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Hi, I'm John and these are my candid musings on life and leading a distributed-first, venture-backed startup in San Francisco. Subscribe [ brain.みんな ], , follow the year-long vlog, and enjoy.

values over everything

Hey friends!

I was having an early morning conversation with a friend and startup founder / CTO and he was relaying to me a situation that I feel is an epidemic among all startup founders.

It seems that almost every founder must experience at least one important lesson on cofounder relationships. In other words, we all need to experience what it's like to wake up and realize that you hate your cofounder.

Okay, "hate" is a very strong word, but, for some of us, it really does get to that point (and reflexively, at that point, we really begin to despise ourselves).

Why? Because we knew it weeks, months, maybe even years ago and we did nothing. That was the cost that we're giving up now as we attempt to dislodge ourselves from a toxic or "sub-optimal" relationship.

And it always comes down to values.

(I personally use "operating virtues" but same difference for some folks...)

If you don't share the same fundamental, core values as your cofounder(s), then, you've done this wrong folks. And, it's usually impossible for you to change theirs, just as it might be as difficult for them to change yours.

Sometimes, the only option is to just walk away. Just walk the fuck away.

You might be thinking:

What about my investment? My time? What about what I'm owed?!

Yeah, so, what about it? Either you have those difficult conversations and restructure the business better and in a way that aligns with your values and how you operate, or, you fight, litigate, and have your friends and family be the collateral damage.

Trust me, I know. It's just not worth it.

Sunk cost fallacy is real. It's a fallacy, though, and most people stop right before they admit that.

To infinity and bitcoin.

John Saddington
Chief Cartridge Blower (CEO of YEN)

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