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How To Pick The Right Co-founder For Your Start-up?

Finding the right co-founder at an early stage can help you tremendously.

All startups are an amalgamation of different business processes and choosing the proper co-founder is without a doubt the most important part of the process. Doing everything alone is both scary (to most founders) as well as mentally straining.

Finding the right co-founder is like finding the right spouse and so, in this article, we’ll discuss why having a co-founder is vital, and how to pick the right co-founder for your start-up.

Why Having A Co-founder Is Necessary?

It is good to have someone by your side who knows you and shares your vision and energy in business. While doing it alone may give you a bigger interest in your company, having a co-founder provides its own set of benefits. Here is a list of things that will help you understand why having a co-founder is necessary:

Why Having A Co-founder Is Necessary? - How To Pick The Right Co-founder For Your Start-up?

1. Productivity

When you have a co-founder, you can divide the work with them and you can get a better job done in a short period of time. Your co-founder can have some complementary skills that you do not, and this can improve your quality of work as well.

You can also brainstorm ideas with your co-founder and when it comes to decisions making, they can always provide you proper guidance, most importantly talk you out of making bad decisions for the company. 

2. Support System

Having someone as a co-founder by your side will always make you determined and enthusiastic. Start-ups can be very intense, and in the initial phase, it requires an immense level of effort and dedication. 

It is completely normal to be nervous and feel a little down sometimes, having a co-founder will balance things out. You’ll have someone you can lean on to and whenever anyone is having a bad day, there’s the other to lift them up. 

3. Successful Pattern

Popular companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc had a co-founder in the beginning phase of their businesses. Most of the time when these companies are mentioned, people associate their success with a single person. For instance, when there’s a conversation about Facebook, you immediately think of Mark Zuckerburg. 

Similarly, in the context of Apple, the first name that pops up in your head is Steve Jobs. These start-ups have been in the game for over a decade and it is common for one person to drive it, but we’re talking about the first stage. 

All of these companies had someone they could trust and who supported their passion throughout that made it possible for the start-up to turn into a successful company. 

What To Look For While Choosing A Co-founder?

What To Look For While Choosing A Co-founder? - How To Pick The Right Co-founder For Your Start-up?

Finding the right co-founder for your start-up can be quite challenging. Having a co-founder significantly increases your odds of success, but what traits do you have to look for while selecting them? Stress Management is one of the most important traits you have to look for since start-ups bring a lot of pressure in the team. Here is a list of things that will help you choose the right co-founder including stress management:

1. Stress Management

Start-ups can be very pressuring and stressful. It is crucial to look for someone who you have already met and know very well. You cannot trust someone under pressure when you’ve met them only at events and gatherings. It is important to make sure that they can stick around when things are difficult.

It is beneficial to start a company with someone you know personally well; their characters and how they respond to tough circumstances. 

2. Vision and Values

You and your co-founder must have the same ultimate goals in mind. As the components of your business come together, a common vision and enthusiasm for your project will lead your way to success. 

Your goals and values should be aligned with your cofounder’s goals and values. Having a conversation over this will give you a clearer picture of their vision and that way both of you can successfully run your startup.

3. Complementary Skills

You must choose a co-founder who is a good match for you. If you want to gather as much information and research as possible before making a decision, a partner with active decision-making abilities may be beneficial. 

It’s healthier to be challenged by your partner’s good advice than to be surrounded by “yes” men or women, who may leave you weak in your vulnerabilities. This form of balanced relationship promotes improved decision-making by combining the strengths of both partners.

4. Work Ethic

You should try to make sure that your co-founder shares your desire to see your company succeed. Your co-founder should be equally as enthusiastic as you are to put in the time and effort required to build and launch a successful business. 

You don’t want to feel like you’re doing all the work or that you have to continuously check in with your co-founder to make sure he or she is staying on track. 

5. Trust

While some may believe that the importance of honesty and trust should be personality, it is important to remember these qualities. There are aspects of confidentiality and trust that must be safeguarded.  

Keep an eye out for those who are more concerned with titles, ownership, and money than with their purpose. If your startup fails, titles and compensation are irrelevant. You must ensure that your co-founders are dedicated to the company’s long-term success. 

Consider whether your co-founder will have your back or whether they are capable of sticking a knife in your back.

Where To Look For A Co-founder For Your Startup?

Where To Look For A Co-founder For Your Startup? - How To Pick The Right Co-founder For Your Start-up?

The best time and place to look for a co-worker is while doing projects, it can be in school, university, or even in a company. If you’re in university then trying out different projects can give you a general idea of what kind of people you enjoy working with. The same goes for companies. You can keep a list of people and figure out what personalities you want in your co-worker. 

If you do not have any one particular in mind, you can always go and explore possibilities on online sites. Here are some places online that can make it easier for you to connect with people.

Conclusion: How to know if they are the right co-founder?

Even if someone is a diligent worker with all of the attributes you seek, it doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you and your start-up. Fitting the “business culture” is just as crucial as doing a good job, especially in today’s startup industry, and this is something you should understand when looking for a cofounder.

Do you believe this person will put up the same amount of effort in the business? Would you be able to meet up for drinks after work? Are you able to be completely open and be honest with each other regarding job issues?

You don’t have to be best friends with your cofounder, but there should be enough understanding and openness that you’re not scared to talk about even the toughest issues. If you don’t, your business will die before it even gets off the ground.


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