Finding an ideal co-founder for your startup is as important as finding an ideal life partner.
You find the right one and your life (in this case - your business) will take off to new heights.
But, you end up with the wrong one and no one can save you from the disaster.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the best ways to find an ideal co-founder for your web3 startup, what qualities you need to seek in them, and places where you can find them.
Why Do You Need a Co-Founder?
Yes, you can always start as a solo founder.
But there will always be a time when you’ll need someone accountable right next to you.
Not as a friend or a colleague. But an insider, who will have a perspective and expertise of their own. Who will help you in taking the right decisions for your startup.
Co-Founder is the only person who will stand with you at such times.
Here Are a Few Reasons Why You Need a Co-Founder -
Bring In New Expertise To The Table.
Expand Your Network.
Add a Diverse Skill Set.
Help In Unbiased Decision Making.
Have a Support System in Challenging Times.
Share Work Responsibilities & Lighten Up Your Load.
And here we are talking about web3 startups. An area that is still very much hazy and a lot of things are still unexplored. Here you DO NEED a partner at any cost!
No doubt you can fail with a Co-Founder in the same way you can fail alone.
But chances of success significantly increase by having the right Co-Founder.
Hence, Co-Founder > Solo Founder.
7 Qualities To Seek In a Potential Co-Founder
No matter through what medium you meet your Co-Founder, identifying a few qualities should be your priority. This will ensure that you have your fundamentals right.
It will enable your startup to get the best out of you both and help you to focus on your expert area.
Also, remember that you won’t be able to identify these qualities in one meeting. You will sense them gradually.
Let’s take a look at 7 such uncompromisable qualities that your ideal Co-Founder should possess.
1. They’re Passionate About Your Idea
No one will dedicate their time and effort to an idea that they are not passionate about. Forget about the long term, even a small activity will become unenthusiastic & lifeless.
But why will someone even agree to be your Co-Founder if they are not passionate about the idea?
Happens. Especially when they are too much in awe of the bright future of the web3 space, or you lure & emotionally try to convince them to join.
So it’s important to know whether the potential partner is really passionate and enthusiastic about the idea or is he/she just attracted to it.
How To Identify?
Observe how they are reacting/responding to your plan.
Enquire if they have done anything in a similar domain before.
Ask hypothetical ‘what if?’ type of questions & listen to what they have to say about it if your startup becomes a failure.
2. Your Skills Complement Each Other
Let’s say you started your project as a blockchain developer. You are well-versed technically & have built it all alone.
Then the best bet will be to find a Co-Founder who is from entirely different, but still complementary background like - a Community Manager or someone from Operations.
Similarly, if you are from a non-technical background, you can always partner up with a technical person. Diversity will be a boon for your startup.
How Will It Help?
Your skillset will complement each other.
You will get a 360-degree view of the industry.
Building a diverse team ahead will be a lot easier.
3. Your Personality Traits Do Balance
Are you someone who loves focusing on your own work and shies from speaking at events or in front of the camera?
Then find someone who is a rockstar at mass communicating.
Are you a super analytical no-nonsense type of person? Then find someone who is super-empathetic and creative in nature.
Introvert-Extrovert, Creative-Analytical, Logical-Emotional, etc. such personality balancing will help your startup accomplish things in a big way.
How Will It Benefit?
Make use of the best of both personalities.
Always have a balanced standpoint to make decisions.
Fill in each other’s gaps to replace weaknesses with strengths.
4. They Have Some Leadership Experience
Having a particular skill set is one thing, but taking the lead in the overall project is entirely a different game.
Being a Co-Founder of a company is not just about handling a particular department. In web3, it’s even challenging.
You need to excel in different areas be it sales, finance, operations, community, or tech.
But not everyone you are having a conversation with for this might be a founder or Co-Founder previously, and that’s ok.
All you need to see is if they have been in any leadership or managerial position before (even as an employee or from the web2 space).
How Will It Benefit?
This will ensure that you have a self-motivated Co-Founder and not just a promoted employee whom you need to direct.
They will be much more responsible than anyone who has never taken a lead before.
You will get a Co-Founder with a naturally broader mindset.
5. They’re Adaptable
Nothing is predictable in a startup.
There can be times when you have to take decisions under extreme pressure whereas at other times you need to attend endless phone calls or optimize your work for a cut-down budget.
No matter how competent one is, unless and until they are not adaptable to such scenarios, they can never be an ideal Co-Founder for you.
How To Identify?
See if they have worked in startups or small companies before.
Ask hypothetical questions to know what decisions they will take in unfavorable scenarios.
Ask if they are ready for some adjustments.
6. They Have Integrity
Judging someone simply based on their abilities is a good thing to practice.
But it doesn’t work well when you have to choose someone as your Co-Founder.
A person is not made just out of their capabilities but also by their character. It has a huge impact on how we behave, what we do, and what decisions we make.
