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Thoughts on interest alignment

Over the weekend, I was deliberating about stakeholder contribution and their business involvement. We liked some people because they have been long-time friends. We like some others because of having worked together in some capacity. Aside from that, we consistently interact with people whom we also consider to be potential investors, partners, prospective employees and interns. And I tried to pencil all of these down into a matrix to see where all the different stakeholders fit in.


  • The interests of all co-founders have to be fully aligned, but more than that, each person also needs to demonstrate competency

  • Opportunity costs are an important factor in aligning interest. Put it simply: If founders are in the venture as a 'hobby' or on a part-time basis, the venture probably isn't going to work out

  • Cheer-leaders, idea generators and business evangelists should not be paid, unless they are personally committed to and vested in the business, either in an executive or non-executive role.