Joel Spolsky
Stack Exchange

(Founder Stories) Joel Spolsky On Startups: "Have A Co-Founder Otherwise You'll Go Insane"

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All this week on Founder Stories, we’ve shown segments from Chris Dixon’s interview with Stack Exchange CEO Joel Spolsky, who also writes the Joel on Software blog. In the final rapid-fire Q&A video above, Spolsky doles out some advice to other startup founders, primarily “have a co-founder” to share the load, “otherwise you’ll go insane.” And “make sure you figure out who wons what,” he adds, and do that up front. As Dixon points out, the last thing you want is to have to explain to later investors why some guy named Frank who was only around for 3 weeks owns 30 percent of the company. (Disclosure: Host Chris Dixon is an angel investor in Stack Exchange).

Spolsky also explains why he admires Bill Gates more than Steve Jobs, why his favorite charity is DonorsChoose (crowdsourced funding FTW), why he finds it easier to hire people in New York City, and dishes on the group think in Silicon Valley.

Below is the entire 30-minute interview, or you can watch it in segments. In Part I, Spolsky talks about when to raise VC cash and how he seeded the original Stack Overflow community with the readers of his blog, in Part II he rails against what bad SEO has done to the Internet and why he chooses to go deep in each vertical site Stack Exchange rolls out, and in Part III he rags on Yahoo Answers. It’s worth watching the whole thing. Other episodes of Founder Stories are also now available on iTunes.