People

Any company is made of the people who are a part of it. Having the right people can be the difference between success and failure. 

Finding your co-founder and building a strong team below you is a challenging task. How do you find your co-founder who is equally passionate about the business as you are? How do you find a team that is willing to work on this startup that barely has any form at the present time?

Finding a co-founder is as difficult or as easy as finding a spouse. It probably takes a lot more to successfully co-found than to be successfully married. There are several decisions that you would have to agree upon and work together to find a compromise.

The best co-founders are those who can go through a disagreement without letting ego come in the middle.

From what we have seen, co-founders tend to people who you have studied with or worked with in the past. This ensures that you have a shared value system as well as shared understanding which makes it easier for them to overcome challenges and disagreements.

If this is not a possibility, then one needs to start meeting people and seeing if you resonate with them. Even when it comes to this, a good starting point would be to get references and start engaging. Meet friends of friends who may be interested in a venture.

We have had co-founding take place out of our meet-ups as well. From the perspective of the individual, this may be time consuming and tedious but it works if there is no better alternative.

Most founders, considering to start a startup are advised to find a co-founder. The reason that this advice is given is because:

  • Entrepreneurship is a very lonely journey and it helps to have a companion on the same journey.
  • You will not have all of skill sets needed to get through the journey of a startup.
  • In case, you take to bad health, there is continuity in the functioning of the organisation. This alone will deter investors.

This does not imply that no-one has succeeded without a co-founder. The path becomes more arduous. Nevertheless if you feel that there is no need for you to have a co-founder then there is no necessity.

Even with money it can be quite a challenge to find the right person, but building a team is very challenging when you are starved for money. Most of the first employees / team members that you bring on-board would join you because of the vision of the company and what they think they are going to be a part of.

If Mark Zuckerberg was to ask you to be a part of the team at Facebook on day 1 would you refuse?

How can you make the potential team member believe this is the first day at Facebook?

The first few team members that join you will do so because of your ability to paint this picture. Everyone wants to be a part of a success and you need to show them how this will turn out to be a success.

While you are in this process, it would also help to build a profile for yourself as someone people would want to work with. These things don’t happen overnight, you may have to write a blog, or be really active on social media, or perhaps just do through the force of personality. Either way, your reputation must precede you.

This paired with hanging out at the right places would get you introduced to the right individuals who could be a part of your team. Right places would differ on the basis of the nature of talent that you seek. Eg. – If you are looking for developers, go frequent developer meetups and developer conferences. Be known in those circles.

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