in Business & Leadership

How to pick a co-founder?


Naval Ravikant writes an insightful post on Venture Hacks on picking up a co-founder for your startup.

The best combination: One person who can build the product, and another that can sell. With a history of working together and common motives.

Now that may sound like common sense, but picking a co-founder is not as easy as it seems. Making wrong choices is fatal. Naval’s observations are right on spot.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • If one founder wants to build a cool product, another one wants to make money, and yet another wants to be famous, it won’t work.
  • Pay close attention — true motivations are revealed, not declared.
  • If it doesn’t feel right, keep looking. If you’re compromising, keep looking.
  • Avoid overly rational short-term thinkers.
  • Business founders who don’t code use bad proxies for picking technical co-founders (“10 years with Java!”). Technical founders who don’t sell also use bad proxies (“Harvard MBA!”).
  • If you’re going to fall out with your co-founder, do it early.

Anyone interested in starting on their own, must read this.

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  1. The fact is everybody in this industry is ambitious, building a healthy partnership also requires luck sometimes. Parnership doesn’t work in following senarios
    1) When ego clashes (when none of them wants to let go the things)
    2) Partners sharing the same goal initially but having different long term goals.
    3) Event if both the partnes share the same goal but the way they think are different. In other words they have different mentality.

    Ultimately, partnership is a pure business. Nirav please try to understand this fact. Here ethics carry no value.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.