How To Break Up With Your Co-founder

Lee Jacobs
May 3, 2018 · 3 min read
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  • It really is for the best. If you aren’t into what you’re doing, you are in way of success. It is likely that the half-motivated version of yourself has had a negative effect on all aspects of the business already — whether it is in your interactions with customers, employees, etc. You can’t hide this stuff. The truth is in plain sight. Separating from the company will clear space for your co-founder to step into his or her leadership.
  • Make it Fast. One of the most difficult parts of leaving is balancing your sense of responsibility with the need for the company to flourish without you. In my view, it is best to move as quickly as possible to cede authority so the new leadership can step in. I left quickly after I told Ben I wanted to go. This allowed Ben to step into the role of raising capital (something I did previously). Ben quickly went on to raising more money than I did for the company.
  • Leave Something on the Table. I had vested most of my shares when I decided to leave Colingo. I still believed in the business (I actually invested in the new round of financing), but I decided to give up a good deal of my shares so that the company had enough on the capital table to incentive further employees and give the business the best chance for success going forward. Remember, some percentage of something is better than a larger percentage of nothing.
  • Get a Divorce Specialist. Just like any divorce, the process can get highly emotional. There can be name-calling, feelings of betrayal, and fear for what is to come. I am huge fan of executive coaches. I am sure that if it hadn’t been for our executive coach- Shane Metcalf and his ability to mediate when things got difficult, Ben and I would not be as close as we are today. I am proud that Ben was able to stand as one of my best men when I was married.

Lee Jacobs

Lee Jacobs is a veteran venture capitalist and entrepreneur…

Lee Jacobs

Written by

Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist out of San Francisco. Investor in Startups at Edelweiss.vc

Lee Jacobs

Lee Jacobs is a veteran venture capitalist and entrepreneur based in San Francisco, California.

Lee Jacobs

Written by

Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist out of San Francisco. Investor in Startups at Edelweiss.vc

Lee Jacobs

Lee Jacobs is a veteran venture capitalist and entrepreneur based in San Francisco, California.

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