You may be tempted to build your company as a solo act, but remember that some of the most enduring companies were not built alone. Zuckerberg, Jobs, Page, each of these founders all had counterparts and co-founders that helped them get their companies to where they are today. Though a co-founder isn’t a must-have, there are plenty of advantages that come with having someone else help you push the business forward, be a sounding board, and provide an additional source of passion and innovation. The following three tips will help you find the right co-founder for your startup.
1.) Find Someone Who Complements Your Strengths
Entrepreneurs have to learn a variety of things that may extend beyond their expertise or comfort zone. Though as a founder you are capable and adaptive, you cannot be a master of all, given we only have twenty-four hours in a day. Instead, find someone whose specialties you can lean on and who possesses skills that can amplify or complement your own. For your product or service, there may be aspects of your solution you may not have considered that could benefit from a second opinion.
2.) Set Clear Expectations
Letting your potential business partner know what you want, don't want, and expect from the business and the working relationship can go a long way in preventing potential fallout. You may find someone who is brilliant and could add tremendous value to the company, however, if that person wants to do something radically different with the startup's technology and you want to scale it to an eventual IPO, this could be a serious point of contention in the future. Be honest with yourself and the person you are approaching to be a co-founder and communicate clearly your terms and the expectations.
3.) Be Able to Sell Your Vision
When you are in the early stage of your startup, and you have little to show other than your excitement, your experience, and a rough prototype, YOU are directly associated with the brand. The co-founder needs to believe in the cause of what you are saying and look to you as a reflection of the success of your company. If you can clearly communicate the problem you are solving, how you are solving it, and whom you are solving it for, this will give them confidence you know where you are going with the business. The worse thing you could do is find a perfect co-founder and lose them because your message was confusing and hard to understand.