Want to up your chances of success? Find a co-founder
You will hear this advice again and again. And while we’re not going to be the ones to tell you that you can’t do it on your own, we are going to join the crowd and tell you that finding a co-founder probably will be a good idea for you. At least at some point on your startup quest.
Here are 5 reasons why...
1. Having a co-founder means having someone to share everything with
The responsibility, the workload, the risks, the worries, the struggles, the failures, the long nights - and the successes, of course. Burnout, stress and the urge to throw it all away when things get hard seem farther away when more people carry the load.
2. Co-founding teams grow their customer base three times as fast as solo-founded startups, according to Startup Genome.
3. Co-founding teams are less likely to scale too quickly
4. Startups with more than one founder generally appeal more to investors
According to First Round’s 10 Year Project report, startups with two or more founders get a 25% higher seed valuation than startups with solo founders.
5. Co-founded startups massively outperforms solo founded ones - by 163% the same report states.
Convinced? Here's what to look for
So far, so good. Now, we can’t tell you who to choose or when to do it, but we can tell you this much: It’s better to spend more time finding the right co-founder, than rushing out to find any co-founder. So when you do decide to go look for your partner in crime and fortune, here’s what to keep in mind:
Find someone who compliments you, not someone who is you
If know business, find someone who knows technology. If you’re most comfortable speaking to as few people as possible during your workday, find someone who’s in love with people to do all the pitching, networking and sales. Know that professional skills and experience aren't everything. In fact, hiring for skills will kill your startup if that's all you're looking for. Remember to look for people with high levels of motivation, work ethics and great personalities.
Find someone you would trust with your bank account
We’re not saying that you have to give anyone the password to your bank account. But then again, we kind of are. At least you should find a co-founder you would trust enough to do so - if you have to.
Find someone who’s ready for risks, but who makes everything seem less risky
Winning in the Game of Startups means having to take risks. A lot of risks. Make sure you find a co-founder, who’s ready for that. At the same time, find someone reliable and responsible. Investors value reliability, honesty and trustworthiness more than overconfidence and risk willingness - and so should you.
Find someone you could (almost) see yourself marrying
Building a business is going to be hard, and a lot of the time it’s not all that fun. Your co-founder will be with you at your lowest, ugliest points. The right co-founder will still be there on the other side, supporting you through it all. And it goes both ways. Like in the best marriages, we hear. Just (maybe) without the romance.
Find your co-founder here
Here are a couple of places you can look...
A great place to start looking for you’re co-founder is in your network. You already know them, have a sense of their strengths and weak points, maybe even of those ugly sides. Someone in there may be just who you’re looking for.
Go to networking events
If you don’t know anyone who would be a bad ass co-founder, maybe it’s time to expand that network of yours. For that purpose networking events are great. Go meet some awesome people!
Swipe your way through
If you’re more into online dating, you’re not the only one. There are a lot of sites out there, dedicated to help you find co-founders online.
Places to find co-founders online
With a community of more than 400.000 entrepreneurs CoFoundersLab is a great place to go look for your partner-to-be. The community will also help give you feedback, validate your idea and support you through those long startup nights.