I have a friend that lives in another country and wants to join my startup, working part time outside his day job. He said he'll work on weekends mostly. I've started it about 1 year ago working on it full time and now I've got a version but it's not simplified enough and it's too complex to use.
The issue is that I have no idea if he will be committed to it or if he just wants to learn the technologies used. I don't want to spend a lot of time(which is very limited at this point) for walking him through the project, explaining the details and all that stuff and at some point to see that he was just interested to learn from my experience instead of having true hope in the success of the project.
I tried to face this problem and tell him directly that I don't want to loose a lot of time without knowing that he is really enthusiastic and really interested in it. He told me that he likes the idea and thinks it could be better than the competitor's product, but I really don't know if he is genuine about it.
For a long time now, he says he wants access to the sources of the project and all other information I have about it but I hesitated to give until now because I don't want him to get involved in the technical part without being commited to the project first. I'd have to use a lot of time to explain the technology used, what the code does, etc. I didn't feel until now(although I might be VERY wrong about all these ?unjustified? fears) that he wants to simplify the idea since he kept asking for the sources first instead of analyzing the functionality and think of ways to improve the user experience.
At this point I really don't know what to do. Is a long-distance(over skype) collaboration possible on a web startup? How can I know if he is genuine or not about the project? How can I feel OK about all this?
I trust him as a friend and I know him for a lot of time, and while we understood eachother very well all the time, I think he was a bit superficial when it came to commitment. And I don't blame him, the things we did then weren't real projects and we did those out of pleasure. Now it's a completely different story, but I can't help to not think about how it was back then.
I'd wish very much he'd join me on this venture because I feel he could make a great difference to the project because he is a very smart guy. I'm also very worried that this lack of trust from my side might affect our friendship and I really don't want that to happen. I'd prefer to continue alone than to loose a friend.