November 21, 2020

Those with best friends as Co-founders, how's your friendship?

Abishek Muthian @Abishek_Muthian

That's what Steve Huffman & Alexis Ohanian of Reddit said when asked about what led to the strain in their friendship.

Do you agree? Did you start a company with your best friend, if so how is your friendship and the startup?

Steve and Alexis eventually did mend their friendship, returned to Reddit and saved it from its demise. This content is part of - How to build the team for our startup.

  1. 2

    I started my very first business (back in the early 90's) with my best friend. It went well for a few years, because things were good and we were profitable. It was when things got tough that the crack began to appear - for the exact reasons as illustrated in your quotes above... Talking as friends is very different from talking as business founders.

    Plus he had some huge life changing things happen in his personal life too, and I was torn between trying to keep the business running, and trying to be there for him as a friend through this time. Probably more my failing than anything.

    We ended up parting really acrimoniously, but years later, we are friends again. Nowhere near 'best friends' as we were previously, but we catch up over Facebook etc. (he lives overseas now).

    1. 1

      Thank you for sharing your experience Mr. Devan, I'm sure what you said resonates with several others who had started business with their friends.

      Unfortunately, what happens after starting a company with 'friends as co-founders' don't get told often as having friends as co-founders gets special brownie points with the investors.

      Hence I wanted to paint a caution and tell both sides of the story; Several friends have made successful lasting startups, but only few of them have had lasting friendships.

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