xotbox and the Founders Pie
I had a chance to listen to Andy Sack (http://asack.typepad.com/) and a bunch of other tech industry, startup type folks at the 6 Hour Startup Conference this past weekend at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle. Great space.
This conference came at a very opportune time as, in addition to the Consulting and Software development services I offer through Hazel Consulting LLC, I'm in the process of developing a site in a box concept built upon Drupal. Building out xotbox.com on open source technologies allows us to offer low price point, fully functional websites that grow with your non profit or business.
The success of this non original idea will require the skills, energies, networks and talents of some committed co-founders. As such, I started to recruit my founding team. Full of joy, ambition and exuberance about the new venture, I proclaimed loudly and with much hand waving, “we should just divide the equity equally!!”.
Since those initial discussions, my research has concluded that the oft chosen 1/n (n = number of founders) equity distribution, is really just a cowardly deferment of hard conversations. Conversations that should focus on expectations, commitments and contributions.
Frank Demmler's “Cutting the Founders Pie” provides a great jumping off point for this discussion. My aim is to build a google spreadsheet implementation of the Founders Pie, and use this to provide a framework for the equity debate. More posts on that effort ( as well as a link to the spreadsheet to come).