9 problems that most of the founders face because of their co-founders

Founders come up with great ideas, vision and mission. Based on the requirements to implement the idea they look for some co-founders. Having a dynamic and smart team is a big boon for the startup/ company to grow. It’s very important to list down the reasons which address the significance of having the co-founder on board. There is a huge difference between a co-founder and early stage employees. A co-founder is someone who should share the founder’s vision, mission, risk and ownership in the company along with working over his/her roles and responsibilities in the company. In most of the startups and enterprises today, the co-founder chosen can become a big obstacle and these problems can lead to conflict among the founder and the co-founders. These problems are categorized as people’s problems. It’s important that first of all the founder should be proactive, dynamic and smart individual. In this article, let’s look at some of the problems that are faced by most of the founders due to their co-founders.

  1. Incapability:-
    It’s very common that most of the entrepreneurs choose their co-founders from their friends and family. So, sometimes in this process, the co-founder may not be capable of doing his/her job in the interest of the company. Due to co-founder’s incapability, it becomes very difficult for the founder to make that job done.
  2. Procrastination:-
    Delaying the work and wasting the time because of laziness and lack of interest is one of the major problems which are faced by most of the founders from their co-founders. Procrastination happens because of the lack of clarity, fear of failure, laziness, when co-founder is not willing to work and when co-founder doesn’t like the job.
  3. No dedication:-
    In the founder’s perspective it’s very frustrating when any of the co-founders don’t work with determination, dedication and drive. A co-founder is expected to have self-motivation. There are various reasons for the co-founder to be less dedicated. Laziness, irresponsibility, not having the sense of ownership, unaccountability, having a tight schedule in other activities, lack of interest, underestimation of the business, not having enough skills or incompatibility for the job, high entropy in the state of comprehension of the business, not willing to work, obscurity in their goals and less self motivated are some of the reasons behind the less dedication by co-founders.
  4. Overconfidence:-
    Founders and co-founders collectively work very hard and spend a lot of time to analyze, examine and validate the founder’s idea, vision, mission and business model. In this process, the initial idea may be progressively updated according to the discussion between the founder and the co-founders. Sometimes, co-founders would be too much overconfident that they become stubborn over their points and lack the patience to listen to the founder’s views leading to a conflict.
    In some cases, when the founder doesn’t have adequate knowledge about a particular domain and has chosen a co-founder to manage that particular domain and because of the co-founder’s overconfidence, the co-founder may unknowingly give wrong reports and wrong suggestions to the founder which may sometimes have devastating effects over their business.
  5. Ego:-
    In some cases, when the co-founder is experienced, over skillful or aged, the founders especially the young ones face a lot of problems during difference in views because of the ego of the co-founder. A co-founder is chosen for a purpose and in this process, every founder desires to have skillful and best co-founder to fulfill the purpose. Few egoistic co-founders often forget their roles and responsibilities and behave like mentors and advisors and fail to fulfill their actual tasks. In some cases, due to their skills, name and fame, the co-founder might have ego and not listen to and disobey the founder and might also have a great desire to board over highest authority and wanted to hold the power to sideline the founder. In most of these conflicts, it is very commonly seen that some of these kind of co-founders doesn’t contribute and doesn’t cater value up to the mark in the interest of the company and demand for high or at par pay and perks along with the founder and the other co-founders who have catered a great value to the company.
    During conflict with an egoistic co-founder, they might not share data properly with the founder, leak confidential information and create a mess in and around the company just to satisfy their ego. These kind of co-founders spoil the environment and the ecosystem of the company.
  6. Artificial enthusiasm:-
    Initially when the founder pitches the idea before the prospective co-founders, the co-founder shows too much enthusiasm initially but doesn’t keep the same tempo and energy throughout process. Co-founders with fake interest are totally unfit, waste a lot of time and resources of the company and demotivate the founder and the entire team too to proceed further. People with artificial enthusiasm join as co-founder to time pass and earn name, fame and money without their hard work.
  7. Indifference in the opinions and goals:-
    There is always a chance for slight difference in the opinion, decision making and objectives between the founder and the co-founder even though the goals are same. When the goals are entirely different the problem escalates further and the indifference comes into the picture between the founder and co-founder. This is one of the major reasons for the people’s conflict.
    Profit sharing policies between the founder and co-founder is something that is often neglected initially and later this might lead to discrepancies and conflicts. It is not suggested to share the profits equally among the founders, the profits should be shared according to the value catered by the individual in the progress of the company. While starting the business itself a clear cut legally acceptable documentation should be made by the founder over allocating the resources, roles and responsibilities, limitations, value to be catered by the individual, shares etc., by the co-founder.
  8. Improper resource allocation:-
    Once after the project is started, sometimes, due to poor planning the resource allocation to complete the project may be improper. Either resources are not allocated or the allocated resources are available at a wrong time. This is a minor reason for the conflict to happen but it’s a common reason in many conflicts.
  9. No sense of ownership:-
    Failure is very common in startups and small scale enterprises. According to the report from the Forbes, 90% of the startups fail. It’s important to accept the failures and learn from the failures and most importantly make sure not to repeat the the same mistake again. Despite of the well known fact that the failures are the stepping stones of success, most of the founders and co-founders blame each other over the failure and the consequences leads to a conflict. A co-founder should share the risk as well like how he/she shares the profits. When a co-founder shares the ownership along with the founder, the corresponding equivalent powers are also divided accordingly and the failure is the consequence of the steps taken by the co-founder as well.

These are some of the problems that most of the founders face because of their co-founders. We, from Bharatiya Startup Community, are developing a networking platform for the companies and the individuals to reach out to each other through our platform. Companies exclusively startups can find their prospective employees, co-founders, mentors, investors and similar stakeholders and similarly individuals can reach out to various companies to join them over various stakeholder roles. By commenting on this article please give us your suggestions, advice and feedback on what kind of features you want us to have in the platform. Kindly reach out to us through email Id given below, we will try our best to respond within a day.

The next article will focus over the solution for these problems. Please do follow me to know about the solution to these co-founder problems and to read many more such interesting and useful entrepreneurship posts. Kindly reach out to me through my email Id :- nagahema.chinta@gmail.com

Author Details:-
Naga Hema Chand Chinta
Founder, Bharatiya Startup Community

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