When a team breaks up

Breakups are part of the process of building a company. I’m writing this post because we had our first team break up this year at Techstars Seattle. The team is still around and working on their idea, a really promising one, but with ⅓ less manpower. Oh, and the team member they lost was their only developer.

The decision was hard. Basically, 2 of the 3 members were really invested in the success of the company, and the final member was not, so it was time for him to go. Emotion was obviously present, but all three parties were professional and will remain friends. We deal with this openly here at Techstars. The decision was announced at our retreat last week. My reasoning for this transparency is that there is no need to create gossip or wonder in the Techstars ecosystem. Techstars is club and a network. Yes, there is a certain amount of competition, but as a whole, everyone is here to work their asses off and collaborate with others in the program. I’ve found that the more transparency there is in an organization, the better. Just ask Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, about this.

So, with that I sign off and urge you to focus on meaningful transparency in your office. It can take care of small hiccups before they become larger issues. More to come on this topic and the topic of maintaining your company in futures posts.