Partner Picking

It should be obvious – don’t work with people that you can’t trust when they’re out of your sight. Want a great test to see if you should be working together? Take a long weekend and go camping. Bring almost nothing because you’re going to have to rely on each other to survive. Don’t put yourselves at serious physical risk, but if the two, three, or however many there are of you can’t figure out how to work together for a weekend, you’ve got the wrong people. This should also give you insight into a number of things about the personalities and habits of your partners. Is one of them always standing around waiting for someone else to do something? Like, start a fire. Make coffee. Fend off a bear attack. Well, it will be like that in business as well. Waiting for someone else to make the sales call. Develop the marketing strategy. Negotiate with the VC’s (bear attack!). What may be even more telling is this – if one of the partners has never been camping, never built a fire, never heated snow so you can drink it, or never caught fish so you can eat, but is still doing all those things and figuring it out along the way – that’s the person to have on your team. Because nobody has done it all, and it some fashion we’re all learning or re-learning along the way. Finding the team players who are still able to function as self-directed individuals is a major hurdle. Find out early before you really put yourself at risk.