Hi all, this may seem like a silly question to you, but nevertheless: I am considering having my father write me a recommendation for applying to graduate level programs in ocean engineering. The reason for this is that although I have two professors who can attest to my merit in terms of academic potential, character, and work ethic, I have not conducted any research at my University or taken part in any internships. Instead I founded a start-up with my father and have been full-handed in running it since sophomore year. I am currently the chief scientific officer amongst other things at our firm, and we have had success insofar as we have patented multiple inventions and brought one of them to full scale verification -- we are now courting paying clients for our technology. In this role my father and I are full partners with equal shares, and we are both named on every patent since I joined him. In fact, this experience is my primary motivation for pursuing ocean engineering at the graduate level. The reality of the situation is that my father is the only person capable of evaluating my research potential in writing. Do you think I should submit his letter when I apply? If not, I have other professors who will write me a recommendation, although I am not as close with them as to the other two I mentioned. I can also simply order one of our associates to write me a brilliant recommendation, but that seems dishonest. What do you guys think? Am I naive in thinking I can simply back up his review in an interview -- or will any admissions committee simply trash my application when they spot the matching surnames? Thanks for the advice!