I met my best friend at around age 10. All during our youth, we'd dream of both being at the top of the world together in business. His sister started a corporation a few years ago in order to help her brother to get out of his depression. My friend told her that if she wanted to start a business, she would have to get me in too.
Reluctantly we tried to work together. I can’t stand her and she has the same feelings towards me. After fighting over founder's ownership over 1 year, I brought in an MBA friend of mine as I realised that none of us really knew what we were doing (none of us have any business experience, just wanna bees). Though the MBA person is the only one that really knows what she’s doing, she accepted an offer to join in at equal share as everybody else in the company. She accepted and it was voted that we’d be all equal from now on.
The next day, the family called me in (We had even agreed that their mom would get 1/6th of the shares even though she wouldn’t actively work in the startup. She holds the status of that of a monarch). Once again for the 4th time that I can remember, they decided that they would go back on their word. Out of 6 partners shares, they want to keep 51% to their 3 family members and allow the 3 others to split 49%. Though it’s not that much difference in percentage, the 3 are worried about having to vent out 17% to the queen, 17% to the bitchy sister who doesn’t know how to prioritize and never wanted to be in business in the first place (she admitted to us that this is not what she wants to do in life… They both live at mom’s, both in their late 30’s! Talk about lack of maturity. In addition to that, he’s bankrupt.. his credit sucks but he has ideas! Lots of them) and 17% to my friend who I feel I don’t even know anymore. When he talks, all I hear is his mom and sister ringing in my ears. One of our biggest client told me our biggest problem is the sister. I know he loves her but…
He tells me he doesn’t want to hear about shares, let’s start working. At the beginning we were to share everything equally and now he changed his mind then he gets upset at me for needing to talk about shares once more while he keeps changing his mind.
Nothing was invested. Nothing was sold yet. I feel I don’t even know my best friend anymore from trying to get him to see my point of view but he won’t. It’s not like him. He will obviously do everything for his family. I’m afraid everytime we have to look at the pros and cons of a motion, he’ll just dumbly side-up with his family without taking the time to think! The way it was proposed to us, we need a 4 against 2 vote in order to get our voices heard. Everytime the family will unanimously vote together, the other 3 will have lost their time to try to make the team see the obvious to no avail!
I thought we were so lucky to have found an MBA who accepted to work for free until the money rolls in. They had to make me look stupid one more time. What are you pros think of all of what I call nonsense? Is this process normal in a startup. Should I simply quit?
Sincerely and many thanks,