Why your best friend is probably a bad business partner | Miki Agrawal


So when you’re looking at bringing partners
on, whether it’s investment partners, whether it’s business partners, like cofounder perspective,
those kinds of things—Number one, it needs to be the same values. Do you both care about similar things in the
world? So values need to align. And then from a skill set perspective you
need to be opposites. Oftentimes best friends are like, “We want
to start a business together!” That’s like the fastest way to not becoming
best friends again. Being opposites is so important. I’m great at design. I’m great with the vision. I’m great at sort of the strategy. I’m really great at the aesthetic. I’m really great at the brand. My partner needs to be great at operations,
manufacturing, warehousing, legal, finance, all of that stuff that I don’t love. Can I do it? A little, but I prefer not to. I’d rather stay in my zone of genius and
have someone really, really take on their zone of genius, and be in mutual awe of one
another. Like I really believe that there is that yin
and yang that does exist. Like if I have yang energy someone needs to
have yin energy to be a real perfect partner. I think to have the right partner energetically
you need to be a match and skill set wise you need to be a match. So yin yang like energetically and then yin
yang from a skill set perspective. We often like, we’re like: “Both of us
are super hyper!” Even if you have other like skill sets than
I do, that hyper-hyper-hyper might not work. And if it’s hype-calm, like the calm counterpart
calms me down. My hyperactiveness makes them more excited. So that energetically works. When from a skillset perspective, “I’m
great at this, he or she is great at this,” we’re in mutual awe of each other both energetically
and from a skill set perspective. That is the perfect partner. So I
sit on the board of Conscious Capitalism and I think Conscious Capitalism is really based
on a stakeholder model. Like every single person has to win, and I
think in the past I was a little bit sloppy in a stakeholder model in that we scaled so
quickly, “just put butts in seats fast.” I didn’t really think about a lot of things
as you’re scaling, which happens to most entrepreneurs, and I think now it really is
with Tushy I’m really, really deliberate about the type of people I bring onto the
team: really checking their background to see if they really fit. Before anyone gets hired they have to meet
the whole team and the team has to give me their feedback on what they think about this
person, if they jive well. It really is culture. Culture trumps strategy every day of the week
and twice on Sunday. And in the past I certainly was a lot more
sort of lax. “Oh, you have a pulse? Come join, we’re busy. We’ve got to grow.” And now, “What’s your background? Let me look at your social media,” and if
it’s all selfies you know that’s scary! That’s not a great person to have on your
team if it’s like selfie from every angle, which means that they might not be a great
team player. And so and then calling references, doing
background checks. It’s so important to do that and I just
didn’t, and I think to really create that culture, to really scale a business requires
doing that real work. And with Tushy I’m so, so deliberate. My new CEO role, I’ve interviewed 50 people
for this role to really be that yin to my yang and that opposite to my skill set. And in the past I would have been like “Okay
people, let’s go.” And now it’s “50 people? Call all ten references of every one of them,”
and really had them meet all the team to make sure that they liked the person. It’s really, really important to do that
culture fit test which I didn’t do in the past.

39 Replies to “Why your best friend is probably a bad business partner | Miki Agrawal”

  1. My father always used to tell me that you cannot experience happiness if you haven't experienced sadness before. So, I think this applies everywhere. You might like your best friend, but if he has EXACTLY the same skills as you then…who will cover the rest?

    Winny out…for now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Why is made a a assumption for argumetn sake of the title, that best friends have the same skills, tastes or even ideas? That's totally wrong. It's quite the oposite. All good business ventures i know up close were made of a base of deep connection and a strong knowledge of who are their business partners. Best Friends and very different,
    The argument is true, however when it comes to familly… but for other reasons. Familiy members are tipically bad business parteners.

  3. That's pretty fair, though of course it doesn't just mean that you shouldn't start a business with a friend. I'd follow what she said about a good business partner as rules about a friend in the first place! If you know what I mean. Anyway good video ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hyper verbal much? I do like her opinion on having a complementary business partner. Having opposing personalities working together productively leads to greater innovation. Think ofJobs and Wozniak as an example.

