In the very first year of a company, there are a few very tough, make-or-break decisions that founders need to make. My colleague and friend, Professor Noam Wasserman, teaches a class called "Founder's Dilemmas" at Harvard Business School that delves into these decisions and has become a "must-take" session for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Noam has turned the materials and research from his class into a new book: The Founder's Dilemmas, where he analyzes the fundamental trade-offs such as when to found a company, who to found it with (if anyone), how to determine roles and responsibilities, equity splits, choosing investors and many more sensitive issues.
This is a serious book for a serious endeavor: creating a company from scratch that can be a world-beater and life-changer. Analytical, insightful and even a bit wonky at times, Wasserman's story arc is less about war stories – although the books is chock full of them, featuring the founders of Twitter, Pandora and others – and more about the decision tree every founder must climb. Rather than having these decisions happen by chance, Wasserman's book is a towering guide to making these decisions thoughtfully and purposefully.
Every founder should read it – and take the time to digest its rich data and lessons.