Failed to delight. Part II.
Lessons learned from three breakups in two startups.

It is already too late if you have already been thinking about it.

By the way, your team or your investors may have already expected the breakup. They will lose more faith in you if you tolerate it and don’t act accordingly. Show them you can make tough decisions and regain their respect.

Having a bad cofounder is worse than not having one.

Once you have decided to take actions, your first priority is to protect the company from any potential legal consequences caused by the breakup. This means a proper separation agreement and all necessary board consents to ensure a clean cutoff. Get your lawyer involved.

Your second priority is to address any concerns from your team and investors. Usually the breakup comes during down time. Don’t sugarcoat the situation. Be decisive on your next steps, and be especially clear about the transition plan.

Consider bringing someone new onboard.

If you are downsizing at the same time, consider restructuring the cap table and promote senior members of your team. Some of them may be also be a good fit for a minor cofounder if you are building something new.

I’m no expert on founder relationships but if you ever need someone to talk it thru, feel free to reach out on Twitter or email.

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