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How to deal with non-contributing business partner?

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Dominik_M

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I am having a real problem right now.
My business partner and I are developing a SaaS product.
We do not have customers yet.
Though, our actual product is almost finished, we have approximately 85% of the functionality implemented.
With my work ethics, I am confident we could finish by Oktober 10th.
Work distribution is the following:
I am developing the web application itself while my colleague develops the mobile application.
It is pretty much 50/50.
Both web application and app are mandatory for our potential customers.
I'm feeling he is not working on the app as hard as he should.
We agreed on a date for a specific task (workload about 30hours) which he hasn't finished even one week later.
How do I deal with this? He sometimes works is a$$ off but isn't quite doing his best right now when we should really hustle.
We have a great product with an incredible possibility of automation but before I can hire someone I need to have the product finished to acquire customers.

Thanks.
 

minivanman

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That's the joys of sharing a business. Welcome to the Ocean of Broken Dreams where partnerSHIPS litter the bottom of the ocean floor.
 

Knugs

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Describing your cofounder as non contributing is unfair to him, when he can’t defend himself here.

The issue is really common. I haven’t found a business yet where all the founders put in the equal work. In my startup we all have highs and lows. Productivity is all over the place.

One solution we implemented is that we all put in the same hours. This means that we always meet up at the same time and leave at the same time. It works really well, for us. Even though I might be way more productive one week I know my partners had to put in the same hours as me. It makes it feel fair.

Communication is a top priority. Misunderstandings are a result of lack of communication. Understanding and communicating progress and problems will make sure everybody understands each other better. Your issue might be a comm issue.

Workflow organisation. We use asana to organise work and decide deadlines for each task: this we organise together. It’s useful because you know what your team is up to and what they are achieving. People feel when they are slow and keep up the pace.

Have you got an equity vesting schedule +- one year cliff? This will protect you, him and the company for the first few years.
 

Kevin88660

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I am having a real problem right now.
My business partner and I are developing a SaaS product.
We do not have customers yet.
Though, our actual product is almost finished, we have approximately 85% of the functionality implemented.
With my work ethics, I am confident we could finish by Oktober 10th.
Work distribution is the following:
I am developing the web application itself while my colleague develops the mobile application.
It is pretty much 50/50.
Both web application and app are mandatory for our potential customers.
I'm feeling he is not working on the app as hard as he should.
We agreed on a date for a specific task (workload about 30hours) which he hasn't finished even one week later.
How do I deal with this? He sometimes works is a$$ off but isn't quite doing his best right now when we should really hustle.
We have a great product with an incredible possibility of automation but before I can hire someone I need to have the product finished to acquire customers.

Thanks.
Does he have other money making business or hustle that is taking away his focus? If so that is a problem.
 

Dominik_M

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Jan 29, 2018
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Describing your cofounder as non contributing is unfair to him, when he can’t defend himself here.

The issue is really common. I haven’t found a business yet where all the founders put in the equal work. In my startup we all have highs and lows. Productivity is all over the place.

One solution we implemented is that we all put in the same hours. This means that we always meet up at the same time and leave at the same time. It works really well, for us. Even though I might be way more productive one week I know my partners had to put in the same hours as me. It makes it feel fair.

Communication is a top priority. Misunderstandings are a result of lack of communication. Understanding and communicating progress and problems will make sure everybody understands each other better. Your issue might be a comm issue.

Workflow organisation. We use asana to organise work and decide deadlines for each task: this we organise together. It’s useful because you know what your team is up to and what they are achieving. People feel when they are slow and keep up the pace.

Have you got an equity vesting schedule +- one year cliff? This will protect you, him and the company for the first few years.
Thank you for your input.
I will try improving our communication. I actually also feel like that's the problem.
I'll also have a look at asana.
We currently do not have an equity vesting schedule, I'll have a look at that too.

Does he have other money making business or hustle that is taking away his focus? If so that is a problem.
He currently does not. I do though. I am putting in around 110+ hours in both businesses which is my absolute max. I can't do more.
That's why I feel kind of helpless. I would like to do his work too, just to get it done.
But I can't. I propably need to let go of some control and improve our communication and get him motivated to proceed.
Maybe I'm missing something that's causing problems for him.
 

Kevin88660

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Since you are sweating more it is fair to make yourself as the majority shareholder so that you call the shots.

Once the product is profitable you can design the compensation structure that reflects your greater input.
 

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