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When starting a company, is it best to find a co-founder? Pros and Cons?

After busting my ass for years in my previous company, surpassing all sales records, I am taking a leap into entrepreneurship.

At the moment I am wondering whether a co-founder may be more of a benefit or a hindrance. While a co-founder can help grow the company much quicker and balance out responsibilities, it seems to me that a bad fit could also sink the ship before it even sets sail. Thoughts?

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Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
First of all, congratulations and good luck! Super exciting step.Β 

Here's my two cents.Β 

1ct. Think about what a potential co-founder can bring to the table. Is there a skills gap you want to address? Dumb money? Smart money? If you need money, then go to a bank, or raise capital. A second person with a different skill set or mindset can be super helpful. Nobody is an expert at everything. Not a good accountant? Find a CFO. Not a good tech/IT person, then a CTO. You see where I'm going with this...

2ct. Do you have a previous relationship with this co-founder? As much as a different opinion and skill set can be beneficial. If you don't see yourself being able to work with them closely, it could jeopardize the whole endeavor. It's a bit like choosing a life partner... you will spend an absurd amount of time with them. You will fight. You will disagree. BUT are their flaws (and vice versa) dealbreakers?Β 
Ge
Gent007
Private Investments
Thank you for the valuable feedback!

I definitely think addressing a skill gap is one of the big benefits of a co-founder, but perhaps this can be achieved by a team rather than a co-founder? Although I suppose with a Co-founder you should gain a much higher level of trust.

Agreed. I think this is also one of the hardest steps in finding a co-founder, it seems like finding your life partner, and this is no easy feat. I suppose my biggest block in this co-founder process is exactly that. Who do I know that has complementary skills AND I know well enough to trust with a lifelong endeavour. If found this can be gold, but if not readily apparent, what is the alternative? Push alone until someone pops up? Perhaps ask friends to suggest people they know?

This step seems much harder than first anticipated.
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Yeah, I could see that being incredibly tricky... Never started my own business, so not sure what the game plan would be. Maybe putting an ad up for a position like CTO (or whatever C level role would best compliment you)?Β 

Anyone from a previous job or company? Sometimes it is best to go it alone if you don't have anyone ready for that ride. Don't wait around, just because a co-founder sounds like a good thing to have!
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+6
BDR
Dead on! Couldn't have said it better!
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
Huge congrats! this is the way to go.

I have bankrupt 3/4 startups.

The first, bad team, the first couple of problems and everyone left.

This in particular could have been solved with a good partner instead of several bad partners, which I did for my second startup. We did run it for a couple of months, until we ran out of cash.Β 

Third, I got a different partner and got an investor everything went great until a huge political issue made most of our clients leave from one day to another.

I now am partnered with my dad and have a coffee plantation.

Here is what I learned;

A good idea is worth $20, but it's worthless without a good team or partner.

Even with the right team, you will run out of fuel, make sure you sell this idea to someone who won't.

Make all your income doesn’t depend from the same type of persona, one day they may leave.

But overall make sure you and your partner have different strengths and weakness, if not your mutual weakness will be your doom. Mine was logistics.Β 
Santipodero
Politicker
+2
Sanix
I hope that despite this you get ahead and don't give up
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
Never my 4th is ramping up and already starting my 5th!
Broncosfan
Politicker
+5
Account Manager
If you’re going the cofounder route, you need someone with a complimentary skill set, not a similar one. You know sales and to some extent marketing likely, you need someone who knows finance and back of house stuff along with IT. That way you can gave clearly defined roles. Just my thoughts.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
I talk to a lot of founders. The successfully co founders always complement eachother. Mostly 1 technical and 1 commercial person.Β 

most of them already had a relationship. Working for de same company, studying togheter, working for the same client,…
Santipodero
Politicker
+2
Sanix
felicitaciones, encontraste the verdadera way of the marketing!
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