First off, excuse me for the vague title of this post, but this is all I could think of for now .I will change it if I find a more suitable one in the future.

Ok, so for the past few years I have been thinking of forming a startup of some sort related to my field of study (computer science, junior) , but I could never find dedicated trustworthy people to join me in my endeavor, plus I was not sufficiently knowledgeable in my field to actually do such a thing. However, now , things have changed a bit. I know far more, and I have met a few people worthy for the project .
I currently have done a few meetings with one of these people on working on my idea ,lets call him K , mostly research so far but we've made some progress as to what exactly we are supposed to work on first. Nonetheless, we decided that we needed more people into our team , cause the problem/idea was to big for only the two of us to tackle , so I brought one more person , J . J and I worked on a university related project in the past and he seemed knowledgeable and hardworking and that's how I took note of him, but here is where my problem starts.
This person, J, hasn't showed up at the last two weekly meetings(his first two) , the first time this happened he said that he was sick so that was understandable, however at the second one he showed up at the last 15 minutes of the meeting without saying anything and today I received a message from K that he doesn't think that J is a good candidate to join our team personality wise from the few minutes he got to know him. To clarify the situation better, K is more of a peoples' person and generally happy, and it's actually fun to work with him, on the other side, J seems to know more than the rest of us which is good, but he doesn't come across as a person that wants to be very friendly or open with anyone, at least with K, and I am afraid it might affect the team's spirit. J is also the kind of person that would debate about what we should next, which is also a good thing, however he sometimes challenges the whole idea of the project , that it is too difficult to achieve.
What should I do, should I keep J on the team and see how the situation progresses or should I let him go . The problem with the second choice is that I won't know what to tell him without him stopping complete communication with me outside the project. What would you guys do in my situation, I am really trying to develop this idea into a potential business and I don't want loose ends or people not taking me seriously.

All suggestions and tips are welcomed.


Anyway, I was a thinking about this all day yesterday and I decided to let go of J. It's better to have a team with a strong team spirit from the start.
Hello, @jh1!

I must say is that I'm totally relying on the accuracy of the information you provided. So, if you think about providing any other relevant information that changes this, please let me know!

Let's first think about what is the difference between a "team" and a simple "group". I'll state some of them: A team works with interdependency, and depends on co-operation, trust and shared vision and goals (or mission). And high performance teams usually have an environment of openness, where everyone needs to feel comfortable and confident to share their thoughts and ideas, and everyone is respectful and regard to each other's success.

So, there are a couple of things to think in order for that decision (that I've read you already took).
1) You won't build a teamwork if people are not sincerely willing to work with each other.
2) Even though people will to work with each other, building a team takes time.
3) Besides time and sincere will, people will have to share a common vision. I'm limited to the details you've provided, so I must ask you: are J really "in sync" with what your and K's vision?

I think rejecting someone after knowing him for 15 minutes is not a good idea. But as you described, it doesn't look like J is "that" excited into your project. Is he? Really really?

Maybe you should ask K what about J he didn't like. Maybe he has the same impression I had when I've read (or maybe not). If that's the case, you and K could call J for an interview. To ask J for his goals and expectations with the project, the priority it'll have for him, etc.

Did I answered your question? Please, let me know if I misunderstood anything. Or if you need further information.

Ohh, and talking about interviews, I must tell you: we often think recruitment and selection are for hiring employees, but it's good for seeking partners, too. At least partners with any roles, you don't need go so deep for a mere shareholder. So, case you don't keep J in, consider listing the competencies and attributions you need in your future partner, draft an analysis, and think how you'll approach potential candidates (you can invite only a few people you know, you can make it open, etc). Then make a script for an interview. I can help you or give you some guidelines with this (I actually recommend you, if you're not skilled in HR).

Believe me, doing this you'll be more likely to avoid this kind of embarrassing situation (and many others).

I hope it helps you!


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Hello @jh1 , in the business world of startups, this is called "hickups". Most companies gets closed down because of these types of unmanageable situations.

Like @Bruno Moreira-Guedes , beautifully put a clean open communication, Zero judgmental view of situation, and trust on the vision will help to get ride of this "hickups".

Best wishes, lets know if you implement.
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