65%* of all startup failures are
caused by co-founder conflict or 'people problems'.

*Gorman & Sahlman, What Do Venture Capitalists Do?  [Journal of Business Venturing]
Let's Begin!
 
What is your full name? *

 
What is your company name? *

if "dba" (doing-business-as) _______, please include operating name as well!
 
Before you begin:

1. Make sure you are in a private setting.

2. Try to be honest about your company and your relationship with your co-founder(s).

3. Your responses are confidential.  They will only be used for feedback or within our Founder's Agreement Process

4. This exercise should take no longer than 30 minutes.

 
What do you see as your role within the company? *


 
How open are you to sharing new experiences with your Co-Founder(s)? *

 
Next, let's discuss Equity & Rewards!

".....Wait, what's the rush?  We just started this business!"

Even if you are still in the early-stages, we strongly recommend that you decide on an equity-split.   By doing so, the business will benefit from a collective sense of ownership and accountability, moving forward!


 
Has your company decided on an equity split? *

     
 
Are you satisfied with it? *

     
 
What do you find unsatisfactory about your existing equity split? *

please explain in 1-2 sentences
 
Would you like our assistance in renegotiating your equity split? *

     
 
Would you like our assistance in deciding on an equity split?

     
 
What qualities matter most to you when evaluating members of your team? *

(i.e. trust, work ethic, resourcefulness, helpfulness, etc.)
 
Ideally, how often would you like to work in a team environment? *

 
Which of the following are key motivations for you to enter into this business venture? *


 
Which of the following would you classify as sources of motivation for your fellow co-founder(s)? *


 
How high is your opportunity cost is for participating in this business venture? *

Opportunity Cost = the loss of potential gain from other alternatives
 
What makes you a great fit for this startup venture? *


 
Now, let's dig deeper into how well you know your team!

 
How long have you known your partner(s) in business? *


 
How deep is your understanding of their own goals and ambitions? *

 
Now, let's investigate the level of mutual understanding within your founder team!

 
Do you have any special talents/skills that have been underutilized in past roles? *

     
 
Can you name a few? *

feel free to list as many as you'd like
 
How much awareness does your co-founder have of these special talents/skills? *

 
Are you aware of any skills/talents your co-founder(s) possesses that have been underutilized in past roles? *

     
 
Can you identify a few? *

(talents/skills of co-founder(s) that have been underutilized or underappreciated)
 
Do you see value in knowing that kind of information about your co-founder(s)? *

     
 
Select the top three that you feel you have most in common with your co-founder(s). *


 
Now let's shift the focus of our investigation toward your business!

 
Is there a specific problem that your company is trying to solve? *

     
 
Can you describe it in 1-2 sentences? *

 
As of today, what do you still require to turn your company vision into a reality? *

*product/market (defined):
(1) good market & viable product
(2) minimum viable product (MVP)

 
Now lets find out what you personally bring to the table!

 
Are you being compensated for your work? *

i.e.  salary, commission, or hourly wage

 
Can you briefly explain? *

 
Are you being paid enough to meet your current financial needs? *

     
 
How long is startup work financially sustainable for you? *

Assume sub-optimal cash flow

 
Do you offer a unique set of skills or experiences within your team? *

     
 
Can you provide a few examples? *

please limit to three (3)
 
In brief, can you describe how you contribute to the business? *

 
How much time can you commit to this business venture? *


 
Now, let's find out what success looks like to you!

 
At this moment, how would you define success for this venture? *

i.e. financial well-being, personal empowerment, industry disruption, provide value to customers.
 
Does your idea of success evolve over time? *

     
 
How will your idea of "success" change over the long-term? *


 
Do you have clear company goals or milestones? *

     
 
Can you name a few? *

company goals and/or milestones
 
Would you like our assistance in forming clearer goals or milestones for your company? *

     
 
What do you see as the greatest obstacle that stands in the way of achieving 'success'? *

**Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market. Many people interpret product/market fit as creating a so called minimum viable product that addresses and solves a problem or need that exists

 
Now, you have the opportunity to share anything you like with us!  [optional]

Any information you provide will be addressed during our Founders' Agreement session.
 
A quote to consider:

"I think just about every startup experiences [growing] pains. The only remedy is complete transparency. Everyone needs to be open and honest about their thoughts, feeling, and opinions.


.....unless a founder has successfully built companies in the past, rarely are the other founders willing to accept one's opinion as the way things should work. This is where a close (independent) advisor is worth their weight in gold."

Thank you for completing our Founders' Agreement Diagnostic!  We will be in touch with you shortly.

In the meantime, enjoy this testimonial from one of our earliest clients, Chalet!

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