Great post, Adam!
I agree that transparency is the key to manage your failure and it is very difficult to find the sweet spot about when and how. One way to put some thought process on that is to think about the consequence of the disclosure. I also believe that you should be transparent about the situation as much as possible but what you need to think is how the information is going to be perceived by the recipient. Thinking about the trade off might give you the answer about the sweet spot.
In the case of Studio 38, many of us (including me) voted for disclosing the financial situation only to management team who share the similar responsibility. I thought that the other employees might not be able to interpret the information appropriately and just create chaotic situation. Otherwise, I would be happy to disclose all the negative information to everybody. Those consequence should be well thought before the disclosure.
Yes, this is very tough but not impossible to get close enough to the sweet spot, I believe.
Great post! This post reminded me the conversation with my previous colleagues. People have different management style and so does comfortable level of making decision. Some people will make decision only when all the information is available but some might make a quick decision with only 50% of the information.
As a founder, I think that you need to be comfortable to make a judgement under the situation where the full information is not available. I just started the journey of start-up but I already found myself to be in the situation. At that time, I spoke with the founder who I respect and whom I share the same value with. He explained the path he has taken and said he is satisfied with his judgement. I thought that I would feel in the same way if I take the same path as we share the same value.
I agree that it is right to say “it depends” but the ability to make a judgement with uncertainty is something you need to nurture to thrive in the start-up environment.
Interesting post! I have also met with a Japanese VC (focusing on seed round) of which managing director believes that the founders should be younger than 30 years old to make the ventures more likely to be successful.
In your argument, I see two different factors mixed. The first one is the situation of the founder. The comments of Paul seems to be based more on the mortgage and the kids rather than the age itself. I understand that the older you are the more likely you have those two conditions but it is not always the case. Another factor is more toward age itself. For example, once you become older, it becomes more difficult for you to learn new things.
Do you think the situation of the founders is more important or the age itself?
Kaitlyn, I totally agree with your view on the security blankets! It is true that the benefit of having co-founders emphasized well but the disadvantage of doing so often overlooked.
However, do you think your argument is true under the circumstance where one of the co-founders have majority shares (or clearly takes the largest pie and lead the team)? I feel like that the co-founders can be security blanket more in the situation you are in the same situation, meaning you each own the same shares in the company. Creating the clear distinction between you and your co-founders in the responsibility and role might able to resolve the issue of security blanket.
Any thought on this?