So today was Meredith’s last day in a location physically close enough for us to have face to face meetings. Although I have no doubt that we will be speaking on the phone pretty much daily it will be interesting to see if and how the dynamic of the company will change going forward. So far the partnership has been very good and I have no doubt it will remain so. Hopefully the move doesn’t shake things up too much
On the topic of partnerships I have a few other thoughts based on both what I learned at Darden and what I have experienced so far building scrubadoo.com. When I first started school I had always heard that it was helpful and even important to take on a partner when trying to start a venture. Every time I would here this I would scoff and think to myself that I didn’t really need anyone to work with. I have done a complete 180 on this idea. I am totally convinced of the benefits of a partnership. It has been a great experience for us and I doubt we would be as far as we are if I was working on my own.
That being said there are several factors needed in a partnership to make it work here are four that I can think of right now. First, I think you need to get along with the person. Meredith and I spend a ton of time together and if we couldn’t stand each other it would be miserable. Second, you need to respect the ability of the other person. If you don’t respect the work someone does you will always be questioning them and will likely end up re-doing everything, which will quickly disenchant both parties and likely end up in more work for you. Third, I think it is important to have complimentary skills. Meredith has an advertising/marketing background and I am a sales/finance guy. We both enjoy our roles in the company and are good at them. If what you want to do at the company and what you specialize in overlaps too much a ton of issues can arise; ignoring details in other areas, doing the same work twice, and arguments over who does what. Finally, one person needs to have final say and the other partner needs to respect and recognize that. At Darden we have heard a ton of stories about 50/50 partnerships that have gone bad over arguments that can’t be resolved.
For us everything has been smooth sailing so far. I am confident it will continue.