Transcript for Episode #26 of the 37signals Podcast, Q&A with Jason and David, is now online. You can also listen to it. Below is an excerpt.
David: Something that matters when you’re trying to pick a business partner is that it can’t just be about the craft. If all I was interested in doing was programming, then I don’t think I would have been a good fit for a business partner. If you want to be a partner in a business, you have to be willing to wear many more hats than just that of your craft. You have to dive into all sorts of issues: personnel, building a company, finance, marketing. There are so many other things than just the technical aspect of it.
Jason: I also think it’s important to make sure that you’ve worked with this person for a while. I get emails occasionally from people starting businesses looking for business partners. They’re like, “Hey, I just met this guy who’s a programmer. Should we go 50/50 on something?” It’s like a marriage. You should date for a while. You have to work with somebody and get to know them. You’ve got to make sure you can get along and you can stand someone for a long period of time. It’s important to work with somebody first before you link up in legal terms, because a business is a legal entity and it can be messy if things don’t work out.
David: I’ve seen it not work out a couple of times for people. It’s incredibly painful. Once you’ve split things up into equity and somebody owns a part of your company, it is incredibly painful to divorce yourself from that person. You really have to be sure that it’s a good fit.