the three most common mistakes in choosing a co-founder

Posted by punzalan at 2020-02-27

Editor's note: Jessica alter is the co-founder and CEO of founderdating, a company that makes "appointments" between founders. Before that, Jessica was the general manager of the platform Department of the British social networking site Bebo (now acquired by AOL). Of course, Jessica is also the entrepreneurial mentor of two incubators, 500 startups and extreme startups.

In the past few years, I have known countless founders and co founders through being founder dating. In the process of helping them "date", I realized that it was not easy to find a co-founder, but also found that many founders would make some common mistakes. Here I summarize three.

1, demand

In view of my contacts with founders in recent years, I found that most founders are aware of the importance and necessity of finding co founders. But for a small group of founders who still want to fight alone, I'd like to talk about why we need to find a co-founder.

You don't know what you don't know

Everyone has their own strengths, but surely they have their own weaknesses. These short boards can't be made up by ourselves, so we need co founders. In fact, according to the statistics of the startup genome project, a team with both technology and business can invest an average of 30% more than some technology or business oriented teams. The user growth will be 2.9 times higher and the difficulty of scale expansion will be 19% less.

Your emotional partner

In addition to complementary advantages, a greater benefit of CO founders is that they can be your emotional partners. Do you have a single parent family in your circle of friends? For a single parent, the pressure to raise a child is not simply doubled, the difficulty is increasing exponentially. If you feel or worry about the difficulty of starting a business, having a partner can not only help you solve many practical difficulties, but also make you feel emotionally dependent. Of course, friends and investors may give you a lot of support, but it's not the same as the support from the co founders. After all, you are on the same boat.

2, method

How do you persuade others to become your co founders? Many people present their ideas to others. "I have a great business idea. How great it is..." The success rate of a passionate presentation is often very low. Founder dating co-founder and CTO summed up the feedback from listeners as follows:

When I hear someone selling me his business idea there, I always think he's saying to me, "I have a great idea that needs to be done. But I have no cash to pay you, so I can only give you shares. " It doesn't appeal to me at all. My LinkedIn receives many such "spam invitations" every day. In fact, what really attracts me is people, excellent people. It's great to be able to work with great people. "

Indeed, selling people is more important than selling ideas. The idea of starting a business may become "totally different" because of the twists and turns in the way of starting a business, but people will not change. And the most critical factor to determine whether a business can succeed is also people. So when it comes to persuading someone to be your co-founder, it's great to tell them how good you are and to work with you.

3, timing

In the end, entrepreneurs will surely have a question: when is the best time to find a co-founder? The answer is simple: look from the beginning, and always, and even when you don't have a specific idea for starting a business, you have to start.

Often entrepreneurs start their own business in this way. I have done a project that I am interested in after my work. It took a lot of time to slowly shape the project, then officially quit and start a business, and then started looking for a co-founder. Of course, there are also many entrepreneurs who start looking for CO founders after more than half of the projects are completed before resigning. But it's still a little late. In fact, finding a co-founder doesn't have to start even after you have an idea. Because as we have just said, it's not a specific idea that you "sell" to a co-founder. On the other hand, putting the search for a co-founder on the agenda as early as possible will give you a better chance to meet the "right people.".

In addition to the above three points of view, the reader's comments below may also give you some inspiration.

Reader Jules asks, "when your co-founder feels" tired, "he wants to turn into a silent partner. What should I do then? " Reader social network software simply replied, "look for the next one."

Reader Michael Hughes commented: "for a potential co-founder, no matter how grand your idea is, if there is no substantial progress, everything is empty talk. At this time, the idea of "selling" is not as good as "selling" you. In addition, it's better to use a co-founder as a real partner rather than just a tool to realize your vision, because that's not real cooperation. "

What other thoughts or feelings do you want to share? Welcome to write comments.