Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business

Category: Americas
Author: Mikkel Svane, Carlye Adler


by jasode   2017-11-21
>Paying one founder more than another is a good way to start a founder conflict

The book "Startupland"[1] that chronicles Zendesk[2] talked about this exact problem. One of the 3 founders had "family" to take care of and because of that, he wanted a higher salary. The 2 other founders were thinking, "what?!? you're not the only one making sacrifices here!"

After some discussion, the 2 other eventually agreed to it but they really resented it and it was a source of bad tension for a long time.

Zendesk eventually got to the IPO so the 3 got past that unequal salary episode but the soap opera drama doesn't seem to be something you want for a struggling company.

(Side note: I think it's unfair to downvote jacquesm for bringing this up. Even if you disagree with his opinion, it's still worth leaving the text ungreyed to discuss pros & cons.)


[2] coincidentally, Zendesk is one of the companies in Point Nine's portfolio:

(However, author Christoph Janz joined Point Nine in 2011 and Zendesk started 2007 so he may be unaware of their early salary drama.)