I'll try to keep it as short as I can, but the situation is as follows:
Two others and I have come up with a business idea, researched it, and really solidified the entire concept. The problem is that we're dealing with something that requires a lot of capital to even deliver a minimum viable product, so we need to find investors. Nonetheless, there's a ton of work that can be done before funding is even there. As such, two of us have decided not to seek for a full-time job (we just graduated) and put 100% in making this work. The third partner, however, has been working for a few years now, and he has made clear that he won't quit his job. That is the case for both pre-funding and post-funding, as we don't see the need for three people running the business in its initial form. This has led to a discussion (initiated by the two of us committing 100% now and later) as to how much the third party is really worth. He agrees that it's only fair that he receives less shares of the company when it is founded. Our problem right now is: How many shares does this person really earn?
Some extra considerations:
- The third person has definitely added value in the initial phase of developing the idea;
- A lot of work has been put in the pitch, for which the third person only provided comments;
- We have met for 2 hours a week (at best) to discuss the progress made on the pitch mostly;
- The two of us will be working full-time on the project until we receive funding (or until our personal deadline passes, as we can't be in this phase forever).
We're a bit in a pickle here, because we're friends, and we do see it as our creation. Nonetheless, we have trouble with having a future shareholder that does nothing and isn't even willing to fund the company according to whatever shares he has (albeit with a discount, so to speak). The advantage is that nothing has been agreed on contractually, so at the end of the day the two of us can do whatever we want. However, we want to do the right thing.
You might think that we have nothing to show for yet (i.e. no product), so that this is not a conversation worth having. But we're determined and are putting in our heart and soul. The last thing we want is to have these discussions when real money is on the table. We want things sorted (on paper) before it gets to that point.
Sorry for the long post, but I felt that I had to try the best I can to explain the important details.
Thank you in advance.