Brian Ma's Blog (@zealoustiger)

Weekly insights from an Entreprenuer: To spend one year as a tiger is better than to live forever as sheep

Why you need a Co-Founder

By far, THE most important thing (and probably one of the hardest) about a successful startup is finding the right co-founder. I’ll leave it for another post to discuss what to look for in a cofounder and use this one to discuss a couple reasons WHY you need one:


1) They challenge you – Your ideas suck, get over it.  I’ve been shot down so many times, I’ve lost count.  You need someone there to double/triple check you and keep you grounded.  What you think is awesome may not be what someone else thinks is awesome.

2) They keep you in check – Startups are draining – mentally, physically, psychologically, etc.  There are going to be many times when you think to yourself “what have I gotten myself into?  I should just quit now while I’m ahead.”  You might be right, but most of the time you’re wrong.  You really need someone there to tell you which one it is.

3) They help you quit your job – I can’t even count how many “wantreprenuers” I’ve talked to whose sole reason for not going at it full-time is because they haven’t found a cofounder.  They’re right.  Don’t quit your job until you can find that special someone that will take that leap of faith with you.  Startups are hard – you need the inspiration.

4) You need one to raise money – If none of the first 3 reasons made you want to go partner up with someone right now, then this will.  More than likely, VC’s and Angel’s will not hand you money if you’re by yourself.  Why?  Cause they’re thinking “if this guy can’t even convince one other person that their idea is good, why should I believe their idea is good?”  If you’re thinking about taking in investment money any time in the future, you can’t live without someone by your side.

I’ve been blessed with not one, but a group of cofounders whose skills complement mine very well, but I’ll wait to write about them some other time.  Until then, good luck finding yours.  You’ll know when you have the right people/person, cause you’ll walk into work everyday feeling thankful.

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