Thursday, April 21, 2011

Need a co-founder?

I've been getting a lot of questions and gripes out in the field about looking for a co-founder. Unfortunately we can't do much to accommodate that problem, and it's probably best that you go out and look for your soul mate. At the end of the day, you need somebody to bounce ideas off of and somebody to lean on - it could be a lonely place being a single founder.

It makes sense to get a co-founder since you need somebody to compliment your skills. One of the core qualities in YCR's value statement is "What we do, we do well". A person may be a rock star coder, but they may not have a clue about negotiating a deal with the customer. Whereas, somebody that may understand the market top-to-bottom may not know how to send a Tweet.

Keep in mind that I do not want to discourage single co-founders. I'm not opposed to single co-founders. There are people out there that can get things done whether it's technical or business-related. They have the passion to make it happen. Some examples of successful companies built on the dream and execution of a single person include Mint.com and AdMobs. If you know how to hustle, then you can make anything happen.

I've been looking at a few resources that could help you while you are on your quest for world domination. While I haven't used them personally, you may want to take some time and play around with their tools:
http://cofoundr.com/
http://www.findahacker.com/
http://www.foundersnetwork.com/
http://techcofounder.com/

Good luck on your search!

3 comments:

  1. Great point, Allan. I always hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as a lawyer for early stage startups, I often end up gently reminding founders that in addition to the tall stack of daunting challenges facing entrepreneurs, many investors and others (rightly or wrongly) are prejudiced or skeptical about solo founders, instead favoring teams of two or more co-founders with complementary backgrounds and skill sets. It's just another hurdle to overcome.

    I urge founders to get out there and make it to as many events as possible of the startup mixer variety (e.g., Startup Weekend, pariSoma's startup mixers in SF, hackathons, barcamps, SFNewTech, SF Beta, ideakick, Tech Coast Angels events and Twiistup in LA, etc.), and to find reasons to visit tech-focused coworking spaces like the Hacker Dojo, incubators, and so forth. Hone your elevator pitch, get the word out there, and potential co-founders with whom your startup idea strongly resonates will approach YOU, eager to get involved in one way or another. Just my two cents.

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  2. Hey Allan, thanks for the mention! Great post. :)

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  3. would be awesome to cover also the new online co-founder platform http://we.makeastartup.com - it's free. contact me for more insights & informations

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