Starting a business is a long-term commitment, so you need to make sure that you and your partners will be aligned well into the future. It’s crucial that all founders’ visions for the future, both near-term and long-term, are similar. If you want to build a $100 million business, but your partner would be perfectly happy making $100,000, you will run into problems. Sometime in the future, your partner will want to slow things down, and take some money off of the table. Of course, this will be about the same time that you’ll want to expand and grow. Situations like these don’t end well, and can easily end your partnership.
The key is to set expectations from the beginning. Have open and candid conversations about your vision for the company, the product roadmap, and what you want personally out of life. Lay it all out, and make sure that your future selves are as compatible as your current selves are. If there are red flags, don’t ignore them and hope for the best. As uncomfortable as it may be, it’s much better to resolve issues sooner rather than later, when the stakes are a lot higher.