You have a fantastic idea, and you can’t wait to start the new project? Although enthusiasm is a must-have when it comes to young, risky businesses, you shouldn’t let it carry you away. Execution of the idea can be even more important than the concept itself. Brilliant ideas have died due to lack of planning many times before, and it will happen again and again, unfortunately. But you don’t want your startup to be one of those sad stories, for sure. To succeed, we suggest you don’t raise your baby alone. Find yourself a co-parent; or, in this case, a technical co-founder.
What Is a Technical Co-Founder?
A technical co-founder is an experienced, excellent programmer with whom you team up to develop a startup. This person is not an employee, they are your partner, and you should find them in the early days of starting a business. The two of you share all the hard work, risks, and responsibility, but also the rewards, success, and profit. The technical co-founder you choose must be ready to give blood, sweat, and tears for the company. They are invested in the project as much as you are. They should be with you every step of the way. Yes, a technical co-founder is responsible for the tech part, but also is expected to help shape your vision into its best version.
Why Do You Need a Startup Cofounder?
First of all, you need to know this: investors are not keen on giving money to startups that don’t have a technical co-founder. You can indeed hire a team of programmers if you don’t have any or all the expertise required to achieve your goal, but that is not the same. Employees don’t have the same level of commitment as a founder. You can’t be sure they won’t leave you tomorrow, or the first time you hit a bump in the road. They won’t be ready to give all their energy and work night and day on the project. This is precisely the reason investors are going to be suspicious if you don’t have a co-founder. You have to be a team player, and have someone besides you on the founding level. If you don’t, it sends the wrong message. Maybe you can’t work well with others? Or you always need to be in control of everything? Are you merely greedy? Either way, the desire to do everything by yourself is never good in the business world, and investors know that. They’ll run away as fast as they can! But, they aren’t the only ones that need to be happy. It would be best if you took care of yourself too, or the startup will suffer.
Having a co-founder will help you keep your sanity. Rest assured, it will be put to the test, between the countless working hours and numerous problems you’ll face. An equal partner will share the burden, and you will have each other to lean on. That makes all the difference. In the end, the most obvious reason – if you are not a skilled programmer, there are so many obstacles ahead you won’t know how to face. A technical co-founder would always be ready to find smart and quick solutions.
What Makes an Excellent Tech Co-Founder?
A technical co-founder can’t be just a skilled programmer. Our friendly advice: find yourself somebody who is a people person and has some business skills. Here’s what you are looking for:
- Exceptional communication skills – this is one of the essential skills in a co-founder (technical or non-technical!). Even though your technical co-founder will mainly work on the tech part of the project, he/she will occasionally have to interact with clients. Also, it’s expected that a person on a founding level has some leadership skills; he/she must know how to guide and advise the employees properly.
- A good listener and a team player – you want a partner who would be happy to hear you out and meet you halfway. But remember, you must do the same for him/her! Compromise is your new best friend from now on! Additionally, the co-founder must listen to the feedback of clients.
- Passionate about what they do – startups take time and persistence, so loving your job makes things a lot easier, no doubt. How to know if a person is really into the work they do? Look into their past. Do they often work on side projects that are more like fun, free-time activities? If the answer is yes, that’s a good sign. Also, you can check their social media. Do they post about the work? Do they interact with others from the community?
- Organized – a characteristic that is quite helpful for the technical aspect of work, and even more when it comes to building a company from scratch. A thoughtful organization will prove to be essential in the long-term development of your startup.
- Experienced – in the area of work that your startup is doing. This way, your co-founder will have an idea of what lies ahead and how you can manage specific, everyday challenges. We can’t say that this experience is necessary, but it won’t hurt, for sure.
How To Find a Co-Founder?
Since this is a huge decision, it should take you a certain amount of time to find the right co-founder. A common mistake is jumping into the relationship. It can bring you a lot of headaches later. Finding a technical co-founder is a process known as co-founder dating. Indeed, it resembles real dating. It takes time to get to know someone, all their strengths, and flaws. When you find a suitable candidate, talk to them. Spend time together, as much as you can. You want to assess whether the two of you are compatible.
- Do you have the same ambitions, goals?
- Are your principles similar?
You’re trying to enter a contract with this person. You’ll spend a lot of time together. If you don’t explore this relationship before making it official, it might end up being a disaster and ruin your star project. Investors like to see co-founders get along. But not just in the early days. They want to make sure you’ll stay on good terms in the years to come. So, the longer you know your co-founder, the better.
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself: “But, where do I even find potential co-founders?” There are so many places to look. Start with the people you know. Someone you’ve previously worked with, or a college friend maybe. If you already know a person, this should make the co-founder dating experience more comfortable, but remember that it wouldn’t be wise to skip this step entirely. If you ruled out all the acquaintances you have, get in touch with us – we can help you.