I have been sharing my thoughts on starting up a venture and how to avoid common mistakes in a startup. But whatever we do, there is no guarantee of success. Failure rate of startups will remain high – it is not because the founders are not capable but most of the time the market situations are not favourable.
What a startup founder should do after shutting down the venture?
Join a job? Unfortunately startup experience will not be very helpful in a traditional job. The worst part is that corporate work is not enjoyable.
Start another startup? It’s not easy; you need initial capital, team, and most importantly sufficient time to find product–market fit. If you have all the resources then you don’t have to shut down your current startup. You can always pivot.
The last option is to join another startup – as a co-founder or an early employee – where you can add a lot of value with the experience of your previous startup.
Watch the video in which Sameer Guglani, Founder Morpheus accelerator, talks about the upside of starting your own venture. He shares interesting examples of entrepreneurs around him who had to shut down ventures due to unavoidable reasons but are now successful in their respective domains.
Being part of The Morpheus Gang, Nikhilesh saw a lot of entrepreneurs failing at their ventures. He shutdown his first startup Cvbhejo after running for 2.5 years and getting incubated by The Morpheus. But he earned a lot of experience in startup recruitment.
He took an initiative (along with The Morpheus) to help ex-founders in finding a second chance with another startup.
“I was clueless after closing my startup. I discussed with Sameer (Co-Founder, Morpheus Gang) and he asked me to help gang companies with recruitment and at the same time educate them about the importance of ex-founders and their suitable role in another startup. I immediately agreed to give a proper platform to founders who want to move on to join another startup. We did not like the term – ‘failed entrepreneurs’ so we started calling them ‘RIP startups’ founders’,” said Nikhilesh
. Normally, it takes two to four months for a startup to hire the right candidate for a position like a co-founder and there is no guarantee that the startup will find a co-founder as the expectations of both sides should match. It just does not happen by throwing cash and equity benefits.
There are many platforms and groups for co-founder hiring but finding a co-founder outside one’s network is a problem not many have cracked successfully. The co-founder match-making platforms and Facebook groups can help you connect with guys who are looking to join a startup as a co-founder but will not help you identify the right guy for your startup. The process cannot be automated, it needs startup hiring experience because startup recruitment is different and here are the things you should do differently.
Nikhilesh expanded his help to companies outside the Morpheus network and named it Hiring Decoder. "I wanted to help people who are seriously building a startup, so there was no point of limiting my help to Morpheus gang companies. I enjoy meeting with startup founders and interacting with people who want to contribute to startups. Hiring Decoder born without any effort."
The process that Nikhilesh follows to hire a co-founder or senior guy for a startup:
- Building the credibility of startup and founders.
- Improving the communication with the world.
- Educating them how to hire a senior level guy.
- Connecting them with the right candidates.
- Helping in interviews.
“I worked with sole founders, and together we found people at co-founder level. I work closely with founders to understand their life journey, startup experience, and passions so that it can be communicated to the world to attract right kind of people. Recently, I found a co-founder within a month’s effort for my startup based on my learnings.” He further added.
“I believe that senior level hiring is a critical problem, be it co-founder, CXO, VP or underrated ex-founders. Entrepreneurs talk about the product, marketing, investments but do not know how to hire initial team members. It is very obvious that without building a strong core team, your startup will not go anywhere no matter how much funding you raise.”
Founder’s entrepreneurial journey does not end with one startup and magic happens when one startup guy joins another startup. To help true entrepreneurs, there is a guy, trying to facilitate the hiring process in his own limited capacity. We need more such initiatives to encourage more people to take up entrepreneurship.