Asymmetric cell divisions, which help to generate cell diversity during development, often involve eccentric positioning of the mitotic spindle. On p. 4449, Afshar and colleagues report that the Gα proteins GOA-1 and GPA-16 activate the same spindle positioning pathway in one-cell C. elegans embryos but are regulated differently. The researchers show, for example, that both proteins localize to the cortex of the one-cell embryo, and that both bind RIC-8 and GPR-1/2 – all four proteins help to generate the pulling force needed to position the mitotic spindle. However, whereas GPR-1/2 acts as a guanine nucleotide-dissociation inhibitor for both GPA-1 and GOA-1, RIC-8 is a guanine nucleotide-exchange factor for GOA-1 only. Conversely, RIC-8 is required for the cortical localization of GPA-16 but not GOA-1. These and other observations provide new insights into the mechanisms of asymmetric spindle positioning.