What To Look For — And Look Out For — In a Co-Founder

Q: When interviewing a co-founder, what are some of the things you look for/look out for?

Look for:

  • Someone great at something core you aren’t: Sales, Engineering, Marketing. Great at sales. Great at engineering. Great at marketing.
  • Someone you want to work with for a decade. You have to go long in SaaS.
  • Someone that wants it as bad as you do, and for the right reasons. Otherwise, when it gets hard — and it will — they will leave. Or step back.
  • Someone ethical that you share core values with. Yes, it really matters. You are going to be challenged so many times, in so many ways.

Worry about:

  • Short-termers. Folks that just want to make enough to buy a house. Or folks that just want to try it out for a while. They always quit.
  • Folks with too similar a skill set (not always, but often). If neither of you can code, well … you gotta find someone that does. If neither of you wants to hustle to get customers … well who will?
  • Folks you just met. It can work, see e.g., Dropbox. But if you do this, at least agree to a real cliff in your vesting.
  • Settling. Don’t settle in a co-founder. Find someone you truly believe in and love. If you can’t find that person yet, push on.

A bit more here: A Simple Commitment Test For You And Your Co-Founders | SaaStr

Published on November 24, 2020

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