How to find a co-founder? Look for the PIE traits
The common challenge faced by most startup founder is to find a co-founder. Generally, no single founder have every resources and needed skills to do everything to build a startup. That’s why the earliest and first critical decisions must be made is to find a co-founder.
Finding a co-founder is almost like finding a life partner, YES it’s that important. There’s no point in deciding on a co-founder just because of childhood/high school/university friendship. Yes a relationship does matter, but don’t forget that your needs is a co-founder with skills that complement you. Co-Founder with overlap skills often needs to outsource some part of the early task. And that means more financial resource needed to kick-start the startup, or even worse the launch can be delayed because some skills haven’t met a needed standart. Beside having complementary skills that completes you, here are the things you should consider about finding a co-founder. We summarize it into PIE rule.
Find co-founders with huge determination in doing something, someone who always aim for excellence despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Find someone who share the same eagerness, same values, the same person whom willing to spend money together and share the risk. Co-founder that has this trait can be found by interacting with them. Identify whether they regularly able to deliver on time, follow up promises, walk the talks, arrive for meetings on time, and so on. You can learn a lot from these interactions, and potentially spot any red flags before the partnership is official.
While running a startup, both you and your co-founder are bound to make lots of mistakes. Anyone must be accountable for their own actions without blaming others, or outside influences. In good times, trust between founders may be strong, but things might change in the times of stress. Choose co-founder who is reliable and honest and has a reputation which aligns with your own. No matter how smart, how resourceful, how capable some people are, without integrity do not choose them as a co-founder. Being a great founder-co-founder is saying you’re sorry when you screw things up and never tolerate something that violate integrity.
Say no to ‘yes men’ or ‘yes women’. Someone who agrees with all your decisions without any sense of perspective or critique is not fit as a co-founder. And also there is no substitute for experience. Lack of experience or skills can lead to poorly designed services, dissatisfied customers, and, ultimately, a declining client base.
But before you go on a co-founder hunt
- Know yourselfEvery single good founder knows their own strength and weakness. Get to know your self, ask for an opinion from others. Have your own perseverance, integrity and entrepreneurship traits then present your best attitude skills.
- Be preparedJoining startup comes with tons of risks. Can you convince potential co-founder that working with you would make the future less uncertain? Being able to at least build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on your own makes you more attractive as a founder. On the other hand, finding a tech co-founder who would do coding for you is 10 times harder than finding business or marketing co-founder. Prepare your heart, this is more to do with facing rejection. Treat every rejection as a learning lesson. Every entrepreneurs has faced rejection
And after you find a co-founder
The size of the business, and the scale of the business only a reflection of the size and scale of the founder itself. Quoting Steve Blank on how to find a co-founder, “Your reality distortion field needs to match the passion of the person you’re pursuing. Be thoughtful, consider what motivates them, and tell them why your company is the ultimate place to do exactly that”.