What happens when a friend becomes a colleague too?

Heisenberg Media/Creative Commons

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The beauty of creating a startup is that you are surrounded by a group of supportive, like-minded individuals who are most likely your friends. These are the friends that you can grab a beer at Kip’s after work and complain about your overbearing, rude, bad-breathed monster of a boss after work. But you can’t really do that when your friend is your boss. Handling this delicate relationship can be troublesome, but freshman Kadhir Manickam is willing to make it work.

Manickam is currently in the process of developing a startup focused on making going green easier for society. He established the idea during his junior year of high school and decided to pursue it in college. Although he doesn’t envision a hierarchical system for the first few months, Manickam does realize the startup could take a toll on his friendships.

“I saw this interview with Penn and Teller once, where they were asked how they manage to remain good friends despite working together essentially all the time,” said Manickam. “They said they don’t interact much outside of work, giving each other room to breathe. That way they don’t grow sick of each other’s company. I think that kind of approach is fantastic, that way you both look forward to being with your friends at work and going home, away from their company.”

Although this will change the current dynamic of his friendships, he truly believes it will benefit everyone. Though they won’t interact outside of work, Manickam plans to minimize frequent outings and plan large scale ones instead — just under the idea of “company bonding.”

“On a day to day basis, we’d leave each other alone, but when I get this sense people are growing tired of working (which will eventually happen) we’d go on an adventure together to get everyone riled up again,” said Manickam.

While Manickam’s main concern isn’t the potential strain on friendships caused by the startup, he is concerned about the work environment the startup will promote. By focusing on individual’s strengths within the company, Manickam plans on maintaining an upbeat work environment where employees would rather be in the lab than at home. Manickam hopes to create an environment where the employees genuinely want to work which will ultimately lead to great ideas and a good balance for a fun, friendly environment.

Image Sources: Heisenberg Media under Creative Commons 

Contact Ilaf Esuf at [email protected].