assuming there's a non-compete/no-sidejobs agreement, then this has been a problem since day one. You just didn't realize it until now. But that doesn't change a thing: he has to rat himself out to rat you out. Don't let him hold that as a card against you.

answered Oct 13 '09 at 02:10
Alex Papadimoulis
5,901 points



Did you believe your partner was both necessary and skilled when you started the venture? Why?

Are you determining the partner is not necessary or not skilled, or something else?

A business partnership is much more like a marriage that most people like to admit. I've done it solo, with one partner and now with two partners. It's very important to keep that relationship healthy and honest, even to a fault.

If you want to consider with your partner, both of your should sit down and layout your expectations. Honestly admit where you've failed, and think about how you want to go forward.

answered Oct 13 '09 at 02:21
Marcus Blankenship
376 points


If the relationship has deteriorated to the point that things are just not working any more, you need to find a way to respectfully and amicably part ways.

Try to have a balanced conversation and treat this like what it is -- a negotiation.

I highly recommend the book "Getting To Yes". It's in my top 10 list of books I think every entrepreneur should read.

answered Oct 14 '09 at 06:50
Dharmesh Shah
2,865 points


It sounds like you don't have IP assignment agreements in place, either--be sure you get that set-up or you can be facing a lawsuit later and an inability to raise capital.

answered Oct 14 '09 at 08:01
659 points

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