I have a small internet marketing business that is growing nicely. I'm also a mobile developer on the side. I have a few app ideas I came up with, with a few different friends. Aside from my business, I can find the time to build the apps, but not to market them on an ongoing basis. I'm considering building each app and partnering with my friends (separately for each app) to focus on marketing the app.
What I've learned in the world of mobile apps is unless your app is a game changer (Instagram, Facebook, etc.), it has to be marketed heavily to be successful. If I'm not going to have any marketing plans for these apps, I'm not going to bother building them.
I've been down the road of partnering with a friend before. When I first launched my current business, I partnered with my roommate in college. It turned out he wasn't a right fit for the business. Luckily our friendship was not affected when he left the business.
However, I feel this type of partnership will be different. First of all, it is not for my primary business and I will not depend on the income. Secondly, I will split the app partnership 50/50 until my friends prove themselves. They know I've had a failed partnership before and will understand I want to be careful. They also know I'm a fair person. Although my first partnership failed, I bought my partner out even though I was not legally bound to, because it was the right thing to do. I will write an agreement that will roughly say something like "an equity % will be determined after X amount of months after the release. The percentage will depend on their commitment to executing the marketing plan." I will make it clear of what I expect from them if they want to be 50/50 partners.
I'm a bit skeptical on the idea, but I think it could be fun. Each app is based on an interest I share with a few different friends (surfing, baseball, home improvement, etc).
I'd love some outside opinions!