Choosing a cofounder for your startup is like choosing a life partner. Just like your choice of a life partner will go a long way to determine how successful the marriage will be or how happy you will be in the relationship, your choice of a cofounder will be a great determining factor for your startup success.
When it comes down to choosing your cofounder, it is important to make an informed decision. Making the decision to choose a cofounder from the available options you have comes with its own set of unique challenges and considerations, do not rush over this.
Read on to learn the essential traits that you should look for in a cofounder.
1. Complementary Skills
Your cofounder should not be a replica of yourself, you should go for someone with a different skillset. Like in any relationship, you’re at your best when each person brings something to the table that complements the other.
Look for qualities that you don’t have, look for qualities to complement you so that the team is filled out. If you’re a programmer, he/she should be a marketer. If you’re an introvert, he/she should be an extrovert.
This decision to go for someone whose skills and strengths complement yours always come handy when you run into difficulties in making a decision. It’s awesome to have someone who can see things from a different perspective.
2. Thirst for Knowledge
You should never be satisfied with your current level knowledge as there is always lot more to learn. A great cofounder is one who recognizes this fact and longs for more knowledge. As Neil Patel rightly says, “A good cofounder isn’t someone who has life figured out. But the people best suited for startup life are those who want to learn more.”
Starting a business inevitably comes with its fair share of surprises, so having a cofounder who can adjust to unexpected obstacles will make your life a lot easier. A company’s founders must be masters of flexibility, possessing the ability to do almost anything at almost anytime.
4. Integrity and Honesty
At the startup stage of your company, there are so many ways for people to be dishonest such as fund embezzlement. Aside from fund, there are other things that may not be totally illegal but can damage your business to a great extent.
It is important to find someone who is honest in order to prevent these from happening. It is better to discuss upfront with your cofounder what you expect.
Starting is business is a herculean task and will require serious energy, strong will and great pace. You may think that you have enough energy for the team, but in most cases, you will always want back up from someone that has at least as much.
Scaling your startup to a level where it can survive takes energy, hence you need someone who has the physical and mental energy to pull through tough times.
6. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence “is the ability to identify and manage your own emotion and the emotions of others.” The startup stage of any business is always faced with rough times, therefore, your cofounder and you should be able to control your emotions in the face of these trying times.
Regardless of how things are in the business, your cofounder should be someone who can maintain his/her cool in the face of the rough times. To attain success as a startup relies on an owner’s ability to effectively manage his/her emotions.
As Gallop rightly says, “The true measure of a man or woman is not how they are when things are going well, but how they are when things are going badly.”
What qualities do you think are most important in a cofounder? Or what’s your experience in selecting a cofounder? Share in the comments below.