I'm working with two other partners to get a SaaS startup off the ground. I worked on this thing slowly, mostly on my own, for about two years before approaching my partners. As a background, I knew both of them personally before this started, although both were more of acquaintances than best friends.
Today, the breakdown of work is like this:
- Partner A has been working really hard and has good domain expertise. He's impressed me tremendously by taking on new things and figuring stuff out as he goes. He's been a huge asset, sacrificing time and energy.
- Partner B has been working less hard, is much less assertive and aggressive, but is very knowledgeable in his area of expertise. He assures us that this his contribution will increase in the future as we get rolling. I worry that he doesn't understand how much work is in store for him.
- As for me, I had the idea and know the entire application inside and out since I wrote everything. I'm also driving this thing forward coming up with strategies on how to sell and market ourselves and our product. Both partners freely admit that if I got hit by a train, the startup would likely die. I'm completely obsessed with this, giving up a lot of things to make sure it succeeds. I've also invested about $5K.
We're at the point where we're dividing up company equity. We have a vesting schedule in place, which is meant to protect us from someone walking away after six months. But my question is:
What is a reasonable amount of equity to retain for myself?
If these guys get something like 35/15, that leaves 50% for myself. Is that too low? I feel that I'd like to give up a larger percentage if the work is split equally. They've started to take on more and more work, which is encouraging, and expected. Would going below 51% not be smart?
I feel that if I had a better sense of what I deserve, it'd be easier to offer them percentages.