I am working on starting my own social media/search company within a specific market base. I am at the stage of the process where I have most of my user stories (I as a ‘insert role here’, must be able to ‘insert the task here’, so ‘insert the expected business/user outcome here’), functional requirements and early stage mock ups. I am also doing surveys, etc to ensure there is a feedback loop from the future users of my platform.
When is the right time to SERIOUSLY look for a Co – Founder? I have already determined which technical and personal qualities he/she must have. I just do not know when is the best time to start. From my perspective, I feel it is best to find one BEFORE the site gets into the Development/Quality Assurance, User Acceptance Testing stages.
I did not start off with this need/business idea with a Co-Founder in mind. In fact, I did not even want one. But based on what I was told about getting funding, etc… is it best when 2-3 people walk into the room vs. me doing everything solo.
What are your thoughts?
Thank you, Annastasia
I don't know who is giving you advice to bring in un necessary co-founders for show in investor meetings, but you should never fill a co-founder role for appearances. That is ridiculous. What are your NEEDS? Where are the breaks in the chain? For example, if you have no finance experience, bringing in a CFO could greatly benefit you to make sure your financial structure is solid and built correctly. He/she may also have access to investors. Having him/her on your team could greatly enhance your ability to properly manage money/investment. If you need distribution channels, someone who is able to establish those will benefit the company. If you have no business plan, and are not going to write one yourself, you might consider bringing in a COO who can help connecting all the dots of the business and build a successful operational strategy. If you are walking into an investor and saying "I founded this company. I can do all that is needed to be profitable" and you actually can, don't worry about having a co founder. If you are walking in and saying, "My idea is great. It will be profitable....if I have a great business plan put together by founders I don't have, and executed by founders I don't have...and employees I will one day hire" You become less appealing to investors because you are very early in the process and the likely time of ROI is greatly extended and also becomes hypothetical. Think about it....frozen dinners are rarely that great even when cooked. But if someone brought you one that was frozen when you are hungry....its not very appealing. Give the investor a home cooked warm, ready to eat meal. But if the best you can do is a TV dinner, at least make sure you have mircrowaved it! :) Probably better examples but I need to eat dinner!
You do not necessarily need to have a co-founder.
First you need to evaluate the skills you have, and the outstanding skills that the business requires.
based on this, you can determine to hire ( full time or freelance) someone with the required skillset or get co founder who has the skillset. however, getting a co-founder means you are both tied at the hip for a long term. You need to be sure the person has the same vision and long term objectives as you do. otherwise, it's going to be painful down the line with you wanting to take the business in different directions.
Never. Look for skills you need and the people who are good at GSD (Getting Shit Done) will stand out as potential co-founders.