Single Founder Rate of Success


I've spent quite a lot of time, met quite a lot of people, but still am failing at trying to find a cofounder for my startup.

I've gone to numerous tech-meetups, met 1:1 with quite a few people, have skyped with a few as well, but I run into the same situation over and over (with biz cofounders):

  • They see the industry I'm going for as boring . (info security)
  • They are already working on their own ideas and don't care much to want to switch.
  • They do not want to potentially partner until there is a product (we're talking cofounder here; no employee).

I'm upfront, and honest with past failed startups I've worked in due to previous cofounder different viewpoints.

I'm been working for 4 months by myself figuring I could do everything from prod dev to customer dev to everything else, but it seems to be too much to try to handle myself alone.

What am I doing wrong here? Or have I just not found the right person yet and have found all more-or-less not good cofounders? Should I just work on a product in the meantime? I've read extensively about product development happening alongside customer development.

Co-Founder Recruiting Founders Problem

asked Feb 8 '13 at 00:41
Code Talk
253 points
  • Reading your question, I had the feeling that you're a techguy looking for another techguy to be a cofounder. Are you looking for a technical or non-technical founder? What skills should he have? – Brunno Silva 10 years ago
  • I mention " biz cofounders " in my post.. – Code Talk 10 years ago

2 Answers


Is it me? it's a scary question but you end up at some point in your professional career asking it, if you don't ask that question at some point then the answer is almost certainly yes. However I wouldn't worry to much about past failings if you are open, honest and can demonstrate you learnt from them they actually can be an advantage.

Finding a partner is not just about finding someone you can work with, its finding someone with a passion for what you both want, who complements and extends your skill set. There is no hard and fast rule to say a company must have 2 or 3 founders and going solo certainly gives you complete control over any given project but having someone to bounce ideas from and to share the stresses and strains certainly helps.

Unfortunately while you and I mare share an interest in info security and it's a very profitable niche to be involved with, especially at the corporate end it maybe hard to ignite that spark in a partner. Maybe the key is to target infosec events, look for user groups, like OWASP chapter events and similar, as places to find a partner who already shares your interests.

In the mean time perhaps scale back your ideas, getting a proof of concept or minimal viable product along with validation of the product will peek the interest of a partner who has the skill set to help you take it to the next level and if all else fails it's a great opportunity to learn a new skill set to fill the gaps. Good Luck!

answered Feb 8 '13 at 01:23
Tim Nash
1,107 points
  • thanks so much for this post, very helpful. Great idea with OWASP chapter events – Code Talk 10 years ago


If you're an individual with a history of failed start-ups, I wouldn't want to invest my money, time, and career in your business decisions. At some point, some individuals need to realize they're not the pro at everything. Look at Bill Gates - he knew he wasn't the businessman that would make Microsoft work, so he brought others on board. Even Google hired a seasoned CEO.

You may be better off going in with the attitude of "Hey, I have this great product I've developed. I'm looking for somebody who knows what I do but can handle the business end of things."

answered Feb 8 '13 at 03:26
Andretti Milas
174 points
  • That would be Bill Gates who has been top of Forbes rich list for 19 years in a row most of those as head of company. Who prior to hitting big had a string of failures behind him. – Tim Nash 10 years ago
  • Tell it to Paul Allen. Vote it down all you like, this individual is being turned down by everybody for a reason. – Andretti Milas 10 years ago
  • @AndrettiMilas: Why you are so negative in your thoughts man? If someone had a failed startups in the past, I would rather encourage him to create another one. People learn from failing, not by getting success all the time. I dont know you, but the way how I think of you is that you have success throughout your life. But there are people in this world who didnt, and we should learn to appreciate them. – Rg 3 10 years ago
  • @RG-3 Not everybody is a businessperson but that doesn't mean their unable to capitalize on their ideas, they just have to team up with the right people. How many salespeople are engineers? Very few. The reality is we all have our strengths and weaknesses, instead of encouraging somebody to invest in a weakness - present your strength and offer a viable option to compensate for the weakness... like a partner. – Andretti Milas 10 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Co-Founder Recruiting Founders Problem