For a lot of start ups finding the right co-founder is like the proverbial horse passing through the eye of a needle. Angel List did a write-up on how to pick a co-founder which i thought might be insightful for a lot of people out there and i thought to share. According to Angel List, the most important decision a co-founder makes is to pick a co-founder. ‘It’s more important than your product, market, and investors.’. Here a few tips they shared

The ideal founding team is two individuals

Angel List believes that 2 founders are a team, three is a crowd. The ideal number of co founders should be 2 people ‘with a history of working together, of similar age and financial standing, with mutual respect.’

They recommend the 2 founder model because, its possible to have unanimous decisions and even when not reached it can be easily resolved, little or no founder politics, interests can easily align, and after investments, founder stakes remain high. For Angel List, though three founder companies can work, there are more odds to surmount eg gang-up votes and scrambling for board seats

Your history together is key – 

Dating and marriage rules apply o co-founder relationships. The same way you will not marry someone you haven’t dated, you should not found a start-up with someone you just met> This was highly relatable for me because it makes the picture clearer.

Founders should complement each other

They should both complement each other like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack, Hewlett and Packard, Larry and Sergei, Omidyar and Skoll. Ideally one should be good at building products and the other adept at selling them. According to Angel List, the seller doesn’t have to be a salesperson in reality. He may  have technical knowledge but should have the ‘seller’ personality or mentality like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. They also need to have aligned motives which you may need to sniff out from your partner.

The most important criteria is- intelligence, energy and integrity

Don’t make a founder choice based on sentiments or how long you know them or how well you know them. Even if you need to keep searching until you make the right choice, keep searching. Angel List believes your co-founder should be someone who  has incredibly high intelligence, energy and integrity. You also need the three qualities yourself.

What is the ideal number of co-founders for you?

Article culled from the AngelList blog. Read the original article here 



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