Thus, you have to sense whether the person you are considering as a Co-Founder is transparent, trustworthy, and has integrity.
How Will It Benefit?
Transparency will be maintained in business affairs.
Your money will be shared with safe hands.
There will be no unpleasant surprises or shocks.
7. They’re Growth-Oriented
A person who realizes that there is always room to learn and improve is a person who understands growth.
No one has figured out everything. The area of growth is a vast endless space and the only one who keeps pushing expands their boundaries.
Thus, it is important that your Co-Founder has a growth mindset from day one.
And growth not just in the context of financial growth, but business growth, personal growth, professional growth, and so on.
You definitely don’t want to end up with someone who gets comfortable quickly in stagnancy.
How To Identify?
Take a look at their track record. How have they moved ahead in their life?
Ask about their vision & expectations.
Observe their mental energy. Someone who is growth-minded will always have the high mental energy.
4 Places To Find Your Web3 Co-Founder
Now you know what qualities to look for in your ideal Co-Founder.
But the potential ones aren’t going to appear in front of you out of thin air. So, where to find them?
Let’s take a look at 5 places that will help you meet the right people and find your Co-Founder.
1. Leverage Your Network
This goes without saying.
If you are in constant touch with professionals from your industry, this will be the best place to begin your search.
Do you notice your college friend constantly posting about starting up in web3 on social media? Ask them what they are planning to do.
Or maybe you have your collogues from previous companies or friends from your entrepreneurial circle who are building or want to build in web3.
You never know who might be of your help.
These folks will also be slightly more trustworthy as you are already familiar with them.
2. Join Web3 Communities
This is also the easiest way to meet diverse yet relevant people from your industry.
Be it an online group or a real-life closed circle, you will be able to meet people who are already working in or are passionate about web3.
Virtually speaking, Discord & Telegram groups are good places where a lot of active web3 builders hang out.
You can become active in these groups, connect with other members who you find competent & trustworthy, and take the relationship ahead.
Foundership is one such community you can join on Telegram where founders, leaders, and builders from the web3 space hang out.
3. Attend Web3 Events & Conferences
Conferences & networking events can help you expand your horizon.
There are popular events specific to the industry taking place around the year in various cities.
Unfortunately in web3, you may not find such events happening in small towns yet. But if you are from tier 1 or metro cities or can travel there, such events can open up a wide range of networks for you.
What’s best about these events is that you get to meet everyone in-person face-to-face and the participants are more serious than the people in the virtual communities.
Also, there are higher chances of you meeting someone with a shared vision in these events.
In order to break the small town barrier, we at Foundership also host 0xBreakfast, a casual meetup across 12+ Cities in India (plus, virtual for others) on the first Thursday of every month.
On a gm, folks building in web3 informally bump into each other & discuss their ideas. Do join us for the next breakfast.
4. Use Networking Platforms
This is different from joining online communities.
In communities, you are not aware of who is looking for what unless and until they are super active there.
But there are a few platforms that are designed for connecting entrepreneurs with specific needs to each other in unique ways.
Here’s a list of a few such platforms -
Besides all of them, never ever ignore LinkedIn.
Almost every professional who is looking to be a part of the startup ecosystem & exists in the virtual world is now active on LinkedIn.
You can search for the relevant ones using filters, connect with them, chat with them, and expand your network.
You never know where you will find your ideal Co-Founder. There is never an ideal place. So make sure to explore all the possibilities.
Questions To Ask Before You Proceed
Keep these questions handy to ask a potential Co-Founder before you proceed.
But don’t ask them as if you are conducting an interrogation. Plant them naturally in your conversation.
What thing do you find most interesting about this project? Your reason for agreeing?
What’s your biggest concern as of now?
Is this going to be your full-time project or do you want to do it as a side hustle?
How much time can you put into this startup?
What are your work & life rules? Also, how do you balance both?
Is your family supportive of your entrepreneurial work?
What are your superpowers validated by others?
What is your style of work?
In case you strongly disagree with something, how do you handle the conflicts?
Please tell me what strengths and weaknesses you find in me. Also, why are you agreeing to work with me?
In case we failed, what will be the most important aspect that will affect you? Will it be finances, relations, or reputation?
Find Your Web3 Co-Founder Mixer
While we encourage you to keep up with your search at the above-listed places, we also have taken matters into our hands.
We understand how in web3 it’s even more challenging to find an ideal Co-Founder. And that’s why we decided to facilitate and contribute to this search.
We host a virtual networking and mixer event every 3rd Saturday of the month where you can network, mingle, and connect with like-minded people looking for Co-Founders!
Do join for the next Find Your Web3 Co-Founder Mixer event. You never know - you may find someone ‘ideal’ for your startup there!
Have any questions related to our initiatives or entrepreneurship in general?
Shoot us a mail at - email@example.com and we'll make sure to answer ASAP.