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How I Collaborate with My Co-founder
Our work process so far
When others ask me about my startup, they ask me how I collaborate with my co-founder. I have been thinking about how my co-founder and I work together, and in our newsletter today, I wanted to share my tips and process for collaboration.
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Process 1: Divide and Conquer with Boundaries
When starting a startup, it is essential to divide our work since there is too much to do. Since both my co-founder and I have a design background, we must pay extra attention to how we divide work to have full coverage and avoid repetition or losing time.
Our current work division is this: In our company, we decided that I would focus primarily on product design and engineering, and she will focus on marketing design, content, and customer success. With that said, we have lots of crossovers. Both my co-founder and I can code; sometimes, I ask her to research a new feature and develop a proof of concept. I contribute to marketing, i.e., writing newsletters and promoting our products on podcasts. But we each lead different things, and when we have differences in opinion, we trust each other’s space and expertise, which leads me to my next point:
Process 2: Trust
It is crucial to trust each other, even when there are disagreements. Trust each other’s expertise and ability to get things done. This is especially important for us because we are both passionate designers and product makers. Of course, it takes time to build trust, and I’m lucky that my co-founder and I already know each other for many years and have collaborated on projects prior to Typogram.
In order to keep building trust, an excellent system to facilitate the process of building trust is key, which brings me to my last point:
Process 3: Create Systems that Give Back
My co-founder and I discussed this a lot – what systems can we implement to help us improve our collaboration process? Currently, we think there are two systems:
Project Management System
It should be easy to communicate goals. For example, writing down our weekly goals and using sprints to meet goals and track progress. Even though my co-founder and I have known each other for a long time, it is our first time working on a startup together. Writing down weekly goals and to-dos in our sprint boards creates a clear roadmap and guidelines for us to communicate better, hold each other accountable, and build trust.
Feedback & Communication System
No matter how hard we plan, things can always go haywire. When that happens, direct and transparent communication is super important. When there is a potentially difficult-to-meet deadline, we communicate beforehand to figure out how to help each other meet goals. This also builds a strong support system for working together.
Hear from You
Do you have a secret to collaboration?
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