Hi everybody, I`m new here and I`m in need of some guidance. It`s a long story so make yourself a sandwich or get some popcorn or something.
I should start off by saying that I`m a student, and the business this is about is pretty tiny, though very dear to me.
A few years back a friend told me about an idea for a website he had. He said he thought he could make some money from it, but he needed someone to help him and he asked me if I knew anyone who would be interested. I suggested myself, he agreed, and things got started.
The premise was to start an online forum for the discussion of an upcoming un-announced product that both of us knew would create a lot of buzz and that we knew we could tap into. He was going to try to be the first to modify it in a specific way and post instructions on the forums to get everybody to go there, but we needed something to start bringing people in until then, so I was to start blogging regularly to build traffic.
His plan never worked out, but I continued to blog, at one point so much that I was rarely leaving my house.
At one point, he became so disheartened with how things were going that he told me he was considering selling the website. He told me that for my work he`d give me half of what he could sell it for, which he figured would be a pretty large sum (I won`t disclose that). I told him not to, because if we could make it work then it would really be profitable. I was right, too, in a way.
(Keep in mind that I didn`t know how, so I had to teach myself good blogging skills.) At one point he insisted that he pay me for my writing since I was doing so much, and he wouldn`t take no for an answer. It certainly didn`t amount to anything; I could`ve made more working at WalMart. Meanwhile, he spent his time doing things that didn`t bring much traffic in at all. Occasionally he`d have an event that would bring in massive amounts of traffic, but they wouldn`t stick around long and it would fall on my shoulders to continue "holding up the truck" while he did the background tinkering with the website and trying to think up other events.
The site has slowly grown into a small but fairly successful website. I`m still "holding up that truck", but I`m arguably a little less important now, and school makes blogging regularly even more difficult.
My problem is this:
Since then he`s been getting a lot of media attention and meeting a lot of people who have been very successful at doing the same thing. But now he`s calling himself the founder of the website. He refuses to acknowledge that I did anything more than help him as a friend, and that now I`m nothing more than his employee.
I`m feeling pretty lost. I spent most of the last year and a half or so doing nothing but try to grow something I thought I helped create, and now I have nothing to show for it.
I hate to quit. I`ve spent so long on this, and now I`m un-enthused with college and I don`t know what else to do with my life. I was hoping that this would be my career, but I don`t want to keep slaving away for nothing, and I feel like I can`t work for him after he snatched this away from me. I`ve tried talking to him, and he won`t have it. All of my friends agree that I`ve been around since the beginning, but he insists that he asked me to join a week after he had been working on it and had set everything up.
I know I`m a co-founder, but he holds all the paperwork.
Is there anything I can do? What can I say to make him change his mind?