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Herman J. Radtke III

Partnerships: Dave Ramsey vs technology startups

Dave Ramsey has a famous quote: "The only ship that won't sail is a partnership" (source). I believe the context is in regards to two friends starting a business together. I recently heard this together and wondered how many succesful startups were partnerships.

I did a quick search on CrunchBase for startups that were acquired for over 1 million dollars since January 2010. The results show 12 out of 20 startups were partnerships. I cannot tell how many were friends prior to the forming of the company. This does not show me any startups went IPO either.

List of startups that were partnerships:

  • Instagram
  • Rapportive
  • adGrok
  • Mobile Theory
  • Screaming Daily Deals
  • Socialcam
  • condaptive
  • LovingEco
  • seatme
  • Pulse
  • carbyn
  • Crashlytics
  • BrightNest

I would like to look back 10 years, but there is no way to filter the CrunchBase search for partnerships. I may spend some more time compiling a database. I am also curious as to the division of labor amongst the co-founders. I think partnerships have the potential for more problems when two or more of the co-founders have the same skillset.