  5. Sorry have to disagree father-of-six have three grandchildren and I need to hear what I don't want to hear when it comes to financial decisions and well my partner does that and I do that for my partner it's called honesty transparency and conscientious mindful love and Savvy business sense

  6. I agree on the part of skillsets but Iโ€™d rather think itโ€™s best when both (or more) have the same goals and ideals. Iโ€™ve got a personal experience with a coworker that was an old friend of mine and we worked together years later, yeah we were kind of opposites but we couldnโ€™t agree on what we wanted our job to be, we had really harsh differences and we couldnโ€™t work it out at the end…so yeah…
    Iโ€™d rather prefer to work with someone with different skills but that wants to get to the same I envision.

  7. It can be really hard to continue doing business with a friend, but so easy to get into business with a friend.

  8. This is the second talk on big think I have watched of this woman…..I couldn't disagree with her more in her views of business. Sorry. But that's why we all get an opinion right. Just my .02…..๐Ÿ˜

  9. as soon as i saw that hat i thought "shes a creative" i.e. "i do art not the useful stuff" but hey lets give her a chance

    and…….then at 0:35……..she justifies my predalictions. i.e. i do the fun creative shit, my partner does all the actual buisness stuff.

    whats happening to you guys/gals at big think? the past few videos have just made me cringe with all the artsy farty sjw crap you have on?

  10. Usually, when a business becomes successful, all friendships are dragged by greed, professional jealousy and finally end up getting fucked,..

  11. I dislike the video for two reasons: 1) the bitchy and pretentious way of expressing herself, and 2) the lack of citations to actual facts and empirical investigations. No facts = personal opinions = irrelevant, biased info = bullshit arguments.

  12. Oh great, to get a job now it's no longer good enough to be educated and experienced, you have to fit into the "culture". It's not bad enough that the boss would invasively look through your social media accounts, they outright demand you just show it to them. Suppose you just don't have one? Social media should not be held to the same priority as a criminal record, especially not as a higher priority.

    By the way, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak say hi.

  13. It clearly depends on your experiences with friends, never mind best friends (i thought only children had bestest buddies). I must say Id trust any of my friends to be great business partners, partl;y helped by the fact that I like them and they are friends

  14. There are many critical factors that influence if partnership working with a friend would be successful. I would suggest that itโ€™s the business idea itself that is usually a determining factor. An ineffective business idea will ruin friendship no matter how hard both parties work. Humans are too volatile and bring too many emotions and non work related issues into working environments.

  15. "Concious capitalism" where everyone "wins"….delusional sheltered rich Americans….the fucking environmental services and assets are being destroyed at our peril

  16. So now we are prooving wise man sayings huh? You don't even have to go all the Yin-yang way and use common sense. The reason friends or good friends dont make great business partners to manage money with you is, that they are biased. Normally friends don't tell each other the ugly truth lest to hurt his friends feelings. In business you cannot afford it, that you withold vital information, because its not so nice about to say or overreact on some other information. Bankruptsy and stuff is not meant to be kawaii as they say. Unless you like to speak with your friend around the rough edges and always mean what you say, then it could be possible, but it will be extremely stressful – and you will have no place to vent, because you probably have the same friends circle, so you cannot even back-talk how you hate your sometimes inconsiderate business-partner what you can do, when you dealing with someone who is not related to you in any way but throught the business youre having. You can remain much more sober this way.

    For instance then a team forms in a MMORPG all though they become friends, why good teams prevail, is that they stick to their strategy and don't give up, while the loosing ones start to complain how the others therent friend or friendly enough not giving the right resources when asked, not minding that on the bigger picture, your crawing for a certain thing might not have been sound at allm you just saw a micro goal while others there aiming for the mayor goal or vice versa. Not discussing it through and merely trying to friend-zone it, is what looses a game or business. It all turns down to simple math. Goal – Effort – Means or GEM for short.

  17. As a business owner myself, going into business with your friends can actually be a very good decision, assuming you made good decisions in your choice in friends. Early on I chose not to go into business with my friends for some of the reasons listed in the video and very quickly I watched those I went into business with shed "friends" faster then the rate at which they can meet new people, because they chose from the same hyper insulated group of individuals who engage in the same group think. Befriend better people, who can think differently.

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