Posted by: Jenn Deering Davis | August 24, 2010

Married to my co-founder

My husband Hayes and I co-founded Appozite just over two years ago. Since then, and as you probably know, we’ve developed a handful of applications, two of which have been pretty successful. And in those two years, we’ve learned a lot about working together.

What you might now know is that this isn’t the first startup we’ve done together. In 2001, Hayes and some good friends from college started Liquid Communication Systems, a company that built a cool business IM tool called Effusia Business Messenger. Most of the investors in Liquid were family members and friends. Our experience with Liquid definitely shaped how we structured Appozite, just as our experience with Appozite will certainly shape our next venture, whatever that may be.

One of the first things people ask me about our business is what it’s like to work with my husband. Some people seem almost appalled by the idea, others just want the juicy gossip, but most people seem to be genuinely curious about how it works behind the scenes. In fact, lots of people tell me they wish they could work with their significant others.

Hayes and I certainly don’t do a perfect job – of course there are definitely heated conversations, disagreements, and occasional grumpiness – but we’ve spent two years working together to make this company successful. And we’ve spent twelve years working to make our relationship successful. I like to think we get a little better at both every day.

So, if you want to hear what we’ve learned from our experience starting this company together, then please vote for our SXSW panel, When the Family Business is a Startup. We’ll also have an investor on the panel to address questions about the fundability of family-run companies, at least one more entrepreneur with this kind of experience, and a relationship expert to help us with some practical advice.

Recently, there was an active and fascinating conversation on Hacker News about how marriage impacts startups. There are a thousand answer to this question, and we only have a few.  But we’d love to be able to bring this conversation to South by Southwest.



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