Finding the right co-founder for a startup is one of the more difficult tasks. It isn’t that there aren’t great people that want to go to war with you, rather, getting your co-founder right is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in a startup, right up there with choosing an awesome market, and timing things well. I’m a fan of two total co-founders, sometimes three, but only if everyone really adds significant value.
Here are some characteristics to look for in a co-founder:
- An owner mentality (e.g. ask how comfortable they are to go without pay or sign a personal guarantee on a line of credit)
- A skill set that complements the other co-founder (e.g. technical, business acumen, marketing, etc)
- Aligned personal, professional, and family values — this can be tough, but values hold a team together during the toughest of times
- Personality fit whereby it’s someone that you’ll look forward to spending a significant amount of time together
A co-founder is one of the most important decisions of a startup and should not be taken lightly. Spend as much time with the person, even working on projects, before jumping in. With the right co-founder, the startup experience will be that much better.
What else? What are some other co-founder characteristics to look for in a startup?