When looking for co-founder, what can be expected


What problems did you run into form the point where you started your search for co-founder to the point where you struck a deal.

Also what are some good ideas that would make the process easier.

Please share your experience.

Co-Founder Search Problem

asked Mar 17 '11 at 10:33
Mat Banik
325 points

3 Answers


My advice is to go with friends you already know. Don't "interview" for the position or "search" for people who may turn out to be something quite different than what you expected. A startup is a pressure cooker. If your personalities don't work together, it will end in an explosion.

answered Mar 17 '11 at 10:41
Ron M.
4,224 points


There are as many problems as there are people but they generally come down to:

  1. Difference of opinion. When it comes down to it whos direction will you take and are they other people going to be ok with that?
  2. Family / personal life. The person starting is on board but the better half often doesn't quite agree. More annoyingly the NEW better half suddenly doesn't agree sometime into the venture.
  3. Effort put in. One works 12 hours a day an the other treats it like a 9-5. Each person will have a different opinion about the value of effort ... Especially Marketing VS Technical VS Management.
  4. Money and ongoing contribution. At some point the venture needs to pay for itself, when is that point, who gets when and when?
  5. Money and ongoing contribution 2. Sometimes you will have down periods, you need to put in cash, you need to work for free or cheap. What is the agreement around the payoff and the "return on investment" during these points?
  6. Who gets the bad jobs. There are always things you don't really want to do, and neither do the other people ... who is going to do them and what is their incentive going to be?
  7. ON sunset. One person leaves, you get bought out OR you decide to throw in the towel ... what happens, who owns what? What is the magic "buyout price number" so if one gets the offer they can have a guideline to work with.

There is probably a whole host more but these are the ones I have seen others come unstuck with.

My advice is, if your looking for someone, friend or new, you need to cover off these points in a 1 to 2 page "in principal" and "heads of agreement" before taking it to a lawyer to become formalized. If you can't make it past agreeing to these points, your not suitable for each other.

There is probably a few others (happy to accept contributions).

answered Mar 17 '11 at 11:47
Robin Vessey
8,394 points


Actually, you should ask yourself why you need a co-founder? if you can start something up alone, why all of the sudden needs a co-founder?
if come to a point that you meet a person, you want him to join your venture, and he has the value that you want. then it is crystal clear of what you expect.

if you just want somebody join you and share your workload, then it is better to hire somebody to work for you rather than give half of your company to him.

answered Nov 29 '12 at 00:55
106 points

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