Blog Archives

The Quick Handshake: A Valuation Penalty?

When do co-founders split the equity equally, and does an equal split affect their venture’s later valuation? We are currently conducting our annual CompStudy survey. (I’ll soon be posting details about how to participate.) Over the last two years, I

Posted in co-founders, equity split, financing

Salary Inequality Among Co-Founders: How Common?

I have accumulated a backlog of interesting questions posed to me by founders and investors (and by my students!). For many of them, my quantitative CompStudy data should be able to provide some answers. In this post, I will tackle

Posted in co-founders, compensation, investors

“Founders’ Dilemmas” Course: “Building the (Founding) Team” Case Studies

In prior posts about my “Founders’ Dilemmas” MBA course, I provided an overview of the course and details about its first three case studies (which include the Introductory case and the cases in the “When to Found” module). This post

Posted in co-founders, equity split, MBA course content, roles

Introductory Case

As promised, this post outlines the first three cases of my “Founders’ Dilemmas” MBA course (see my previous post for the course overview). This post covers the Course Introduction case and the two cases from the “When to Found” module,

Posted in careers, co-founders, MBA course content

The Idea Premium: How Much (Equity) is Your Idea Worth?

How much more equity do you receive if you are the founder who came up with the original idea for your venture? Last month I posted preliminary analyses (here and here) of how the initial titles/positions adopted by co-founders are

Posted in co-founders, equity split, idea people

A Second Look at “Idea People” as CEOs: Should vs. Do

In response to last week’s post showing raw data about the propensity of “idea people” to take the CEO position within their founding teams, Tadej commented: I don’t think having the idea should generally affect your position in the company

Posted in co-founders, idea people, roles

Idea People and Their Initial Roles Within Founding Teams

Does being your venture’s “idea person” affect your initial role within the venture and the size of your equity stake? Initial analyses of data from our 2007 Compensation Survey (the 2008 Survey is currently under way — see here to

Posted in co-founders, idea people, roles

Board problems: Even numbers? Multiple founders?

Question #1: Is it good to have a split board? Question #2: For the founder-CEO, is having another founder on the board a good thing or a big mistake? In the Vermeer case with which we introduce the semester, the

Posted in board of directors, co-founders

Neverland, or Dictatorship?

As a start-up grows, can the founding team continue to make decisions collectively, or does someone have to rise above the others and become the final decision maker? A couple of years ago at a panel discussion at HBS’s annual

Posted in co-founders, roles

Founding with Friends, Founding with Strangers?

Is it better to start a company with someone you know well (friends, classmates, family members) or with strangers? In my next post, I’ll return to “Rich versus King” and show some data, results, and charts that shed light on

Posted in co-founders