Why you need a co-founder on your startup journeyMeghana Sanka
In today’s world, not everyone wants to work under a boss. People want their own identity and want to court success sooner. Starting up on your own is the way to go today. While we do get to know inspirational stories of successful startups, we seldom get to read of the sad tales of the thousands that fail to make it and shut down.
A startup is born from an idea and gets executed when the founder starts acting on it. The question here, and a rather important one at that, is should you be starting a startup alone? It might not be such a good idea after all. Here’s why:
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We all have days when all we want to do is scream, pull our hair apart and then hold our heads in our hands. In such situations, only a co-founder or partner can understand how you feel. Associates, juniors and friends can empathise and maybe lighten your mood, but they will never quite understand your position since they cannot put themselves in your shoes.
When your brain jams and you see no solution, that’s when you really need a partner. Brainstorming sessions help you grow, bond better with your co-founder and come up with creative solutions. Your partner will push you to the limits by questioning the loopholes in your idea and vice-versa. These discussions form the backbone of any startup.
Most VCs and investors do not support a single founder. For them, if you could not find another person to support your ideas, then maybe it isn’t that great after all. They trust teams and multiple founders easily and feel more open to funding such startups. So unless your dad is a multimillionaire, you ‘ll have to make do with a co-founder to ease the funding process.
When you fly solo, everything you decide seems fair. It’s only when you have a partner that these ideas. As with brainstorming, decisions shouldn’t be made by a single person. Only when there are more people to talk it out with will you know how good or bad your ideas are. Your friends and family will stick to just advising you. Only a co-founder can help in making decisions.
As a single founder, you’ll hardly get a moment to breathe, let alone take a vacation. If you fall ill, no one else can really take your place. It’s only human to fall sick, but things become complicated if you go missing even for a day. On the other hand, a co-founder will be able to stand in for your absence and can also give you your much-needed rest. This way, both of you will have each other’s backs all the time, in both health and in sickness!
Equal profits and losses
Yes, you divide your profits with your co-founder, but do not forget that the burden of losses get equally distributed, too. It is not possible for one person to have all the money to invest. Having a partner might take this woe out of the question, and approaching a VC or an investor might not be necessary during the early startup period. It doesn’t sting you as much to share profits as it does to count your losses alone.
Balance of skill
Not everyone is born with extraordinary skills, and not everyone is good at everything either. A business requires more than just an idea – it requires different skill sets, right from marketing to accounts, coding, website designing, and talking to clients. The list is endless, and it’s almost next to impossible for one person to handle everything to perfection. This is where the partner steps in, allowing the work to flow smoothly. You could divide departments according to your skill set as well as that of your co-founder’s and ensure that work gets done faster.
A friend in need
A solo-founder’s startup journey is a lonely one. It involves long hours of toiling all by yourself and running around to get your errands done. If you love having people to talk to and a support system that keeps you in your best spirits, then having a co-founder is more advisable than going solo. Also, there may be days when you want to put the alarm on snooze and sleep for a bit more. Trust your co-founder to drag you out of bed, hand you a coffee and bring you to work. Otherwise, there might be a lot of lazy days that might eventually turn out to be harmful for your startup.
A helping hand
Starting a business is hard. The reason why many people choose to stick to corporate jobs is because they are comfortable. They do not want to step out of their comfort zones and take risks. But the brave ones who take a step towards making their dream true quickly realise that doing so is definitely no cakewalk. To sail smoothly through this hard process, having a partner is important.
There have been successful solo-founder stories; there’s no denying that. But given global statistics, there are very few companies that make it big solo. It may be difficult to find the right co-founder, but if you do, there’s nothing like it. A team is always stronger than an individual—be it a tug of war match or a relay run.