You have just started on your entrepreneurial journey to build your software company. You have come up with the idea of a software product you want to work on, thought about the business plan, planned your next five years to develop an MVP, get investment, grow the company by 10x, make the IPO, and finally achieve the unicorn status. It is the perfect dream for any startup owner.
However, one of the most significant pit stops in that plan is your team. What many people fail to overlook is the fact that any business needs a winning team. These are people who share your enthusiasm for the company and the product just as you do. And who is the first person you need to get on board as the founder? Yep, you guessed it- the Co-Founder.
Top Ways to Find the Perfect Co-Founder
According to a report, around 40% of successful startups have two founders, while 39% have one. So, how do you go about choosing a perfect co-founder for a successful startup? Here are the six ways to choose from:
1. Prepare a list of attributes
The first thing you need is to list the characteristics, qualifications, and experience that your perfect co-founder should have. Be realistic about the goals, as some of the traits can develop over time. The most significant attribute should be that the co-founder should be able to complement your weaknesses.
If you are strong from the product or technical side of things, you need an excellent co-founder with business management and sales or vice versa.
2. Network Heavily
Tim Sanders said,” Your Network is your Net Worth.”
This becomes particularly true when choosing the perfect co-founder. You need to go all out in networking. Go to job boards, social media, professional platforms, startup platforms, video calls, and any other way to get in touch with people. Before you find a co-founder, you need to thin the herd to shortlist candidates.
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3. Attend Entrepreneurial and Startup Events
Entrepreneurial and startup events are some of the best places to find a probable partner. All of the people there are probably in the same phase as you are, and the chances are that you might find many worthy candidates there.
Additionally, it is a great place to get knowledge from established founders and market your own business. Lastly, you can get in touch with these people later when you expand your horizons or need some advice in the industry.
4. Go beyond borders
Choosing a co-founder is very much like choosing a bride. You never know that you might find your perfect guy on the other side of the globe. So, overlook the geography and try to get in touch with people who fall into your criteria of a co-founder.
Networking, interacting, and following up are critical factors in understanding if they are a perfect fit for your business.
5. Explore moral, ethical, and financial ground rules
Running a startup is like a marriage; you both need to establish a moral, ethical, and financial base before you can take things forward. A co-founder should know what is expected of him, their rights, and who gets what from the business.
If you can come to a common ground about all of those, the chances are that your partnership will work as smoothly as a hot knife through butter.
E.g., Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, William Proctor and James Gamble of P&G, Bill Hewlett and James Packard of HP, etc.
6. Scout people with different ideologies
It is often said opposites attract. So in choosing a co-founder, it is sometimes worth gambling with a person who has a different perspective on the same things. And that is particularly useful as it shows you the picture from another perspective.
However, word of caution- don’t get too carried away when you pick a partner who does not align with your long-term goals. Priorities can change. However, you should align the way of getting to that position to make it big.
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Conclusion: Is having a Co-Founder Important?
Depends on your perspective. While there are tons of examples like Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, or Amazon where single founders made it big. Having a co-founder could be a good decision, especially if you know where you need help running the startup.