How to find the right co-founder for your startup : Entrepreneur


I see this question asked on a regular basis in subreddits and on Facebook, so I thought I would share my thoughts on this (I have been part of 5 different startups, saw 3 of them crash and burn, primarily due to having the wrong people onboard).Let’s dive in.Starting a business is not an easy task. You need to validate your idea, find first clients, invest time and money into it, stay motivated, and have someone you can bounce ideas off.Some of us like to fly solo, but finding a like-minded person is often key to getting a new company off the ground and running. But where do you find the right co-founder and how do you convince them to join you?Who do you need?First, you need to establish whether you even need a co-founder. All of the above are great reasons to have someone join you, but if you can afford to do everything yourself, why share equity and revenue with someone else? Perhaps you could make it work solo and hire employees instead. Make sure that you identify which expertise or skills you are clearly lacking, before embarking on your search. This will help narrow down the type of co-founder that you need.Example: you may be great at coding, but with zero marketing skills. Kind of like Steve Wozniak.A brilliant engineer, a true Mozart who made the revolution in personal computing possible. Would we hear about him, if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs? Probably, but nowhere near the same scale as post-Apple launch. Would Steve Jobs jump onto the world stage without Wozniak’s genius? Potentially, but, once again, their combination was deadly, because they were so good in their own fields.Every coder needs a marketer to promote their product, and every marketer needs someone to give them a product to promote. Every copywriter needs someone to get them their customers, and every accountant needs a company to audit.Also, consider the financial standpoint. If you were to give away equity to another person, how much business could they bring in, thanks to their speciality/expertise/connections? If it makes sense to give a way a “slice of your baby” from this standpoint, then go for it!Where to find them?Finding a co-founder is never easy. You need to know where to look for them. Some of the most common methods – leveraging your existing networks: perhaps one of your friends would be a perfect fit for this? Are you active on Facebook or LinkedIn? Then publish a post describing the position and seeing if you manage to reach the right people that way (it could be a direct connection, or a connection of that person – social media can work in mysterious ways).What’s even better is if you are still at college/university. It is no coincidence that we often hear about great co-founders finding each other in a common place of study. There has been a lot of criticism of the education systems in Western Europe and the U.S., however one thing you can’t deny it’s a great place to meet friends…and like-minded people.Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin are a great example of co-founders finding each other during the sophomore year in college. While at the end they had to go through a very costly “divorce”, initially it was a great symbiotic relationship.Zuckerberg was a fantastic programmer who new how to make a new online social network work, and Saverin had the funds and business sense to support Facebook during its rise. (Coincidentally, Wozniak and Jobs also met at college).Apart from educational establishments, there are also ways to look for co-founders on more dedicated platforms that help with the search: is one such example. Bumble Biz for networking is also great to find fellow professionals in your area, and lastly, you can always try a co-founder subreddit.Don’t be afraid to use every source at your disposal and spread the word that you are looking for someone as much as possible.What is their experience?The next step is filtering through “applicants”. This doesn’t necessarily mean literally going through piles of CVs – you are looking for a partner, not an employee. However, you need to make sure that your future partner has all the “substance” that you need. Just like with any recruitment process, ask them what projects they have worked on previously, or anything that they are working on now, that could be a testament to their skill. If they have worked with other teams – speak to those teams, see if (according to them) personality and skill level matches your expectations.Hope you guys enjoyed the read! I thought the post was long enough as it is, so feel free to read the rest here.


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