How to Find a CoFounder: Starting a Business as a solo founder

by birtanpublished on August 28, 2020

As we've scaled sled beam and had the chance to connect with a bunch of companies one of the most common questions I get is around finding a co-founder the most common scenario I come across is an executive or business or sales founder looking to find a tech

Co-founder to develop the product that they have in mind so let's dissect the situation understand the challenge the starter phases and look for alternatives to meeting that persona so in this video

We'll look into assessing whether you can get away with being a solo founder we'll talk about the ideal co-founder trio and then finally evaluating whether or not you are a fit this is finding a co-founder

Okay so first do you need a co-founder it's rather sporadic to see a tech guy finding or trying to find a business co-founder for their company when a tech guy has a product or business idea they just go and build it they put the

Product live and they promote it with their friends and their networks and then if the product is good it grows I mean it's not that simple but the point here is the ability to build a product without spending cash other than you

Know Red Bulls for the hackathons is a variable that could make or break a business the most common struggle for businesses that are led by a tech person is is usually around the sales side or the

Distribution side if you only focus on the product or the technology but you can't find a scalable way to get this product in front of people things aren't working fine still in today's tech world it's I want to say easier to recruit

Growth marketing or sales people it's a lot easier certainly than to hire or recruit developers now on the other hand a non tech person may have a product concept in their minds but if they can't build it then the idea is worthless I

See a lot I really see a lot of founders go and pay for a tech agency to develop an MVP which I believe is a terrible mistake the agency will follow the direction of the client but the final product will likely need to change

Drastically from what's originally conceived when every single one of those changes requires a new contract or extra hours at a full cost from that agency then chances are you'll be spending a lot of money very fast

Another incorrect approach I believe is to just hire a developer especially if that person is overseas once again the developer will follow the directions of his employer and what I'm trying to get to is business people are often bad at

Product management the first step person in a tech startup should have founder status they should have the ability to challenge the CEO and direct the product in the best possible way so once again this this is harsh I know but if you

Don't have a tech or a UX background then you probably don't know what makes a great product you need to bring that expert that that brings new ideas and not just follows direction even if your product concept is good the

First and the second and the third versions will probably suck you probably can't afford to pay those versions to an agency so you need to do it in house with a co-founder that's committed to the business in the same way that you

Are in the end any startup is a race against time and by time I mean money you can pivot your product your growth plans and your audience as long as you have money in the bank so the more iterations a company can do the bigger

The chance of success now that I've probably hopefully convinced you that you need a co-founder let's look into the ideal co-founder trio now I believe this comes from a 2012 quote from Ray in a moto in a South

By Southwest talk to run an efficient team you only need three people a hipster a hacker and a hustler the hipster usually comes to the team as a designer or as a creative genius and they'll make sure that the final product

Is cooler than anything else out there now the hacker should have the capacity to build the product and scale it so that millions of people can use it without crashing and finally the hustler which is I think rather a misunderstood

Team member he or she is in charge of selling the vision of the company to the investors and then selling the product to the customers rather than unintentionally we found ourselves with a hustler hacker hipster trio when we

Started slightly and speaking from experience it works three minds are better than two threes also an odd numbers and that's better for holding votes and most importantly these three co-founders should sum up all the skills

You need to get your business to a fundable position what's a fundable position check out our video on startup funding so the three of you should be able to solve the product the sales cycle the marketing and any other major

Business challenges you could face before the business is interesting enough for an investor chances are you all three will work with low wages until then and it is unlikely that you'll be able to convince anyone else to join at

These stages so you really need to be able to solve everything the business needs amongst yourselves now I've seen startups with four co-founders or even more but I think that could become a problem of cash flow when an MVP stage

Company needs to pay for four people's salaries so how do you build how do you recruit your co-founders we built a mock product called co-founder for April Fool's kind of a tinder for founders a was our April Fool's prank for this year

But it helped us confirm how big of a problem this is it wasn't a full product but it exists just in case and I've said this many times a co-founder relationship is like marriage without the fun part you

Need to see each other daily you need to deal with tough decisions many of them around money and you'll be together for years to come it's not forever you'll fight and argue and then need to see each other the next day a co-founder

Will also be there to support you to share the burden of building a business to take over when you need a break so yeah it's it's like marriage and I think that the best way to start is just like dating try working together without the

Full commitment if you know someone that you've already worked with then that should most definitely be our first choice if you don't know anyone well try to put yourself in a position where you can share a project with your potential

Co-founder maybe a consulting project I'm gonna share my own experience with how I met and recruited the other co-founders for sleeping I came up with this concept of a simple seamless presentation tool I have some product

Background but as I said before the product we have today is nothing close to what I had in mind back then so I went through elementary and high school with Vinnie who was our hipster by the way and we were close friends

We had done some high school projects together as well as a couple of collaborations in college my undergrad was in 3d animation and his was in UX and industrial design so I convinced him to join me for a consulting project we

Work together and conceptualized further on this idea first light beam and then we found Jose our CTO on LinkedIn we didn't do a job opening or anything we simply stalked a bunch of profiles and reached out to the ones that seemed

Interesting closely had a well-paid job bawd was interested in starting a business of his own Vinny and I didn't force the idea for sniping instead we sat down together to brainstorm of problem solution combinations that we

All had come up with across or years and our own experience and of course that we had the skillset to solve also hosen didn't quit his day job right away instead we work together on some other consulting projects and started 3 ideas

For slight pain it wasn't until we got accepted into startup Chile that we were able to leave all our other jobs and consulting projects behind and then dedicate a hundred percent of our time to the company

The most critical part during this dating face his agreeing on terms we made a whole video about founder agreements who needs to sign paperwork if things are moving smoothly well that's actually the

Best time to agree on things when a team member hasn't done any work in weeks and everybody else is upset yeah that's a terrible time to discuss your terms a few months ago we started helping companies write their pitch decks not

Only the design part but actually writing the content and then many of the idea stage companies we come across don't have a tech co-founder and I get it convincing a developer who's making a six-digit salary at Google to drop their

Jobs and come work for this company yeah that might be a very tough sell then on the other hand proving that you can convince that person to quit their day job that is the first validation that this

Business has promised you want to recruit someone who believes in the company and who's willing to take the risk if you don't have anyone in your network well work on growing your network attend startup events then

Starting weekend events definitely not conferences go watch my video on startup conferences again think of it like dating hang out grab a beer test the waters before you fully commit if you aren't able to convince anyone to join

You maybe take a step back and reconsider if the business proposition could be better now for more ideas on how to meet your co-founders why do you guys share your founder dating stories in the comments it might bring a few

Ideas to the community as always thanks a lot for watching if you go to slide be not calm slash co-founders you can sign up for free and get three free months on any slab you plan you choose hit that subscribe button and we'll see you next

Week

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