One of the most common issues in startups is misalignment of founders.
When founders have different agendas for the business or product then all the work that is being done is much less effective. It’s like rowing a boat. If co-founders are rowing in different directions you’re never going to get anywhere.
If one founder is keen to make a quick buck to cash out while the other is looking to build a long-term lifestyle business then the choices that need to be made for the business are completely different.
If one founder wants to build a product for consumers but the other wants to build a product for enterprises then the choices that need to be made for the product are completely different.
These misalignments can manifest themselves in all sorts of ways, from decisions on office hours to product design. When founders are misaligned they can spend hours and days arguing about these differences. Even worse is when the work the founders do is not complementary, or even counterproductive to what the other is doing. Rowing in circles or rowing backwards.
The most important thing for founders in the early stage is to make sure that they are fully aligned. They need to be clear and honest about what each person’s aspirations for the business, product, and individuals are.
Spending time at the early stage together to agree and document these is critical. Until you feel completely aligned and have agreed your high level goals and product mission you need to spend a lot of time together.
The goal is to ensure that even if you don’t communicate for a month, you know that each of you will be working toward the same goals. That even if you’re rowing blind, your boat will still move forward.