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Business development / Workplace culture

Genius founders’ couples therapy story

A story in the Times shows how the company's culture is changing.

Tom Lehman, Genius.com cofounder and CEO, at Code Genius in February. (Photo by Ethan Young for Genius)

In a big story about Genius founders Ilan Zechory and Tom Lehmanthe New York Times goes into great detail about how the inseparable founders fight often but are using couples therapy in order to keep their partnership together.
It goes into a larger theme about how, in many ways, founders are as interconnected as married couples and how couples’ therapy is becoming more and more popular among founders.
There are two interesting points about this story, for people who watch Genius closely (as we do):

  1. It fits their ongoing PR tactic of getting a lot of attention by being different and quirky, but this time the company is doing it with a story about how they are trying hard to be grown up and do their best work, rather than being combative, as they once did. A previous extensive story on the two in Business Insider marked this transition.
  2. The third cofounder, Mahbod Moghadam, admits that he hasn’t spoken to the cofounders since he split ways with the company last year. This runs counter to what he told The New York Observer last July, when he said he talked to them every day.

From the New York Times story:

Mr. Lehman and Mr. Zechory seem bound together because each has traits the other one needs to succeed. Their differences explain why they complement each other but may also figure in why they sometimes drive each other crazy.
“Tom has this manic energy that will drive us forward but will also create wreckage,” Mr. Zechory said. “I will come in and say, with my broom, ‘I want you to know I have the broom and I am going to go clean up the wreckage.’ ”

Read the full story
Companies: Genius
Series: Brooklyn

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