There is a phrase I hear often in the world of politics. People being trapped in an echo chamber. Essentially the idea is, to my understanding, that people surround themselves with people who say the exact same things as them and agree with them on everything. Honestly, sometimes I like being in my echo chamber because I like to think I am right all the time, but I know that this is not beneficial to me or those around me for the long haul.
This chapter in The Founder’s Dilemma was very intriguing to me as I fall prey to many of the aspects mentioned. I often times want to start businesses with friends and think it would be extremely cool, but statistically doesn’t seem like a good idea.
My thoughts on this varies because clearly you do not want to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but it seems as though there is one specific characteristic I noticed in the chapter that shook things up. This was honest and open conversations with the purpose of real growth. Often times each member of a group can get caught in their own heads and expect every one else to simply agree with them.
These open channels of constructive criticism should be in your friendships and marriage as well. Often people don’t have these real genuine relationships with some conflict. Conflict is not seen as being rude or unloving and that can ruin long term relationships, especially in business.
I do believe that you need to have a shared base set of values with whom you are starting a company with, and that will be the common ground, then respect each others ideas from there. Each of your skillsets may be different or could be the same, but intelligent people can learn to do any job. It is more important to work with intelligent people you share values with than it is a skilled person whom you may disagree with on simple things.
After reading this chapter, I can understand why it would be better to work with coworkers, but I personally would enjoy working with friends on projects. I would just say that based off what the book says, I need to make sure my friendships are solid. Not just these shallow relationships that have no real hold in them in tough times. We all need to share the same vision and encourage one another to get there.
This is why my wife and I are starting our business together with a group of my buddies. We all share a vision and want to get there. It is like the old African proverb. If you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go together.
Whoever it is that you want to start a business with, be sure to be open and honest with them and understand that they have your best interest in mind as well. They are not out to get you when they disagree, they want you to succeed just as much as you want them to!