Living with your co-founder: advantages, challenges and tips

#startup #entrepreneurship #accelerator #team

Cutnut team has been sharing home/office for one year, in Madrid and Hamburg.

Having your co-founders as roomates: does it sound like a good idea or more like a trap? Benjamin Ranft, Philipp Nette and Teiko Wilenius have been sharing home and office for over an year — all to dedicate the maximum attention to Cutnut (from our batch 5).

The main learnings, downsides and some wise tips for this journey they share below:


Advantages

  • It’s a good proof mechanism for trust.

“Knowing what is going on in each other’s personal lives makes you understand the performance on the job better. For example when someone is sick you can actually see that they are sick. Or if a co-founder is going through some family issues, you know why he is not 100% attending his tasks and it’s easier to adapt as a team to these kinds of things.”

  • Chemistry.

“Generally getting to know your counterparts and growing together as a team.”

Ben, Phillip and Teiko: from colleagues to roomates and now co-founders.
“We tried to find a flat and moved in together so that the company could work out. It felt like we were on a mission together.” Ben Ranft, Cutnut co-founder.

Challenges

  • Spending 24 hours together (and trying NOT to drive each other nuts).

“Whether it is related to work, travelling with friends, a relationship…being very close together in everything you do is always challenging.”

  • Home becames an extension of the office.

“There was a disadvantage of finishing our studies and at the same time trying to make a company grow. We were working from home, so we kind of mixed it too much.”

Tips

  • Have your own private time.

“Find your own activities outside the job. It is important to have things that you do alone or stricktly with others.”

  • Keep things separate.

“Don’t take it too personal when it comes to arguments and experiences that happen at the job. Otherwise it will not work out, because you are taking this conflict to the place where you actually live — and in the end no one gets a rest, everyone is just fighting all the time.”

  • Use home as your free time spot - and enjoy your time as well.

“Your home should not be an extension of your office. Make a clear distincion between spaces. Basically your living room becomes your private space again.”

Last but not least…

  • Consider if the experience and the timing are right for you.

“It might work out better for founders who know each other from before, who have similar mindsets, share same stories, have same circle of friends… That’s a good thing because you can relate over positive and fun memories first and build the company on top. Founders who just suddenly move in together might find it hard because they are not used to each other, they have to start from scratch.”


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