There’s no fouler business than when partnerships of successful startups go to shit. You’d think entrepreneurs everywhere would learn from the sheistiness of the original Facebook partnership especially after “The Social Network,” starring JT and the amazing Spider Man, but Hollywood might as well call them back to make another film about Snapchat’s recent drama.
Last week, the current founders of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, filed a restraining order against Reggie Brown, a former co-founder and frat bro, to silence him from spreading further bad press involving Snapchat. According to Business Insider, Brown had filed a suit earlier this year alleging that Spiegel and Murphy cut him out; Snapchat’s disappearing photos feature was apparently Brown’s idea and he’s after the third he believes he’s entitled to. A bunch of interesting video depositions were taken and leaked, one in which Spiegel testified that “Reggie may deserve something for some of his contributions.” It looks like Brown knows some things that Snapchat’s co-founders wish would disappear, hence the restraining order. To make matters more juicy, Business Insider reported that Brown is now said to have an exclusive interview with GQ to spill the dirt he has on Snapchat.
Whether or not this is a case of gold digging or scrooging, here are three lessons we should all take from Snapchat’s drama.
Before your startup hits it big, make sure that your partnership agreement involving founders and investors is rock solid. A good agreement can resolve any problems that were thought out beforehand, like exiting and buyout options. Not having a well thought out agreement is straight up shady.
No matter how small the idea, like having pictures disappear after a short time, everyone who helped build the idea gets a share of it. It’s always hard to say what would have been if something did or didn’t happen, but always keeping an open line of communication is the best place to start to not come off as a dick.
Remember that the best leaders give credit, they don’t take it. When a petty squabble over money and percentages comes up, actions always speak louder than words and the leader of the group has the most responsibility to resolve the issue in the best possible way. Publicly cutting out a partner is not the best way to resolve such an issue, but it might be good if you are trying to land a movie deal.
Check out the Snapchat application for temporary restraining order: