When you start a company, you want to surround yourself with the best people. This includes a technical co-founder. This may be a challenge if you’re working with a technical co-founder, but you need to have someone who can provide value in the long run.
The co-founders of Airbnb had their fair share of disagreements in the early days, but they worked it out because they realized that they needed each other.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to have multiple people involved with your startup for better quality and stability.
As an example, Peter Thiel said that the best startups usually have three co-founders who bring different skill sets and complementary skill sets together.
Most startup founders try to get their co-founders from college or friends they already know, but this is not always the best option for many reasons:
College Co-Founder: College can be a great place to find potential business partners; however, there are two main problems that occur when you choose your co-founder from college:
- It’s very hard to determine whether someone is trustworthy or not since you’ve only known them for a short period of time
- You may become dependent on your college friend because they know everything about you.
Friends: When looking for co-founders through friends, it is easy to get carried away by their friendship and agree on any idea that comes up during discussions.
In addition, it will be difficult if one of the founders leaves because all decisions will depend on them alone.
Finally, how do we know if we can trust our friends? When looking for co-founders through friends, it is easy to get carried away by their friendship and agree on any idea that comes up during discussions. In addition, it will be difficult if one of the founders leaves because all decisions will depend on them alone. Finally, how do we know if we can trust our friends?
Startup competitions: Many startups are founded by university students as part of competition prizes Many startups are founded by university students as part of competition prizes Angel investors: Investors are the most likely to invest in companies with co-founders.
For example, when Facebook was started, it was started by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates. The idea is that if your startup gets funded by an investor, they want to know that you’re able to deliver on your promise and that you have people who can help you do it.
What is the ideal number of co-founders?
Having one co-founder is the best option for startups because it makes it easier to reach decisions.
Having two co-founders can be beneficial, but having three or more co-founders can lead to chaos and will make it hard to get anything done. If you do have more than one co-founder, then you need to make sure that everyone has an equal share of decision making. If not, then you may face a challenge if one of the co-founders is no longer involved with the company.
How do you know if you have too many co-founders?
There are three factors that determine how many co-founders you need:
- Your startup idea
- Your knowledge and experience
- Your business knowledge
Idea: Your startup idea should be a good one, but it is not enough to be great. You should have the skills and knowledge to make it work.
If you have the skills and knowledge, then you need at least one other co-founder who can provide the missing pieces of your business.
For example, if you are looking to start a health-related startup, then you need a medical expert who can provide some medical expertise.
Experience: If you’re new to entrepreneurship or have no experience in building a company, then you need more than one co-founder because they will bring valuable experience with them.
For example, having an entrepreneur who has started many companies is important because they will be able to teach you what works and what doesn’t work in the business world.
Business Knowledge: You also need someone who has knowledge about business processes like finance, marketing, and operations so that they can help build your business effectively.
The best case scenario is having an accountant as your co-founder because they will help with all aspects of finance from day one. In addition, if there are two people who have different skill sets but the same knowledge level, then there is always someone available to handle tasks that may require their specific skill set.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.