Choosing the right business partner will be one of the biggest decisions you have to make when you are building a business. Choosing the wrong partner can be devastating and you really have to take the time when considering your options.
The “single founder” debate is a hot one, and even Paul Graham (Y-Combinator) has noted that they were very cautious of backing Dropbox founder Drew Houston due to the fact that he applied to the Y Combinator program as a ‘sole founder’. Eventually, Houston found a co-founder and Dropbox are now Y Combinator’s most successful startup – but the fact remains that top investors around the world are nervous about backing sole founders.
There is no doubt that having a partner to join you on the crazy roller coaster that is a startup is a good thing, however as I say, choosing that person is a big decision. They say choosing a business partner is like choosing a roommate – “you don’t know a person until you’ve lived with them”, and the same rings true for a business partner.
My top 3 tips for choosing someone to work with on your next project:
- Complimentary skills
- Whilst there are many companies which have been founded by a pair of hackers, there is something to be said for people with differing, yet complimentary skills. Someone has to be in charge or PR and marketing efforts whilst another may have to take the reigns on accounting. Try and find someone with expertise in other areas than yourself.
- This is amazingly important. You are going to go through a lot together – so it’s important that you feel as though you can trust each other. Honesty is the key.
- Go with a friend!
- There will be highs and lows, but you must be able to enjoy the time you are spending together, which will be a lot!
In any case, if you’re in Stockholm and looking to find a partner, why not attend this event focused on finding business partners!