Should a startup founder agree to a non-compete?

Jennifer Rohleder's review of Gust Series Seed Term Sheet

Hell no. Are you kidding me?

Non-competes can advance the interests of investors to the detriment of entrepreneurs. That is why Founder Friendly Standard section 2.5 limits non-competes to the period of a founder’s work for the company, making it possible for a founder to earn a living in his/her industry after he/she leaves.

In 2019, I led a study where attorneys compared popular term sheets to Founder Friendly Standard. The below videos were produced during the study and originally posted on Quora. Other noteworthy outputs from the study include this infographic comparison and this attorney roundtable discussion.

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I’ll be the Sean Parker to your Mark Zuckerberg

How the startup struggles of three entrepreneurs inspired Founder Friendly Standard

What follows is the story of the startup struggles that inspired Dan, Adam, and me to write Founder Friendly Standard in 2017 to help other entrepreneurs avoid our mistakes. The story is called, “I’ll be the Sean Parker to your Mark Zuckerberg.” It was originally written as a speech about entrepreneurship I delivered one time at Southern Methodist University (SMU) on March 2, 2018. 


When I was in my 20s, I met Gk Parish-Philp, a co-founder of DivX. I asked him how to get investors for my startup. He said, “You don’t want investors. They’ll take too much control.”

“That can’t happen to me,” I thought.

Years later, when I was getting forced out of a successful company that I started, I realized Gk was right.

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