Often when I meet with solo founders, the question of whether to bring in a co-founder comes up. Should I do it? If so, who, and why? While it’s impossible to generalize as there are many examples of solo founders succeeding , my perspective is usually that it’s a good idea to bring in a co-founder early on.
First and foremost, being more than one person improves output. Not only the quantify (more hands at deck), but also the quality - products get better with more people involved (up until a certain point). And a cofounder does this in a significantly different way compared to what an employee would. The ownership and status that come with a co-founder role typically makes such a person take a longer-term approach to the work.
Starting a startup is very stressful, and nobody I’ve talked to describes it as an easy journey. There’s ups and downs, and you have to cope with that. This is definitely not easy, but having someone to share these issues with tend to make it easier to cope. You can laugh of fucked up situations together, and pull one another up if one person is feeling down.
Having a cofounder also show recruitment power - which is something investors often look for. Are you able to convince others - most often friends - that this is a good idea. This is the same ability that is needed to convince customers, new hires and investors - so a cofounder is some sort of proof you know how to sell your company to others.
If you decide you want to bring in a cofounder, the next question is who to bring in, where to look for this person, also when to start looking. I’ll cover this in a future post.