Many business people have a strong preference for working with others, so it surprises me how many new entrepreneurs start out alone. Yes, partnerships are tricky, but your ramp-up time will be much faster if you do not have to do everything yourself. Dharmesh Shah wrote a good post a while back on selecting a startup co-founder. He offers 8 “pithy insights”, which are worth your time if you’re putting together your business plan and would like it to include a co-founder. Here they are in brief:
- Choosing a co-founder will be one of your most important business decisions.
- Find someone who gets things done.
- You both have to be committed not only to building a company, but the same company.
- One of the best sources for finding a co-founder are people that you have worked with in some capacity in the past. (I can vouch for this personally.)
- There will be times in the startup lifetime that will test your relationship with your co-founder.
- Don’t get hung up on titles too early.
- Have the hard discussions around equity, compensation and responsibilities early. (And I would add, put them in writing early, too.)
- [And this one is a warning you should not ignore!] If after significant effort, you simply can’t find a co-founder, you either don’t know enough people, not enough people like you, or the idea sucks so much that nobody is willing to take the leap with you.
I recommend that you read them in detail.