Startup – Alex Talks Equity

In the very beginning of my journey out of the Air Force, back when I was just starting to think about leaving active duty, the Startup podcast began. If you have never listened to the show, or you have started listening in the subsequent seasons, I highly recommend listening to the first season of the show. The podcast follows Alex Blumberg as he leaves his successful career at NPR to start his own podcasting company, now called Gimlet Media.

The show was so successful and interesting that it has now inspired a TV show called Alex Inc. In celebration of the TV show debut, the podcast is once again airing the original episodes with some additional commentary surrounding the episodes.

In this episode, Alex and his soon to be co-founder, Matt Leiber, discuss what equity split they feel they each should have. If you want to skip to the heart of the conversation, go to the 16:50 point. To set the stage, Alex is now several months into starting his company. He left his old job and is already looking for investors. He met Matt about a month prior to this episode and is thinking about bring Matt in as the business person to augment his expertise in the audio industry. If you have never listened to the show before, be prepared for really honest and intimate discussions.

As a listener, you get an incredibly unique view of how the conversation broke down in both of their heads. This is a really great example of how you need to get real and ask yourself the hard questions before you go into a negotiation. What do you want? What do you care about? What do you want the other person to understand about your position? Do you understand the other persons position?

In the end, both sides have to get to a point of mutual respect for each other and the decision that is made. That is all that matters.

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