Why do you need a co-founder?
Have you ever wondered if you should find a co-founder to help you with your startup? Isn’t it better to simply hire someone any time you need help? Why should one bother with a partner? A co-founder can be a key factor in a startup’s success in product development, fundraising, and marketing. This article explains why.
- A technical founder needs a business-oriented co-founder for sales and marketing, since these are the major challenges that businesses led by tech people face.
- A non-tech founder should not hire developers or work with agencies, because they only follow instructions and do not challenge or bring ideas.
- Ideal founding teams consist of three people: a developer, a creative designer, and a businessperson.
- Having a technical co-founder is an important signal for investors that an idea is worth something.
I’m a Developer. Why Not Do It on My Own?
As a tech person, you may think you don’t need anybody if you are building the product on your own. But a product, no matter how innovative and elegant, cannot succeed without being carefully presented to investors and intelligently marketed to audiences. The major challenges faced by businesses led by tech people are sales and distribution, because a tech person is unlikely to have both the skill sets of product development and business.
Not a Developer?
On the other hand, if you are a non-tech person with an idea, you obviously need help to develop the product. You have several choices:
- Hire a developer
- Work with a tech agency
- Find a co-founder
We’ll discuss why the first two options are not right.
Why Not Hire a Developer?
As a non-tech person, it’s likely that you are not very good at product development. A hired developer will only execute your ideas, which come from a founder’s often limited perspective. You need somebody who can challenge your ideas and have the incentive to stay awake and come up with better solutions. The initial tech work of product development must be done by a co-founder.
Why Not Work With a Tech Agency?
The same problem persists here, in addition to the extra cash you have to pay the agency every time you want to make a change. You are definitely going to make a lot of changes and spend a lot of money on paying the agency.
The Ideal Co-founder
Without a tech or UX background, you can’t make a great product. You need someone with tech skills to bring novel ideas and do more than just follow your directions. In general, an efficient founding team needs three people:
- A Hipster: a creative designer to make the product cool
- A Hacker: a developer to build the product
- A Hustler: someone who can sell the idea to investors and customers
The three co-founders will most likely overcome any challenge, solve any problem, and resolve any conflict by voting.
The Critical Signal of Having a Tech Co-founder
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for investors to be able to convince a developer to quit a high-salary job at a big tech company like Google and join you in your startup. The presence of a tech co-founder on your team is a test for you and a signal for investors that your idea is worth something.
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