[Courses] Running A Business- Starting a Company

Kai MacTane kmactane at GothPunk.com
Fri Aug 30 09:47:07 EST 2002

At 8/29/02 11:18 PM , Jacinta Richardson wrote:
>[starting a company with friends]
>It doesn't always work in the "real world" either.  Think of the
>following that you might need to say one day:
>         "This code is not sufficient.  It only addresses 2
>         out of the 10 requirements you were given.  You're
>         going to have to do it again."
>If you can't feel equally at ease saying this kind of thing to all of
>your friends joining the company with you as you would to just another
>hired staff member you might need to reconsider.

A situation like this actually came in my own life a while ago. I and a 
couple of friends were considering starting up a consulting firm. We knew 
that this was a big step, and we'd better consider carefully -- that 
friendships could well be at stake here. It didn't occur to us to check on 
all the sorts of things mentioned here. Instead, we just went straight to 
"Could you fire one of the other people?"

And the assumption was, if you can't fire that person, then don't go into 
business with them.

As it happened, we didn't even start that business. One guy kept flaking on 
meetings to talk about the possibility of doing it (which told us all we 
needed to know about his reliability...), and the other two of us got busy 
with other stuff. But the pondering about being able to fire someone 
certainly brought into instant focus the concept that we were talking about 
*business*, and the rules there are very different from the rules for 

                                                 --Kai MacTane
"Then, when they spill the demon seed
  Turn and face into the wind.
  All along you still believed...
  Believed you were immune."
                                                 --Thomas Dolby,
                                                  "The Flat Earth"

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