I think it's really hard to know what to expect in your first startup. Because of that, I didn't prepare my wife well for it, and we had to work through it on the fly. We learned a lot together, and ultimately discovered where each of our limits were.
At the end of the day, I chose to honor her limits and step away from running the startup in a full time capacity. The result has been a greater trust on her part and (I believe) a greater tolerance for future risk.
It's been a little over a year since I stepped away full-time, and we're BOTH dreaming about what the next startup would look like and what we need to make it work. We'll be much better prepared the next time around, but I don't think we could have done much more to prepare the first time.
Evaluating the real contribution of every partner is also subjective. Partner A may do all the work but Partner B, for example, has such good contacts in the industry that, alone, Partner B can catapult the company from 0 to 6-0 in no time at all. Years ago I had a lazy partner that had the gift of being able to get through the front door of a potential client, without a referral, without an appointment, knowing nobody inside and getting out with a signed contract. He had 50% of the company, worked a full 8 hours... per week, and was the best partner I have ever had. Besides, you can compensate the difference in work participation with salary, bonuses... and keep the partnership intact.
Hey everyone this is Wil Schroter, the Co-Host of Startup Therapy and the Founder + CEO of Startups.com Just wanted to say thank you for listening and writing in over the past year.
We're launching these new forums to allow every one in the community to begin sharing their experiences and where possibly, helping each other out.
We'll all be watching these threads closely, so if you have something to say, please know you've got our ear!