Startup continues to be a buzz word in India with thousands of companies becoming a part of the community every year, beginning their journey of materialising their ideas into reality. But with all the glamour and the charm associated with the startup world, the fact remains that only a handful of them are successful. If building a startup is hard, picking up a right co-founder is even harder.
One of the primary reasons for startups failing is the frequency mismatch amongst the cofounders. For a successful journey, having co-founders with similar zeal and chemistry is extremely critical.
This quote from Henry ford aptly sums it up: "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success."
Things to avoid when you are looking for a partner:
1. Do not look for a co-founder outside your network
Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, and that is certainly not possible to build in the short-term. Thus, you should look for the right partner within your inner network as it will have a history of the relationship.
2. Do not dodge difficult conversations
Somethings are easier said than done. When you are looking for a co-founder and meet a potential one in the early stage, the tendency is to avoid difficult conversations as you want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
However, it is extremely critical to recognise that it is important for you to have frank and direct conversations about the roles, responsibilities, and who will have what authority apart from the ownership share amongst the partners.
Do not keep things open solely based on faith before choosing a business partner.
3. Do not go by the excellent credentials of the potential co-founder only
The potential co-founder might have an impeccable track record and a wealth of experience but if there is a difference in the vision, working style, and goals-setting, things may not be fruitful for long-term and eventually, the partnership will fail. The potential co- founder needs to be sharing the dream with a similar passion as yours.
4. Do not look for similar competencies just to fit in
All said and done, that the right cofounder should have a similar mindset, and an aligned thought process for a great chemistry. However, one must seek the right partner with a different background and different strengths complementing your strengths and weaknesses.
Things to avoid after you find the right partner
1. Do not let the ego come in between your dream
It is common to have disagreements and differences, and especially in the startup ecosystem when most of the things are at the sketch and designing stage, the possibilities of expanding are immense and multiple go-to-market strategies might work. But egos must be kept aside, and partners must respect and support each other.
2. Do not pass on the blame to others
It is again a basic human tendency to pass the blame on to others when things go south, which co-founders should avoid. It is important to keep discussing each other’s strengths and shortcomings and keep working on them consistently to turn your brainchild idea into reality.
While the above pointers do not guarantee a sure shot way for a successful startup, but if practised thoroughly they do help in having a sound launch pad. Last but not least, make sure you have a mentor or an advisor that you all can trust, whom you can go to whenever you are in a dilemma or unsure about the business direction in which way to move especially during uncertain times. They often don’t get much credit, but mentors are certainly an important component too.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)