Newsletter July

TaskUs Goes On Air

Bryce and Jaspar Featured on Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski (Posted Friday, July 27th 2012)
This Friday, Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir were featured guests on Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski. The show aired live on KFWB News-Talk 980 at 3pm PST, but the recorded episode can be listened to here. Bryce and Jaspar covered a wide array of topics provided by Ken: securing the right web domain, bootstrapping your startup, overcoming challenges as young entrepreneurs and pitching your business. The last segment included prospective entrepreneurs calling the station to pitch their businesses ideas on the air for Bryce and Jaspar to provide feedback. It was another great opportunity for TaskUs to provide inspiration and insight to their fellow entrepreneurs.

It was another great opportunity for TaskUs to provide inspiration and insight to their fellow entrepreneurs.

Founder Speed Dating Event

Bryce and Jaspar Share Tips for Healthy Business Partnerships (Posted Wednesday, July 11th 2012)
Let's be honest. Some of us in the internet tech industry have a tough time getting a date, period. However, finding the right business partner can be a much greater challenge. Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir are fortunate to say they have a great business partnership. Don't be fooled. Like any other good relationship, it takes work! Jaspar and Bryce shared insights as featured panelists at a sold out founder dating event.

Choosing The Right Partner

7 Tips For A Successful Business Partnership by Jaspar Weir (Posted Thursday, July 12th 2012)
As they say, there are a lot of fish in the sea. Finding the right fish or partner can appear to be simple. Two best friends get an idea, decide to create a business and grow their company till they are both wealthy beyond imagination. That's how the story goes, right? Sometimes. Truthfully, picking the right co-founder is a complicated decision that could determine the overall fate of your business idea. To help simplify your decision process, here are seven tips for choosing the right partner in business and subsequently life.

1) Yin & Yang. Don't pick someone just like you.

The ideal business partner shares some similarities with you, but has a completely different set of strengths, opinions and habits. Too much of something can be negative. You are going to spend a lot of time together, so balance becomes incredibly important to your productivity and sanity. For example, a strong detail-oriented product designer would complement a creative marketer with a strong overall vision for the future of the company. It can be complementary personality characteristics as well as business strengths. Quick personality tests like Meyers Brigg or DISC profile are simple ways to compare characteristics and understand differences. There is no "perfect” combination revealed from these tests, but awareness of each other's tendencies and personalities can be invaluable in fostering a successful working relationship.

2) Travel. Trial run your compatibility on the open road.

So, you think you have chosen the right partner. Great! Now, put the new relationship to a quick test before you commit. Travel together! The longer the trip, the more you will learn about your true compatibility, but even a weekend camping trip will work. Going on the road will unearth real characteristics and effectively test your ability to coexist, work together, compromise and have fun with each other. If you are actually committed to growing your startup, enjoy this vacation because it's probably your last for a while. If traveling reveals potential issues or signs of incompatibility, you may want to reconsider before continuing forward.

I was lucky enough to have gone to high school with Bryce, but we were never actually close. It took a six-week backpacking trip throughout Europe that made us realize we could be great business partners.

3) Have a plan. Write it down.

Now you think you have the right partner and you are ready to become the next big startup. Wait! Take a moment to make a plan, both personally and professionally. Consider some important dreams, wants and goals to share that date out one, five and ten years from now. Both you and your partner should complete these separately and share results.

Bryce and I did this before starting TaskUs and our visions were quite different. We acknowledged the differences in vision and collaborated on a compromise, creating a shared vision from which we could create an actionable plan.

4) Have a partnership agreement.

No one likes legal documents. Creating an operating or partnership agreement is an expensive and arduous process, but it's necessary. Partnerships, just like new businesses, have a diminished success rate. As strong as your relationship is now, outside circumstances can threaten and ultimately end partnerships. Avoid feelings of regret and stupidity in the future by proactively structuring an agreement that is fair and protects both parties. This process may also bring some important issues to surface, and dealing with those in the beginning will pay dividends in tougher times.

5) Divide and conquer!

Remember, having a partner dilutes your equity, so make sure you increase your output! While many things in the business still require collaboration, make sure to own different domains in the business. Hold each other accountable for your work in these respective areas, but don't get in the way. Two people equals double the output. Anything less is wasteful.

6) Communication is the key!

Communicate, communicate and communicate. Communication is the key to any healthy relationship, business or otherwise. Partners should be able to speak honestly and openly about everything in the relationship, from a professional and personal perspective. When schedules become hectic, communication is the first casualty. Just like a marriage, a partnership needs to be worked on everyday. Schedule a daily walk for 5 minutes outside of the office, a weekly breakfast or monthly hike. Consistency is key, and the result is singular vision and complete trust. Having a routine will allow both of you to express concerns and address differences before they become an issue.

7) Have fun!

Starting a company isn't necessarily about the big exit and fame. Rather, founding a business is about the entrepreneurial journey. Having a co-pilot along for the ride can be rewarding and keep you sane. Make sure that even difficult times are utilized as learning experiences. Celebrate your failures and enjoy every moment of the ride.

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TaskUs 4th of July Party

Celebrating Independence with 350 of our Closest Friends (Posted Thursday, July 5th 2012)
We are incredibly fortunate and thrilled to announce TaskUs has locked down a summer beach house. It wasn't enough to merely be a part of the Silicon Beach Community. Nope, we decided to move within a few feet of the sand itself. Nestled right by the Santa Monica Pier, you can find our home away from home (literally) right here...

How would we mark this momentous occassion? A few ideas were considered. Host a hackathon? Most developers haven't seen the sun in awhile, bad idea. Meditate and start a drum circle? Interesting idea, but the beach house is in Santa Monica (not Venice). Throw a huge 4th of July Party? Absolutely! U-S-A! U-S-A! In true American fashion, we hosted a TaskUs size gathering of about three hundred and fifty of our closest friends, family and colleagues. Burgers, Beers, Brats, Budweisers and more fireworks than you could ever ask for.

Here's the amazing news, we are going to be hosting gatherings at the TaskUs Beach Club all summer. Truly looking forward to hosting dinners, parties, yoga, movie nights and just about any other quintessential summertime activity at our pad. Check out the pictures from the 4th of July party below and get ready for some more summer fun with TaskUs!

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Michael Buenaventura

August 01, 2012