StartUp Podcast: Til Debt Do Us Part (Season 2, #8)
June 19, 2015 11:58 AM - Subscribe

Lauren and Emma visit the CEO Whisperer.

Turns out that business partnerships are a lot like romantic relationships. If you don't talk about your problems, they just get worse.

The tensions start out small. But then things quickly escalate into arguments over equity and roles in the company. Lauren and Emma find themselves having conversations with each other they never thought they’d have. So turn to someone in the business of counseling entrepreneur: the CEO Whisperer.
posted by radioamy (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think this relational stuff is where Startup is best. I mean, really, that's what made the first season so compelling. When they turn too much to the business side it invites a sort of ... black and white analysis that I can't pass on the emotional mine field of close relationships.

Startup is, I think, better when it's about how entrepreneurs RELATE to their business rather than how entrepreneurs DO their business.
posted by Tevin at 12:29 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Startup is, I think, better when it's about how entrepreneurs RELATE to their business rather than how entrepreneurs DO their business.

Agreed. This episode had me thinking a lot about my friend who is a first grade teacher. She co-teaches a double-sized class with one of her good friends. When they first started three years ago, they were the first team to try this experiment at their school, and they had to build their whole system from scratch in terms of how the classroom would work, how they'd divide work, etc. She always talks about how it's like a marriage.

And the "CEO Whisperer" guy really sounded like a therapist!

Also the line "Stress is caused by giving a fuck" is really great.
posted by radioamy at 2:05 PM on June 19, 2015

For me, this was the best episode of the season so far.
posted by primethyme at 7:51 PM on June 19, 2015

I enjoyed this episode, and it's quite extraordinary to hear such candid and emotional discussions between two startup founders.

I can't help but think, however, that their YC advisor in the previous ep was 100% correct in saying that they shouldn't have gone on the show. If I was an investor thinking about chipping in some cash, the troubles between the founders would give me serious pause. Yes, all startups have their problems, many of which are kept hidden, but in my experience, it's usually not this bad. Maybe I'm wrong and they got a tremendous uplift in consumer and investor interest. I guess we'll see.
posted by adrianhon at 2:57 PM on June 21, 2015

I'm interested to know if they've had an uptick in subscribers after starting the podcast. I know that's come up before but now that I know this was essentially their last-ditch effort and seeing the strain of Lauren/Emma's relationship, it would be pretty sad if being on the podcast only sped up Dating Ring's demise.
posted by Tevin at 5:15 PM on June 21, 2015

Tevin - didn't they hint at that in the last episode? It wasn't fully fleshed out, but I'm pretty sure they said that being on the show helped their company.
posted by radioamy at 5:26 PM on June 21, 2015

This episode was good, but focusing less on the business side as they've done this year and more on the relationships made me wonder how long until this podcast is just a podcast-reality show. By the time they're on their 4th or 5th season, they'll have pretty much mined all the interesting things about following a nascent business, and they'll either have to start repeating themselves or focusing just on human drama.
posted by skewed at 9:17 PM on June 23, 2015

As someone who works in the collaborative arts (+ business), this episode was fascinating. And almost a little too real.

I absolutely agree that StartUp is best when it can explore these sort of feelings, and even better when it's able to capture feelings while they are happening. (As opposed to "Tell us how you felt when you got in that huge fight." we heard a few weeks ago.)
posted by Zephyrial at 8:26 PM on June 24, 2015

As an aside to the actual comment: I don't think the co-host thing is working particularly well here. The handoffs feel arbitrary and a little intrusive; I keep wondering to myself "why exactly are two disconnected people narrating this?"

It works better on Reply All because PJ and Alex have a great rapport and because it feels like they really are together as they record.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:21 AM on June 25, 2015


OK, I had my caps lock on accidentally, but I'm just going to leave it that way. I think she's GREAT.

Also I felt this episode was pretty good - lacked the unevenness of the past couple of episodes where they were dribbling out or cobbling together information.
posted by bq at 1:10 PM on June 25, 2015

I do too -- if anything, I think the show should have been handed over to her entirely for S2, bringing Alex back only for the occasional "update on what's happening at Gimlet" segments.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:44 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

We had a deal, Kyle - I agree, the cohosts don't work. Maybe it's because they don't have the rapport? I dunno, even on Planet Money the cohosts work well...but maybe they only do that when there aren't too many other voices in the episode. I know that some shows actually add a cohost to add some depth, maybe that's why PM does it with some episodes and not others. It's definitely detracting here.
posted by radioamy at 8:20 PM on June 25, 2015

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