How To Select the Right Cofounder For Your Startup

Five traits that have nothing to do with skills or experience

Cofounders, partners, bosses, and employees

Those are basically the four foundational categories of people you work with. The latter two have very much a traditional vertical relationship. Cofounders and partners have more of a lateral relationship, although they’re not entirely on the same level. But the differences in working relationship between the former two and the latter two are dramatic.

Fill your gaps

It makes absolute sense to cofound a company with someone who is not like you, someone who fills your gaps. The problem is, a lot of times entrepreneurs will put themselves into a loosely defined box and then search for a the opposite of that box.

Agree to disagree

Can you disagree and still get along? The answer to that question is less about personality and more about maturity. For example, I have teenage twin daughters who couldn’t be more different, who fill each other’s gaps spectacularly, and who both have solid creative and even nascent business skills.

What do you want out of life?

Do not overlook this question.

Don’t fall into these traps

Some of the decision criteria is a little more personal when it comes to personality. From historical experience, I can say without hesitation to always choose:

  • Integrity over connections.
  • Work ethic over intelligence.

Walk vs. talk

The last and most important aspect in choosing a cofounder comes down to having some assurance that the person you’re choosing lives what they say.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building TeachingStartup.com & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at joeprocopio.com

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