I'm new here and on the path down an entrepreneurial journey. I am looking to build up a service that encourages the idea the deep connections; a different way of thinking. I've been planning this for a while and have the concept created on paper. I'm from a technical background, including programming and project management but I don't have the ability to create this on my own. Because of the complexity of the project, I'd like to get a team involved for the development, but more importantly, I'd like to actually get a co-founder involved.
I've been doing a lot of work on understanding a company culture, so based on my own beliefs, I have my own values. I'd like to get a prototype developed first because of the extreme cost involved in getting the full service developed. The reason I'd like a co-founder is because I know I cannot do this on my own; I need someone else with a different area of responsibility, but my question is, how do you actually find a co-founder? I've been to hackathons, bootcamps and other aspects and almost everyone I meet is already part of their own project, understandably. How do you find people interested. Do I pitch the idea to people and see who bites?
This is something I've been struggling with for some time. On the side, I'm building up applications for SMEs and with my project management and prior development experience, I understand how they're going through the motions with co-founders, but I just cannot seem to find my own.
I'd love any thoughts on this - what I'm doing wrong, what I could be doing any advice in general.
Finding a co-founder is as delicate and mysterious as finding a marriage partner because it is a marriage. You need complementary skills, intellectual equality, and chemistry. Ironically, you may find them in the same way - not at a "marriage" event (or hackathon), but in a coffee shop, store, or park. You need to work on your plan and be aware of those around you. You may hear someone talking about something that triggers you introducing yourself. You may meet them through a friend or work. What does not work, like marriage, is to "force" a relationship that is not natural. Co-Founder is not a role or a position; it is a person that will stay with you when everything is going wrong.
If your idea is better, other founders working on their own ideas will abandon them. That's how I got my CEO.
In my experience finding the right startup and founder to join has been complicated. Founders have big egos and think they know everthing. Recognize they dont know it all is not easy. They prefer to have CEO titles instead of making money. Several of them (specially on tech startups) dont have the business acumen required to grow the business, structure the foundation and make it sucesfull.
I am currently looking for my next challenge as professional. I have +20 yrs of global experience and looking to join a startup as Cofounder. My experience lies in the area of Operations, C-level Mgt, Financial Funding, Procurement, Sourcing, Business strategies and Business Growth. I worked around the world with Global complex companies and left corporate job to become an entrepreneur. If interested please send me an email to email@example.com and will share my latest Bio and Resume and we can take it from there.
Fantastic points @dane, @alyssa, and @alex. I appreciate your invaluable feedback here. I'm not going to "force" it and look for the right partners - the right partners will come through serendipity.
Let me challenge you on the question itself - when you say "I cannot do it on my own" you may actually just be saying, "I don't have all of the skills necessary to deliver my vision." I personally went through this journey and I think the assumption of "needing" a cofounder is spurious at best. The most common reason great ideas die are early on are because of co-founder in-fighting. Why not assemble a team of inspired individuals looking to collaborate on your vision? Too often I speak to founders looking for a co-founder when they are non-technical to build their vision for them - and they complain because that person is harder and harder to find as Google, FB, Amazon etc hire up and handsomely pay their engineering talent. On the technical side - too often I see founders who want to build something they are "sure" will be a winner and no one really wants. So they build often on their own "sweat equity" and then they say, "ok salesperson, sell!" Salesperson says, "sell what? this? No one would buy this." So what do you do? 1. Define your MVP - there are many definitions, but my personal definition is "The minimum product I can develop to sell to one customer who will pay me any money for the service / tech." You're from a "technical background" - how many people have you shown your specs too that have said, yes that would sell if I could have that? If you're from a technical background, is the prototype built?
In summary, I think "searching for" a cofounder is really risky. How people perform / behave under pressure or with no real deadlines is really hard to gauge until you're in that circumstance. IMO, you're better off deciding what skill sets you don't have, defining your prototype vs. your MVP, and filling in the gaps will little bits of equity / pay here and there to get you there.
If you have a budget to build your prototype, have the mechanics written down somewhere, a team like mine can help you build it. You can engage the business side of a team like ours to help you research and flesh out your assumptions, and give you more confidence that what you're seeking to build won't be a complete dud later on. There are literally tons of engineering teams - but if your skill set is not "business," then yes, seek out feedback that is brutally honest up front and you'll build a better product that might actually make you money. GOOD LUCK!
I agree with Alyssa, but I'm having hard time finding people who would try my apps out. In most cases, they reject me without even looking at what I have to offer. @Alyssa: How could they know if my idea is better?
@Koosha, I'm to understand from your DM to me that you make indie games? In general, there's two reasons why we're doing this crazy thing called entrepreneurship: passion for some key idea, or greed. If greed, pitch on the basis of why your game will sell and generate money. Is it freemium? What's addictive about it? If passion, then what's the game mechanic and why is it innovative? Why will someone walk away from a session with your game feeling richer for the experience? You need to be able to talk to both points.
dude, if you cannot engage any developers, how would you engage your prospective customers?
the final test is people voting with their wallets... if developers do not vote with their time and security -- it's a red flag.