Rating potential business partners or co-founders for building the right network


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I have the problem that i always meet the wrong people.

Most of the people i know on the one hand don't want to be self employed or on the other hand want to found a business but are to optimistic about it and think that they will be the next google by spending some hours a week on a project. Where and how can i find the right people for cofounding a software company?

From time to time some people come to me and ask for a business partnership. I tried this but the partnership was only valuable for them and not for me. They didn't pay me as declared or only wanted to get some of my knowledge for free.

Are there any key identifiers how i can rate a potential business partner? What is to avoid from the beginning?

My expirience till now is that you should not do any work in advance. Do only work if you see that your partner does something for you. The problem about this is that two partners can block themselves.

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asked Oct 19 '12 at 20:14
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Zoidbergi
111 points
  • You talk about what the wrong partners are like - but not about what you're actually looking for... – Adrian Howard 7 years ago
  • i am looking for partners in all ways. Technical, business man. Partnerships which gives advantages on both siedes – Zoidbergi 7 years ago

1 Answer


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You have to approach this in a professional manner. You're seeking someone who's going to be equally involved with the business. Finding 'the perfect business partner' is impossible and finding 'a good business partner' is not an easy task and can take months or even years. Here are some general guidelines

  • Clarify and state your goal for the business, as well as an exit strategy.
  • Deem how much % of the venture you're willing to sign over. I always recommend creating the business with stock, and keeping 51% for yourself to keep you in control.
  • Outline what you're looking for in a partner. List things such as: area of expertise, experiences, degrees, communities they belong to etc.
  • Find a public forum (either in the virtual or physical world) and put your idea out there and see who bites. You need to find someone interested in what the goal of your business is and that can be excited about it.
  • Build a detailed contract that outlines the work that the partner is to provide for the basis of part-ownership. You can set aside 49% of the company in his name on the back-side of hitting x,y,z milestone. If they don't come through on their promise, they get nothing. This does decrease how many bites you get, but it doesn't waste precious time.
  • Understand that it's still YOUR idea. It's VERY probable that no one else is going to be as excited as you are, and YOU will still have to put in the majority of the work. But if you are serious about it, you're going to make it happen one way or another.
answered Oct 20 '12 at 03:20
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Mechaflash
146 points

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