I never get into business with a friend - which is why I need help!
January 20, 2009 3:32 PM Subscribe
How do I deal with a friend involved in a collaborative project that I fear will not take it as seriously as I will?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total)
I hate this very much, and I cannot figure out what to do. I cannot figure it out mostly because it involves a friend.
Ok, bear with me:
A while ago, a friend (let's call him Joe) and I came up with a plan to produce a podcast that would be distributed freely on the industry in which we both work as freelancers (him part time, me full-time as my only means of income). We came up with this idea at a bar, mostly as one of those "hey, it would be cool if we..." kind of bar ideas. We then met again to discuss some of those ideas and talk a little bit about how we would present them, to come up with a domain name, and that kind of stuff.
The last meeting took place two months ago. I am ready to move forward with the podcast, but I am finding that Joe will not likely be able to put in the level of commitment and effort that I will into this project.
I have a brand that is getting considerable growth and interest in the industry, and most of the people we would interview would be would be from the contacts and associations I have built. I may be in a position to sell advertising space within those audio materials, and to promote the audio materials with my online brand. The thing I cannot figure out is how to either take over this podcast idea completely, or set myself up so that the brunt of the work, which will fall on my shoulders, is mine (and I am compensated accordingly from any advertising profits).
The issue I find myself faced with is one of ownership and compensation - Joe is a long time friend, and I care for him - and I never, never, ever get into business partnerships with friends, ever. The podcast project never was discussed with regards to business, as it was generally something we would do for the enjoyment of doing it. However, Joe moves at his own pace, if you will - he has a regular job and a regular life, and kinda moves with his ebbs and currents. I am very self motivated, and since I would bear the brunt of the advertising arrangements, recording, arranging of guests, and so on - I don't want to do a bunch of work for essentially free without "bearing the fruits of my labor," if you will. Essentially, I want to run this podcast like a business, and I fear he will treat it like a hobby.
How do I either A) get out of this situation and do my own thing without losing my friend, B) set Joe up as an employee or independent contractor of sorts who reaps what he brings (like ads and support) to the project, or C) some other aspect of this I had not considered?
It really comes down to this - if I was doing this myself, I could pump out regular material on a regular schedule that would be consistent, and not at the whim of my friend's schedule, which is always full.
The only investment made in this effort so far is the registration of a domain. Technically, my wife came up with the domain name where we would distribute, and my wife and I registered the domain. I don't need the domain, I'd give him the rest of the year of hosting if it came down to it.
What would you do? I cannot figure this out.