SXSW Interactive 2013

Three’s Not a Crowd for Startup Founding Teams

There’s many great things that come in threes. The Three Musketeers. Manny, Mo & Jack. Three Little Pigs. The Bee Gees.

But according to the Startup Genome Report, solo founders take 3.6 times longer to reach scale than founding teams of two. But what about teams of three? Can they take a company to new heights never imagined?

In fact, three is the magic number for entrepreneurs Scott Lahman, Austin Murray and Zach Norman. They have conquered the mobile world twice: First, JAMDAT Mobile, which sold to Electronic Arts for $680 million in 2006; and now textPlus, a leading worldwide provider of free mobile communications.

Scott, Austin and Zack will share their advice and experiences on how they’ve founded two companies and worked together for over 14 years -- and still spend the weekend together at family barbecues.
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  1. It’s a known fact you shouldn’t work with your friends in business, but when is there an exception to this rule? And how do you pick the right co-founder(s), especially if they are your friends?
  2. What unique attributes does each one of you bring to the table? Is it OK to overlap in responsibilities? And does the person who is going to be the CEO affect the other co-founders negatively?
  3. How do you come up with and agree about a (multi) million dollar idea and identify what product, goal or idea would be popular or profitable?
  4. How do you collaborate effectively with your co-founders as opposed to wanting to strangle each other? What have you learned about each other by working together for so long -- good and bad?
  5. Who brings the beer to the BBQs?


  • Scott Lahman, CEO, textPlus
  • Austin Murry, Co-Founder and President , textPlus
  • Zack Norman, CCO/President/Founder, textPlus


Heather Meeker, VP of Communication, textPlus

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism and Business
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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