Continuing with the recent co-founder posts on equity and the high cost of a third co-cofounder, there’s another important topic: characteristics to look for in a co-founder. I’ve seen many co-founder relationships come apart after starting a company due to lack of compatibility and alignment. Basically, there wasn’t enough understanding and relationship building before getting married.
Here are a few characteristics to look for in a co-founder:
- Owner Mentality – Is the co-founder willing to forgo salary to keep the lights on? Will they put their house up as guarantee on a business loan?
- Commitment – Do they understand just how hard it is to be successful? Are they willing to grind it out for years to see some level of modest success?
- Skills – Do they have exceptional skills that are complementary? Are these skills hard to come by or highly valued? How relevant and proven are the skills?
- Values – Do they share the same core values? How about personal, family, and life values?
- Personality Fit – How well do you get along? How confident are you in spending thousands of hours working together?
A co-founder is a big decision. Entrepreneurs would do well to outline the characteristics of the ideal co-founder and then compare those against the person(s) they have in mind.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the characteristics of of a co-founder?