Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

A note about the "Business Guy seeking Technical Co-Founder"

Corporate America's ability to create value the past few years has underwhelmed us. That, coupled with many other environmental effects, has led to many new players entering our consumer technology community.


Building a startup is cool again. That's pretty good for most of us -- new wealth is being created (both real and imagined), valuations are skyrocketing for startups, and people of all skill-sets are flocking to startup town to claim their stake.

This is generally good, but the hordes of new actors have exacerbated a long-standing problem within our community; Non-technical founders who overvalue their ideas and devalue the technical contribution of the people they say they want to work with.

There's a litmus test I've developed to judge co-founder relationships: If the idea is more important to you than the team that implements it, you aren't looking for co-founders.

"This kind of intuitively makes sense; co-founder relationships are a lot like marriages -- and they need to evolve similarly. Think of having kids as an analogy; married couples often produce children together, co-founders produce products together, both are activities that are extremely emotionally and financially stressful.

So, assume for a minute that you would like to have a child. Would you want to have a kid with someone before you knew them well and build a marriage on the common ground of shared parenthood -- or would you rather build a relationship that could support the healthy development of the child prior to embarking on the stressful journey?

Spoiler: the latter method works much better.

Products, like children, are build through a process of development. They don't come out like you expect them to at the beginning, and your best laid plans get completely altered by unpredictable circumstances. What determines your success is how you, and your partner, react to the curveballs. [2]

Your average "Business Guy Seeking Co-Founder" who's out cruising tech events isn't actually looking for a co-founder, they are looking for a hired hand to build the product to their specs, but to do it for equity instead of cash.

Couples don't become ready to have children just because they are "man" and "woman" -- similarly, teams aren't ready to make products just because they have "business" and "developer." 

Instead of running from event to event trying to get developers excited about your idea, think about the types of people you need to give your product the best shot at a good life. Not just skill-sets, but personalities, codes of conduct, theories and principles.

Finally, think about why these folks would want to work with you, and know that improving yourself, and what you bring to the table, will make you more successful. [3]

Footnotes:

[1] Important Point, I'm not speaking for experience here. I don't have kids. That said, I'm pretty sure they don't come out fully developed, if they do, my parents worried about me for several decades for no good reason.

[2] This could make sense if Mr. Business Guy had a MUCH better understanding of the market needs, the product capabilities, and the process required to build a product that evolved over time. Developing this skillset turns Mr. Business Guy into Mr. Product Guy, and makes him a much more attractive cofounder.

[3] Seriously, stop being so amazed at your ability to think of an interesting idea. Learn how to get market feedback. Take a job at a startup and learn how to do inbound marketing, or product management. Learn some design or development skills in your spare time. Better thyself.

Malcolm Gladwell live! | Strangers, Storytelling, and Psychology

Join the legend of non-fiction in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to your calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

Map of the World's Countries Rearranged by Population

China moves to Russia and India takes over Canada. The Swiss get Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi India. And the U.S.? It stays where it is. 

Strange Maps

What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?

Keep reading Show less

Hulu's original movie "Palm Springs" is the comedy we needed this summer

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.

Gear
  • Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
  • As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
  • The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists solve the origin of Stonehenge’s sarsen stones

Most of Stonehenge's megaliths, called sarens, came from West Woods, Wiltshire.

Culture & Religion
  • Researchers have known Stonehenge's smaller bluestones came from Preseli Hills, Wales, but the source of its sarsens has remained a mystery.
  • Using chemical analysis, scientists found at matching source at West Woods, approximately 25 kilometer north of the World Heritage Site.
  • But mysteries remain, such as why that site was chosen.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Culture & Religion

    Why are there so many humans?

    Having lots of kids is great for the success of the species. But there's a hitch.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast