Start-ups : Top 5 things to look for in a Co-Founder
You are looking to start a new venture, but you can’t do it alone. You need a team. At the minimum one other person. But what qualities should you look for?
Conviction of Belief
One of the main things to look for in your co-founder is having an unshakable belief in the vision. A person who is able to stand in the face of overwhelming temptation and still stand firm on their principles. Why? Because they will be the moral compass for the firm and the best way to manage risk against the brand and product, whilst keeping to the strategic direction of the company. Too often a short-term gain is a long-term pain. So best to have someone who can see that direction in the company and stay resolute.
It’s no good if the co-founders do not share the same vision for the company. As good as a person may be in terms of capabilities and personality, if there is no shared vision then there will be a divergent course in the organization. There will also be major disagreements down the line, even if the co-founders can get along initially. It’s better to be fiery and passionate about a common goal, than chummy and friendly with different visions.
Someone who is able to have a great work ethic is important in the organization. Someone who takes the pride in their work to ensure that everything they do is of a standard. There may be days that your organisation will work for hours on end to just deliver one feature to that one customer, and without someone who is dedicated to ensuring that your product is perfect to every single customer; you will lose out in the medium run. As all it takes is the one irate customer to make a fuss online and all your hard work will be for nought.
Hunger for Success
It’s not just enough to want to change the world if you do not have the conviction and inner desire to want to see it through. Talk is cheap, but execution is another matter entirely. You need someone who is willing to fight through problems, obstacles and opposing views to be able to get to the level of success your start-up needs.
Thirst for Knowledge
Beating your competitors will require someone who knows the market well or the product well, this helps to shorten “discovery time” (time spent researching and fumbling) and be able to spot problems even before they surface from their experience. They should also be continually keen to learn more about various related things during their course, as reading great sources of information is such a key component of shortening time to navigate issues. Read this article for some great books that will help in that quest for knowledge:
5 Books: A Shortcut to Success