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Be Careful in Business

September 6, 2013

I like most of the SQL Server people I meet. Most of you are polite, cheerful, friendly, and it’s nice to share a few minutes of my life with you, chatting about anything. Whether that’s technical issues with SQL Server, running, books, or anything else, I often find my life richer for the time spent with others.

However I wouldn’t go into business with most of you. In fact, the number of people I’d make a business partner can probably be counted on one hand.

I wish it weren’t so, but I would choose my business partners very carefully, as carefully as choosing a mate. Getting into business is really like growing your family and all of your shareholders and partners are closely tied into your life. Since it’s not easy to get out of those types of relationships, you shouldn’t go into them too quickly.

I was reminded of this when I read How to Screw a Friend out of an $800 million idea. Like The Accidental Billionaires/The Social Network, it’s a look at friendships and business, and how success caused problems. I don’t know if there is liability here, or a moral failing, but it does remind me that I should be careful in business.

Just so you know, there are lots of you I’d work with. Easily thousands.

That’s way less than the number of people I’d work for, which is likely a couple dozen. There are some good business people I’ve met who I think would be a good boss and who I would approach if I needed a job.

Partners? I could name three off the top of my head and maybe three more I’d consider and want to get to know better.

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