You need to know who's boss

Torsten Uhlmann

Thu, 10 May 2007

Photo by Torsten Uhlmann

I made some painful observations in friends companies that I don’t want to keep from you. When I started AGYNAMIX in spring 2005 I was thinking to start the (ad)venture together with a friend. We had talked about the idea of founding a company and developing our own software the way we think is best. When I talked about this to a close friend of mine he stressed the point that it is so important to know who is leading the company. Over the course of time you will have an argument about what is the right way and what is not- now, who decides in the end? If no one can make a decision because both own the company with an equal share you are stuck- you cannot make a move. Or you will try to find a foul compromise that will eventually ruin the company and your friendship. Since I was the one who was having the vision and I was the one who quit his job I also wanted the right to make the final decision- which my friend (who stayed in his job) could’n agree with. So we agreed to disagree and I founded the company myself. Back then I didn’t see the impoartance of this so much but the more time passes the more I see companies struggling because they don’t have a lined up leadership. I see companies where both partners have an equal share and they just cannot agree about the strategy of their firm. Maybe their both views are valid, but because they cannot agree they move very slowly- and that’s the worst thing of all. You spend so much time and energy arguing about what to do and how and when that you have no strength left for your customers! So as an advice to fellows thinking about starting up- Decide who will make the final decision. Now I think it is good not to start alone. If you have someone who will encourage you when time get rough and they will), but then there will also be times when you argue about the company’s future. Then you need to be able to move forward even if you do not agree. Now go back to work :)