Success stories, anyone?
I'm looking for a co-founder with programming and technical skills and have yet to find the right partner...
What are the ideal places (other than cofounderslab) where matches are being made?
I've been approached a few times for a tech-cofounder roll. What I've seen is not great. The "idea" guys don't seem to understand the commitment, cost, time, and skill need for the tech side of their business.
I've never seen an offer of 50/50 partnership. Many of the idea people seem to think that they need a short term tech solution. They don't understand that it's pretty much a 24/7/365 commitment until the company is sold or fails.
Basically, they undervalue the tech side and get angry when I want a full partnership because of the massive amount of time and effort involved.
Pay attention to this: Your website/app needs to be taken care of all the time. It will need to be updated all the time. It will be under constant attack from hackers and trolls. Your website/app is a HUGE commitment that will NEVER be fully complete.
Disclosure: I provide a service that helps non-technical founders build products. I've built a tool that automates the MVP process, bringing cost and time to market down by 60-70%.
Hi Brig, I was in your situation a few years ago, before I learned how to code. I don't have a success story but I've found three different co-founders. Two at university start up events / competitions and one at a engineering networking event. These arrangements lasted for 2 to 3 weeks each but they taught me a bunch of stuff and, hopefully, some of that might be useful to you!
You need to find someone who is as driven, passionate and dedicated to the vision as you are. This is really hard. I've found that no one care about your baby as much as you do. Don't just accept anyone who says they can code, like I did.
You need to bring stuff to the table too. You need to demonstrate a real demand for the product and a path to monetization before a single line of code is written. Software engineers get a offers. A lot of offers. You need to prove that your business is superior to the 50 other pitches they've heard that month.
Realize how unsustainable building a new project is for a SE. Engineers typically work 40 to 50 hours and spend most of that time writing code. By bringing a technical co-founder on board, you’re asking them to commit 20 more hours and pretty much give up their social life. For free.
This and future experiences make me believe that you really don't want a technical co-founder at the pre-mvp stage. There are a couple of reasons for that.
1. It takes a lot of time and effort to find a co-founder. This is time you could be spending doing literally anything else. Like sales. Sales is good.
2. It's rarely reliable. Because of the unsustainable nature of the work, engineers tend to quit frequently into the project - especially if you're paying below market rates.
3. Speed. Building an MVP is typically not quick. Roughly, a dev shop takes 8 to 12 weeks to build a product generally with a team of two engineers, a designer and a project manager. Compare that to a part time engineer working 20 hours a week. The engineer’s schedule may end up being the bottleneck in your go to market timeline. (note: the amount of time a dev shop actually spends on your product is questionable so take the math with a grain of salt).
I would say that if you're confident in your analysis and research, then I would take the plunge and spend some money to hire someone to build it for you.
Feel free to reach out to me at here or on linkedIn if you have any questions or would like to chat further.
I'm searching for a 2nd Technical Co-Founder. I believe you have to look everywhere literally. Developers are working and the pool of entrepreneurial cofounders is smaller than it used to be. In my case, I'm a technical Founder and I also have a Marketing background to back up any startup, a well-rounded skill stack is rare.
Adrian Leishman pretty much nailed it....
The challenge I've had in the past is finding a co-founder who is simply willing and able to grind the same number of hours I'm putting in...
What I've found is most Marketers want to put in a few hours a week... while the Development team puts in 50 or 60 hours per week each...
If you have a product that actually meets a need and a Marketer willing to grind writing sales copy, writing emails series, creating YouTube videos, calling on prospects, etc. and put in at least as many hours per week as your Developers, your chances of success will skyrocket...
The problem is... Marketers like this are very, very, very rare.
I found a few potential CTOs but wanted someone local. Most devs were either in work, freelance or wanted paying up front. Hard to find a cofounder, with the experiences, skills, interest and availability.
I have found LinkedIn to be more useful of late by using specific key words and first or second people connections.
Brig, thanks for posing such a cutting question. It seems that most of us are looking for similar technical skills in a co-founder. Perhaps the perception of the would-be co-founders is that the founders are just after cheap labor (technical work in exchange for almost worthless shares). I'm new here, but the discussion from your question has certainly made me rethink about my strategy for finding a co-founder.
Just keep at it and be thorough! I'm looking for a marketing co-founder and having precisely the same issues as other commentators have had in their search for a CTO. Here's what I've learned:
1. Go 50/50. You two can dilute the company however you want, but your vested interest should match. No exceptions. I've incubated an idea-egg for *years* prior to finding the perfect co-founder on a project, and still had no problem with a 50/50 split. "Why?!" you may ask. "If you put in so much work you deserve to be rewarded for it!" Well, you need each other, that's why. Your negotiating power is identical. Nothing to market? No business. No outreach for the perfect product? No business. So cut the crap and get to work. Time you spend negotiating is time you don't spend getting to know a person's work ethic, and every second turns out to be an insult to that perfect cofounder once you've found them. (Because you don't know you've found them at first.) It's better to own half of something world-changing than the majority of something mediocre.
2. Trust. Marketers can't understand the exacting precision required for the most fundamental development tasks. Similarly, devs can't understand the ominous uncertainty of outreach in an open-ended environment. Both tasks end with ten times the film on the cutting-room floor as ends up on the reel. If you're comfortable giving one another support even when a partner is burning out on a task the other thinks should be trivial, you'll have a healthy relationship. If the pressure turns on whenever the stress goes up, you're gunna crash and burn!
3. Work together physically. Most people are expected to move to another city to start a new job. Your startup is no different. Co-location brings immeasurable social support, projects a sense of commitment, and allows for more freely-flowing ideas. It's a critical aspect of a cofounder relationship.
Following those three guidelines has brought me the best business relationships of my life. I hope they help you too :D
well, I think its a question of visiability on the right place at the right moment
I'm looking for tech developer myself.
I could only assume they too have their own project they wanna start. This place seem to have potential after viewing network area. I hear local groups helps, places like meetup.com
We all have to be good at something and developers are in high demand. But without a marketer they either have to join a team or get squashed by someone who knows what their doing.
I found this few days ago I thought I shared it.
There sure are some co-founders here with good technology background, problem is, everyone seems to have their own ideas of product/business or they don't have the skillset nor capable of putting in the hard work. I did find one good partner on meetup.com, for my last adventure, but it took numerous meetups. I also went to many cofounderslab meetings in ATL, but haven't had much luck. I have just wound up my last adventure and looking for something new. Feel free to hit me up, if you need to chat.