A lot of people consider going the startup route, and there are a whole host of reasons for doing so. The why, where, and how to find a co-founder can be tough. Maybe you want to be your own boss and make decisions without interference from above. Or maybe you just don’t like being micro-managed by others. In any case, starting a company is an inherently personal journey, and making it a success often requires the right combination of expertise, drive, and motivation.
It’s important to note that when looking for co-founders, whether you already have a small team or are still seeking out partners, finding the right person(s) can take time — as well as trial and error. In other words, it’s not something that happens overnight; starting a company is similar to entering into a romantic relationship: You may find the right person sooner than later but it takes time getting to know each other.
For most people, starting a business isn’t necessarily about striking it rich — but rather about creating something new that they believe will benefit society in some way. So how do you find someone who shares your interests, has complementary skillset(s), values your goals, and has the right temperamental make-up to be a successful business partner?
Finding the right co-founder means you need to get laser-focused, and engage with people who share similar interests and experiences.
Intch curates relevant profiles for you based on your interests. It’s similar to a dating app, except instead of meeting people for dates, you’re meeting them for business purposes. This is done by matching your skillset with the profiles of other users — using AI.
In our research, we’ve found that finding a co-founder is hard enough in theory but even more so in practice. First, it’s important for you to understand that finding co-founders is fundamentally about matching people. Very simply put, if you want to build something that lasts, you need to focus on three areas:
- Who you are as a person
- What your strengths are as an entrepreneur
- What your weaknesses are as an entrepreneur
Let’s explore each of these in detail.
1. Who you are as a person (cultural fit)
Many entrepreneurs find that they get along well with people — perhaps too well, given their natural tendency to be overly enthusiastic about everything and everyone. And while this can be a positive attribute, it can also lead to problems when dealing with more reserved personalities who may not share your enthusiasm for raising money or going full speed ahead on a particular strategy.
The key is to find someone as your co-founder who has the same drive and ambition as you do but also possesses the necessary skills, experience, and caution needed to keep you in check when things get out of hand.
This is why finding co-founders who have complementary skillsets is so important: Otherwise, the pair won’t possess all the necessary expertise needed for running the business.
2. What your strengths are as an entrepreneur (professional fit)
There are many different ways to look at this — some people prefer analytical types while others prefer those that are more hands-on — but what matters most here is that both parties possess a similar threshold for stress and risk-taking.
If one party tends toward being cautious while the other tends toward being more aggressive, then there will likely be conflicts over how investments should be made or whether bigger risks need to be taken. This is always worth considering before committing any time or resources since no two founders are alike.
Another aspect of cultural fit concerns which specific personality type each person falls into: Are you both Type A personalities? Do you share similar emotional reactions under pressure? Do you tend to be more of a social butterfly while your co-founder is more of a loner, spending most of his time working remotely? All these things are important considerations before you commit to starting a company together.
3. What your weaknesses are as an entrepreneur (personal fit)
As much as you’d like to believe that you have an innate ability to run a business and create value for others, this may not be the case. There’s no doubt about it — entrepreneurs must possess certain personality traits in order to succeed, but they also need to realize their own limitations and work around them in order to achieve success over the long term.
How to find a co-founder really boils down to identifying individual strengths and weaknesses so that everyone on the team can play their respective role accordingly within realistic constraints. The same goes for any other skill set: Is one person better at writing code than another? Does one person have a knack for managing people whereas another shines at recruiting?
The list goes on — always ask yourself whether anyone on your team has what it takes when considering making any particular hire or partnership decision. Ultimately, you find the right co-founder even if it isn’t always a walk in the park, but with tools like Intch, it can be a lot easier than you think.