I have worked with many Ricks in my 35 years of software development. Domain knowledge is only valuable if you know how to write software that does what you know. It doesn’t appear as though Rick could code well, so that was a big problem. Maybe if they left him in an architect or analyst role, with no coding, it might have helped. This little startup just didn’t know how to create a software product. I feel sorry for Rick for a microsecond. The writing was on the wall (or whiteboard in this case). He was in over his head, but was too egocentric to notice or admit it.