Sunday, 28 November 2010

Diary of a Start-Up: Choosing a partner

Having worked in Venture Capital origination, I have been fortunate to grow a fairly reasonable network. I have come to the obvious realisation that I need to look at pulling a team together. The notion that each man is an island is nonsense – no business can get off the ground with the inputs of just one person. Selecting a partner is an incredibly tricky business. Do they have the right experience, do they have a solid background, are they progressive thinking, optimistic... the list is endless. But when it comes down to it, like most things in life, you often know the answer to your own question before asking it.

The power of instincts can’t be ignored. As such, I am thrilled to announce that as of today, Project S has a partner joining the team. David Marshall is one of the most successful people I know. He runs a sports business that returns over £3m a year and is the same age as I. He is sharp, savvy and importantly, has a lot of the resources that we need to make this business – at its heart – a website, a reality.

In late 2009, Dave took on investment from an uber-wealthy Russian investor to grow his business. As a direct result of this cash injection, Dave has been able to hire an experienced IT team to manage his direct distribution business www.absoluteballs.co.uk. This complements his B2B offering of Gator Golf that supplies the likes of Aldi in the UK and has customers across the world.

Dave and I are naturally a good mix. We were friends before and have always been interested in what the other was doing in business. He has been much more successful than I to date and together we are a good team. We have not as yet defined ‘roles’ that we will both fulfil, the main part of the rationale being that Dave provides his IT team to develop the site whilst I focus on pulling component parts together to make this happen.

I have a great feeling that this will be a fantastic partnership where we both balance each other out well.

JW

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