How to choose a co-founder

Original author: Tom Preston-Werner
  • Transfer
Over the past months, I noticed that many startups are looking for partners on Hacker News , or through personal blogs. In my opinion, this is, at best, not the most effective way to search, but at worst, a way to find the wrong person. In any case, this is a very naive way of finding the person with whom you may have to work for several years.

Do not get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with looking for partners on the Internet. The wider the network, the better. But the Internet also has limitations. With some people, for example, it is very interesting to chat online, but in real life they can be shy and boring people. Also, there are people who express themselves sharply and harshly on the Internet, but are friendly and attentive in personal communication. Therefore, it is impossible to understand what kind of person this is, communicating only on the Internet.

It is much easier to search for people interested on the Internet. Take a look at the user groups of your favorite programming language or technology. The mere fact that people take the time to personally discuss things interesting to them means that their motivation is higher than the rest. Even if trips to such user groups take time, try to participate in them. Prepare presentations on topics of interest to you. It is especially good if they will overlap with the direction of development of your startup. Do not worry about someone finding out your “secret” secrets; openness in such cases almost does no harm to anyone. Chat. Choose the topic of conversation that interests you, pay attention to the people who are most interested.

It may take weeks and months, but in a good group there are a few people who will be really comfortable working with you. If possible, offer them an informal meeting for a glass of beer. This is the easiest way to move from a "cap" acquaintance to a more direct, allowing you to share the craziest ideas.

Among the people found, some seem to be excellent candidates. Learn more about them. What does their code look like? Are they involved in open source development? Do they have an entrepreneurial spirit? Can they work on the same project for a long time? How loyal are they to colleagues and employers? A good co-founder is one whose collaboration is valuable to you in itself. Accordingly, he (or she) should feel the same way. You both should feel confident enough in life before starting your startup adventures, since as soon as you get to work, the influence of each decision increases by orders of magnitude.

All this seems to require a lot of work. This may suggest that you can do everything yourself. I did with the Gravatar projectand now, looking back, I understand how many stupid mistakes I made. When you do something on your own, as a rule, what comes to mind first comes to the implementation. We are programmed to think that our thoughts and decisions are the most correct, but in reality this is not entirely true. Truly good decisions are born in a dispute, not cherished and cherished in someone's head. A good co-founder will note the inconsistency and incompleteness of ideas and follow up on the implementation if the ideas are good.

Another problem in solo development is lack of motivation. Solipsist sentiments may help to feel the importance of the case at the initial stage, but the lack of commentary and support in a tense period can lead to the situation suddenly stopping. Co-founders are somewhat similar to colleagues in the gym. When you feel that this approach was the last, they find themselves right there and lead you to a new record.

The choice of a co-founder determines almost everything in a startup. Any victory, any defeat is now common. It will help rethink your ideas. This will be your first and most important decision, so take this as seriously as possible.

Also popular now: