We created Gathyr over cocktails, laughs and a few rough mornings, but we developed it over lots of early and late night coffee sessions. Some say that friends shouldn’t co-found a company together that there is a lot of potential for snares, resentment and ultimately disaster.
No one wants to hitch themselves to a friend who turns out not to be cut out for this kind of work. Friends can overestimate each other’s skill sets or dedication to later discover that that person isn’t who he/she presented him/herself as. And I can’t imagine it’s a great thing to realize that your friend and co-founder has to go. On a scale of 1-10 on conversations I’d rather not have, I'd give it a 7-8.
We have been friends for several years, and we’ve worked together for just about a year now. As co-founders and partners we spend a lot of time together. Sometimes it’s heads down at our computers, sometimes it’s long brainstorming sessions over coffee and (let’s be honest) sometimes we just need to relax with a cocktail.
The best thing that we’ve learned about each other in this last year is that we are both hard workers, go-getters, and hard headed. We already knew that last one though. We tried debating which movie is manlier, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark or Top Gun. Two hours later, we settled on Die Hard.
Do we fight about the direction Gathyr should go? Absolutely. And are we always level headed and reasonable? Definitely not. But sometimes we need an argument to push each other toward finding a better answer.
Here's a few of our individual thoughts:
Katie: Working with Aaron is a headache in the best of ways. He’s stubborn (although I should talk) and pushes me in a way I’ve never been pushed before. Sometimes my artistic/romantic self can get in the way of making the best choices, and he helps me think more logistically. Aaron and I really rely on each other’s different personalities to make choices and look at both sides of the equation.
When it came to picking what we wanted to build for our initial release we agreed on about 80% of it. That last 20% came hard won from both sides, but I now look fondly and a bit ardently at what we are building. As friends we were both a bit nervous working together, but those doubts have completely dissolved. I can’t imagine a better co-founder.
Aaron: Katie’s skill set and personality balances mine better than I ever realized before we started working together. Katie can be quite a perfectionist, which is something no one would ever accuse me of being. Katie makes me work harder to make sure that what I am creating is up to her standards, and I help make sure she finishes the projects she is working on - something something art is never done, you just stop working on it. While there have been a fair number of headaches along the way, i can’t imagine having started a company with anyone else!