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12 Qualities To Consider When Finding Your Perfect Co-Founder

12 Qualities To Consider When Finding Your Perfect Co-Founder
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Some of the most successful companies today have had two working founders that made them giant conglomerates. Here are a few:

  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple)
  • Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft) 
  • Larry Page and Sergei Brin (Google)
  • Jerry Yang and David Filo (Yahoo)
  • Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (Flipkart) 
  • Travis Kalanick and  Garrett Camp (Uber)

All the founders of these giants swear by the importance of a co-founder.

Almost 80 percent of startups have one or two founders, while just 23 percent have three or four founders. When searching for a co-founder to help you start your business, what’s the top quality you should look for? 

Top 12 Qualities To Consider When Finding Your Perfect Co-Founder

Here are 12 qualities you should look for in your perfect co-founder. 

1. Shared Vision

The ability to have a long-term vision is essential for its ability to survive the ups and downs. If the co-founder can see well into the future while executing against the day-to-day objectives, the business has a strong chance of growing exponentially. Therefore, it is important to share the same goals and aspirations for you to align your vision together.

2. Passion

Passion is the only thing that will keep you and your co-founder going when business gets tough. The ideal co-founder should be as passionate as you are about the idea and problems you are solving in society through your company. When searching for a co-founder for your business, make sure you work with someone who shares the same passion as you do. If you’re the only one excited about the company and its potential, then you’ll also be the only one who’s more motivated and productive.

3. Logical & Realistic

Finding a co-founder who is realistic and makes rational decisions after thinking of the consequences will allow you both to spend wisely and grow gradually. Set realistic and logical goals, and stay patient until you get there. 

4. Ambitious & Dedicated

Ambition is supremely important if you want to grow. At the very least, it is what keeps you going when you doubt your passion. However, ambition without dedication to get there is pointless. Dedication is the only way you get something out of your passion and get closer to your ambitions. A co-founder should acknowledge that it takes dedication to achieve ambition.

5. Trustworthy & Honest

It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to start a company. It is a huge investment and you don’t want to have someone you cannot trust as a partner. Having a co-founder who can carry out your tasks and responsibilities with integrity is crucial to a startup’s success.

You can’t start a business with a dishonest person. This goes beyond business and requires a close look at their integrity as an individual in all facets of their life. If you’ve caught them in a lie or found them exaggerating the truth, there’s no way you can trust that person. So, if you have found the person that you think is your future co-founder, work on building trust and getting to know one another.

6. Understanding & Patient 

An understanding co-founder will be ready to listen to customers and take time to understand their concerns. They will also be patient when you have to change the focus of a certain goal. Conversations between you and the co-founder will be a lot smoother if you can both understand each other’s points of view.

7. Respectful

A co-founder should be respectful because when they respect you, they’re also honest and will understand what your individual capacities are. They will understand that you have a distinct set of skills as they have, and will work with you on both your weak and strong areas. When respect is mutual, there will be great teamwork that can surpass the challenges of a startup.

8. A Growth Mindset

Look for someone who has a growth mindset. These are people who at a fundamental level believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, who don’t rely on natural talent to carry them. Having a growth mindset is critical for navigating the inevitable conflicts that come with growing a business. It’s the one trait that allows all other traits to be developed over time.

9. Independent Thinker

Sometimes as a founder, you might make the wrong decision, so you need a co-founder who thinks independently. When you both discuss decisions to take, the co-founder will open your eyes to a whole new way of approaching the problem at hand. With both your perspective and theirs, there is bound to be one that will act as a plan B in case the main course of action fails.

Moreover, when you are away from the company and a decision needs to be made, your perfect co-founder must be able to make the best decision for the company without being influenced by external sources.

10. Complimentary Skillset

When you have a varied skill set in your company, it benefits the startup because you don’t have to hire for every other task. Find out aspects of running a business you find challenging and get a co-founder who compensates for your shortcomings. Look for a co-founder who likes to do what you don’t and is good at what you’re not. You want somebody who brings everything you’re missing to the table so as a team, you’re the complete package. 

11. Willingness to Learn & Acceptance of Mistakes

The key to finding the right co-founder is to find someone willing to learn. Starting a business is a stressful situation, and there’s a steep learning curve. You don’t want to partner with someone who struggles to adapt. Otherwise, you risk running into some friction when it’s time to make big decisions.

Also, there is nothing as good as a co-founder who is humble enough to accept that sometimes they are wrong and embraces suggestions for improvement.

12. Comfortable With Conflict

Disagreements are bound to happen in your partnership. Conflict is an opportunity. A healthy and perfect co-founder relationship will include conflict to make better, battle-tested decisions. Most conflicts usually end in compromise for both parties. A co-founder who is comfortable with conflict knows that conflict encourages growth. This way, they will also be able to speak up when they feel something is not right without being disrespectful.

Summing Up

Keep in mind these qualities and make sure your co-founder is the perfect match for your business. Finding a co-founder with these qualities will undoubtedly increase your chances of success. Just know that you probably aren’t going to find someone with all these characteristics on the first try. No matter who chooses to become your co-founder, you need to be sure that it is someone whom you trust. 

Good luck in finding the perfect co-founder!