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Brian’s love of data and technology was evident from the start. A self-described “child hacker,” Brian built his first computer at eight and had a job by 13. After studying engineering physics at Berkeley, he went on to work for major companies like the Lawrence Hall of Sciences, Honda, and HP before going into business for himself.

His first venture was called Syn, a product that turned music into visual art that could be streamed on any device with a screen. “It was exciting working with artists and visual artists, and it was a truly revolutionary product,” Brian said.

As it turned out, Syn was a labor of love in more ways than one—after spending so much time together, Brian and his co-founder fell in love and eventually married. But the pressure of living and working together was too much for the couple, and once the product launched, Brian and his wife filed for divorce. “The breakup was devastating professionally and personally”, Brian said.

After filing for divorce, “all the motivation on her side ended. I tried to keep it going forward, and we still have a fully functional product, but there has to be more than one person working on it.”

While Brian doesn’t regret the marriage, he does wish he had pushed for a prenup.

“I considered getting a prenup, but my fiancée impressed upon me that that wasn’t possible,” he said. “There are real consequences to not getting a prenup and consequences to working with your spouse. Coming into a marriage with real assets means you have to think about the possibility of collapse and protect what you’ve built.”

Fortunately, Brian recovered quickly from his loss. Having joined Rocket Lawyer to create his divorce documents, he turned to us again to file incorporation papers for his new business: Crestline Technologies. His consulting company provides software development resources to startups that Brian believes in.

This time, Brian is determined to protect his investment in his new business.

“I don’t have a legal team, but as a small startup, you can get yourself into so much trouble. Rocket Lawyer is great at keeping things in front of you rather than getting into hot water with the IRS, SEC; the list goes on… It really does have a good service; I’m lucky to have found it.”

He’s happy in his new role as founder and CEO, and pragmatic about the choices that led him here. “I also think it’s almost impossible to start a business with someone you love because you have to talk with your partner differently than with your business partner. That’s something I’ll probably never do again.” But for now, he’s enjoying the success of his new venture and looking forward to what new opportunities the future may bring.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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