Might need to find a new biz partner...advice?


I'm on the verge of starting a web based venture with a business partner. I'm designing the UI and doing all biz related matters and he is doing the back end coding. My biz partner just decided to have his 5th child and as a result is MIA.

We are still in the very beginning stages and have NOT launched yet however I am seriously considering finding a new coder/biz partner before we move any further.

I'm frustrated because I do not know any other coders to turn to or at least ones that might be interested in a startup. I am considering turning to online forums or craigslist to find coders but of course that has it's pitfalls because there is no previous relationship established. What do you guys recommend? I am seeking some advice and guidance in this matter from people who might have been there.

Anything welcome

Thank you


asked Jan 6 '10 at 10:48
Yo Yo Mel
22 points

6 Answers


The solution is called networking.

In Silicon Valley, the Co-Founders Meetup is trying to fill your goal. But if you are not in the valley, I also run FairSoftware.

These are to find co-founders, not slaves :-) If you treat people like they don't really have a say in the startup, then go to elance...

If you take the online approach and find someone who is interested, do your homework: ask for contacts, see if you have any common friends, check out their reputation left and right, and only then go for it.

answered Jan 6 '10 at 11:34
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points
  • thank you Alain this is what i needed, i will check out FairSoftware as i'm not in the Bay area. – Yo Yo Mel 14 years ago


Sorry, to sound blunt, but he has not just decided to have his 5th child, my guess is that you and he have known about it for some months! That is, assuming that you mean by having his 5th child, the child has been born.

Having a child is an exciting time and whilst it doesn't fit in with your website plans, I think you should let him enjoy the moment. After a few days, sit down with him and ask him about his commitment to the project and try and decide a way forward between you.

I don't know either of you, but you have a skills that compliment each other (front and back end) and you should put more effort into making this relationship work before seeking another.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

answered Jan 6 '10 at 10:57
Smart Company Software
1,190 points
  • thanks Adrian. I will take your advice. However in the event I need to go searching...any thoughts on this for someone in my position? Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of knowing a deep pool of coders whom I can trust and know. thank you again. – Yo Yo Mel 14 years ago


Wow, if you are going to bail on your partner because he has a significant event in his life then you are not really ready for a partnership in a startup. Life happens. Lots of unexpected things will happen during the life of a business. If this is how you react to his having a child then yes, go get someone else. I am sure he will thank you as well for showing your stripes early on.


to those of you who do not understand my point:

Do you think that a child is the only thing that will happen during a partnership/business lifetime? The way people deal with crises is important. The (apparent) lack of empathy is troubling. That is the point I am trying to make.

What would happen if the OP had an important life event. He was married about 6 months ago. Maybe his wife will be pregnant in a short time - what do you think his partner's reaction should be?

What if one of them was injured? Do you drop them because they can't perform?

I agree - we weren't given all the facts, but the choice of information we got is very telling. He chose to tell us about a childbirth and skipped any other reasons, though he claims there are other ones.

I stand by my answer and I hope that I never go into business with people who don't have empathy for their partners and employees. I left other jobs for similar reasons.

answered Jan 6 '10 at 14:44
Tim J
8,346 points
  • He didn't kick out his partner for having a child but for missing in action. – Olivier Lalonde 14 years ago
  • Missing in action usually refers to not giving any sign of life (i.e. not returning phone calls) which is not an attitude you would want from a co-founder (even if the latter has a child). Perhaps, YoYo Mel mentioned the "5th child" part out of frustration and shouldn't have done so. But my guts tell me he is really bailing on him for missing in action - not for having a child. Being a 20 year old student doesn't give me the ability to dismiss people for having other commitments but it does give me the ability to choose a co-founder who doesn't go MIA whatever the reasons are. – Olivier Lalonde 14 years ago


Thank you to all for the great replies I will take everyone's word and weigh it with the tough decision that I will be faced to make if it comes to that. Alain, FairSoftware is very interesting I will check that out some more.

Tim you're pretty proficient at taking people's post and psychoanalyzing them and spitting out garbage. You must have done this before. I hope you feel good about yourself at the end of the day. Oh and yes..i did in fact get some wonderful replies...yours just wasn't one of them. To put it simply you don't have antagonize and be a jerk no one asked you to reply to my initial post. If you didn't have anything constructive to say all you had to do was ignore the post. Sheesh...talk about anger.

To everyone else...thank you.

answered Jan 7 '10 at 07:02
Yo Yo Mel
22 points
  • Actually, my advice is probably the most constructive in the long run. I wasn't being antagonizing. You are the one throwing names around, not me. You are being defensive - I think my comments are pretty objective and fair based on what you described. There is no anger on my part - There is only one person in this thread who is name calling. – Tim J 14 years ago


I don't know almost anything about your situation but definetively "Miss in Action" is not a good attitude towards a partnership.

IMHO things between close collaborators must remain clearly understood, and communication is a key issue to make things happen.

I have experimented difficulty in saying "No, I'm sorry I cannot commit right now because of this, that, etc..." and then start a conversation with the aim of seeking a solution.

If I were in your position I would try to have a deep conversation with your partner about your worry regarding his personal plans, which is an excellent thing to have a child but you also will have to deal with other responsabilities. After clarifing things, you may search for another business partner as Raynaud suggested.

Hope it helps.

answered Jan 7 '10 at 01:45
532 points


If you're really stumped for finding a good coding partner, try breaking down your project into basic tasks and then outsourcing them one at a time. So basic that you would only pay $50 dollars for the task to be completed(the minimum payment on Elance). By doing this you will discover that your idea is probably a lot more complicated than you originally thought, and you'll realize that creating a website/program is not just a matter of typing up some code.

The key to getting acceptable results from sites such as Elance is to be as clear and specific as possible. The smart freelancers will avoid bad clients to save themselves from the headaches. The sketchy freelancers can spot a naive client from a mile away and will bid on almost anything to get their money. Be sure to browse through the profiles and invite the ones you like to bid on your project. Also, don't rely on good ratings and test scores, as these are not good indicators of quality. Instead, look at their portfolios and other work they have done.

If you've found the right person, you just might be able to talk them into a partnership.

answered Jan 7 '10 at 15:08
26 points

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