Doing business with friends

Entrepreneurs talk about the perks and perils of mixing small business and friendship.

'Paper up' and talk fast

small business working with friends ridescout
Craig Cummings and Joseph Kopser
  • Name: Joseph Kopser, 42
  • Business: RideScout, Austin

Craig Cummings and I were undergrads at West Point Military Academy, served together in the military, and worked together on Army projects throughout the last 25 years. In 2011, we began working on the idea Ridescout, an app that puts all of a city's ground transportation options right at your fingertips.

Early on, we decided to 'paper up,' as our lawyer friends told us, with a formal legal partnership.

Still, decades of trust gives us complete confidence in each other, which is especially important in tough times and tense meetings. For instance, in the early days of investor meetings, I'd dive into the technical details, throwing around numbers, facts, and formulas. Craig would say, 'What Joseph means to say is...' and summarize, getting people to understand.

So after every meeting, we'd do a quick review and ask, 'OK, what did we do right?' I've realized I've got to be more concise, and we've learned to communicate quickly. Neither is offended when one of us answers the phone and says, 'You have 30 seconds -- go!'

  @CNNMoney - Last updated April 24 2013 09:25 AM ET