Thoughts on startups by investors that
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How important is trust in business partnerships?

There are three separate questions you’re asking here, so let’s take them one at a time:

How important is trust in business partnerships?

It is critical. Vital. The single most important thing. Without trust you will spend the entire relationship looking over your shoulder and second-guessing everything your “partner” does and says. This may well destroy your entire business.

Are a lot of business people sneaky?

No. Are there some who are ‘sneaky’. Sure. Just like there are sneaky teachers and artists and construction workers. But people in business are no more ‘sneaky’ as a class than anyone else. Contracts are not primarily designed to prevent sneakiness; instead their purpose is to make absolutely sure that everyone involved in a transaction or relationship understands explicitly clearly what everyone’s rights and responsibilities are, and what exactly is expected from each party.

What should my company do about this specific potential business partner?

Skip him and move on to someone else. Our intuition is an extremely powerful and little understood faculty that subconsciously integrates all of our experience and knowledge into one ‘feeling’.  If your co-founders are telling you that they don’t trust this person, then you should run, not walk, in the other direction. When entering long term partnerships (especially in ones where they are representing you, your products and your reputation) it is imperative that you enter into the relationship with trust, and if that’s lacking, the partnership is doomed regardless of how attractive it might otherwise be.

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

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Written by David S. Rose

user David S. Rose Founder and CEO,
Gust

David has been described as "the Father of Angel Investing in New York" by Crain's New York Business, & a "world conquering entrepreneur" by BusinessWeek. He is a serial entrepreneur & Inc 500 CEO who chairs New York Angels, one of the most active angel investment groups. David is also CEO of Gust.

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