What skills to look for in a technical cofounder?


I am an aspiring entrepreneur, with experience in retail industry. I have an idea to create a web based company with web 2.0 + ecommerce features. The idea is new and I know that it would work in in my industry/market. I have money to invest during the initial phase, and would eventually depend on VCs/investors as we scale up.

I am a first time entrepreneur and this forum has been my best resource to learn the practical aspects of entrepreneurship. Thanks a lot. From the various discussions, I realise that it will be better to partner with a technical co-founder, as I do not have a technical background.

I do not have any suitable person in my immediate network, and will have to hunt for an ideal person. What skills should I look for in the person? I understand the importance of commitment, integrity, compatibility etc but don't know what technical competencies, education and experience to look for and how can I test them?

Please share some tips/thoughts.


asked Jan 12 '10 at 13:31
60 points

2 Answers


I will look for someone who has had experience in different technical roles, someone that has possibly worked at small companies or other start-ups doing everything from hardware infrastructure to networking to software development.

There are many people like this, and they are usually the type of people who work at smaller shops where you have to wear many different hats. Also, it helps if the person is a real geek who loves technology and it is open minded when it comes to new technologies and frameworks... someone that knows how to differentiate what they like (about technology) vs. what's best for a customer.

I suggest you don't look for specific degrees or skills, someone with an overall knowledge, experience and passion for technology will be your best bet... your best candidate will be someone who spends some (or all) of his free time developing apps just for fun or just to try out new technologies.

Good luck!

answered Jan 12 '10 at 14:44
4,815 points


Front-end web development

Back-end web development

General skills

Optional: a Javascript framework, an ORM, Linux sysadmin experience, SEO.

Education: Computer Science & Software Engineering, although some self-taught developers can be excellent as well.

I'm probably forgetting a bunch of things and some of the skills mentioned might create some heated debate, but I feel that's the minimal set of skills for a web developer.

answered Jan 12 '10 at 14:13
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points

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: