Choosing between a founder or a cofounder - leija.io
  • @undefined- Sep 22

    Choosing between a founder or a cofounder

    TL;DR: I found a co-founder and finished my MVP on week 2 of building a business.

    Week 2 of Startup School has passed and plenty of interesting topics were being covered, such as:

    • Building a product
    • Tracking data analytics
    • How to find product market fit

    The one that stuck out the most to me was a topic on, finding a co-founder. Besides finishing my MVP, I put a lot of focus on seeking who would be a good fit to be a co-founder for Braum.

    Solo founder or co-founder

    Michael Seibel really emphasized on finding a team when building a startup aka having co-founders. But I asked myself, “do I really need a co-founder?” Before I give you the answer, let’s see what the media has to say about being a solo founder and what it really takes to be one.

    To be or not to be a solo founder

    When I hear about the success stories of being a solo founders, this is what I think:

    • Works extremely (much respect)
    • Does not have to share any equity (unless he got investors)
    • He gonna be rich as f*#&! when he/she gets an exit

    But thinking just that and not taking other peoples thoughts on being a solo founder is just silly, right?

    He couldn’t find love

    Paul Towers, founder of Task Pigeon, wrote an interesting article about why he opted into being a solo founder and why finding a co-founder is like marriage.

    “I don’t have anyone who I know well enough to jump into business with them for that period of time.” – Paul Towers

    In Paul’s prior experience about finding a co-founder, he tried recruiting one for a previous startup he worked on. With lady luck not on his side, Paul says, “I ended up wasting 6 to 9 months chasing this idea, with little progress to show for it (from their end).”

    Recruiting a co-founder for a project sounds like a bad idea, but it has worked for others like Drew Houston from Dropbox. Nonetheless, you should find someone that has worked with you in a project or two. Otherwise, good luck when you get to your first argument.

    The media says what?

    Two years ago, Tech Crunch posted an article about breaking the myths of being a solo founder. Well, I had to read this to see what this is all about. According to their inside sources, solo founders are more likely to raise more money and have a better exit.

    founders-in-startups-with-more-than-10m-raised

    Graph of whose likely to raise more money depending on number of startups. Graph from Tech Crunch

    Pigford thoughts

    Josh Pigford, founder of Baremetrics, did a small podcast on the topic and noted the pros and cons. And I honestly couldn’t agree more.

    Pros

    • Move faster
    • Less drama
    • Clearer direction

    Cons

    • Every move comes back to you
    • Difficult to brainstorm new ideas
    • Easy to make bad decisions
    • It’s just lonely

    I couldn’t agree more with his pros and cons list. It’s extremely nice to have to not have to delegate with others drama on why the button should be pink instead of watermelon color. You do move faster because you don’t have to argue. But are the pros really worth it for the cons?

    From my experience, everything I’ve tried to build on a solo path has sucked for me. Being ever a jack of all trades will slow you down at some point and it requires a lot of time complete all the important stuff in a business. And I can promise you that going on a solo founders path is a very lonely road. At some point of my career, it had me talking out loud to myself so it wouldn’t feel so lonely. Talk about crazy.

    What do the veterans have to say?

    Paul Graham, a startup coach expert, whose helped companies such as Stripe, Dropbox, and Airbnb says,

    “Businesses are more likely to succeed with more than one founder, because each co-founder may bring different strengths”

    Michael Seibel, founder of Socialcam and Justin.tv, highly recommends to have co-founders that are mostly technical. From his previous experiences, he likes having a lot of technical co-founders because it allowed his team to make fast changes to their software application.

    My decision

    In my current situation, being a solo founder is not practical. I currently depend on working a full time job to pay the bills and put food on the table. So this past week (week #2) I brought in a technical co-founder. Having two technical co-founders for Braum will allow me to get technical tasks that I can’t get done. Luckily my co-founder and I friends and the idea of a soccer app really intrigued him. I’ve also had the change to work with him in various projects, so we both know how to work well with each other.

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