What’s the Weather Like at Your Startup?

January 25, 2013

1:00 pm

A while back, I came across some new advice for couples: spend time every day giving each other a “weather report.” Call, or chat, or Skype around midday to let your partner know your overall mood and feelings.

This isn’t a frivolous exercise: it’s supposed to prevent the clashes that occur when you don’t know your partner’s mood. For example, a stressed husband coming home from work only to be yelled at by his wife for forgetting the errands. Or a girlfriend staying late, particularly invigorated by her work, only to be teased about working so much.

Since entrepreneurs always say that cofounders are like married couples, why not apply the same principle to startups? What levels of understanding, cooperation, and efficiency might you reach if you knew how your cofounder was feeling each day?

If your cofounder is stressed, you could speak more calmly to them today. If they’re tired, you might run out and grab them a coffee. If they’re energetic, you might ask them for help with that task that’s been bugging you. And so on.

A quick chat can also keep you both motivated. “We all know a startup is just like a rollercoaster ride; there are ups and downs constantly, plus some loops from time to time,” says Piotr Korpak, cofounder of Dreamployed. “What personally helps me in the bad days is … the cofounder who luckily might be in the counter-phase at the time.”

In the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to sprint through a full day without checking in with your cofounder. But a quick “weather report” will keep you both in tune and avoid the little frictions that wear away at your partnership.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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