Building a startup requires a lot of hard work. Having a solid co-founder radically improves the chance that your startup will succeed. Here are four ways a co-founder can help your startup.
1. A Co-Founder is a Sounding Board
Startups are different than small businesses. Because startups are fast-paced and looking to scale quickly, there are a lot of strategic decisions that need to be made. These include: what direction to take the company, how to raise and deploy capital, and who to hire, among others. In most cases, there is not a clear answer to these questions. Even early on, a co-founder can offer valuable perspective during customer development interviews.
2. People have Different Areas of Expertise
Bill Gates had Paul Allen, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak, Mark Zuckerberg had Eduardo Saverin…you get the idea. Each of these companies were built by some of the smartest, most capable people on the planet. Yet, they realized early on that they needed other people. In many startups, for instance, one co-founder tends be more technical, while the other tends to be better at sales and marketing. Often, having one product oriented and one growth oriented founder, tends to be a recipe for success.
3. A Co-Founder can Help you Move Faster
Building a startup is a lot of work. Especially early on, the founders have to wear many hats: developers, marketers, fundraisers, human resources, etc. Having someone to split the burdens with allows the company to do more, faster. For a young company, speed is essential.
4. You Need a Co-Founder because Startups are Hard
Let’s be honest, doing a startup is hard, psychologically and emotionally. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to move quickly, to demonstrate success, to generate returns. And there’s a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity. Having someone in the trenches with you, who shares the struggle and understands the context, can help you keep your sanity.
Choosing to launch a startup is a lot of fun, but it can be a crazy ride. Having a solid co-founder can not only increase the likelihood that your startup will succeed, but may also save your sanity. And, it gives you someone with whom to share the ride.