Part 1 – Assessing Co-Founder fit
This series will draw on experiences, learnings and thoughts from founding and running a Startup Studio over the past 2500 days. Welcome to part one of six.
Over the 2500 days I have had the pleasure (mostly) of working with over 75 founders, invested in 35 of them and collectively built north of 90 products in their companies. One of the most critical differences I’ve seen between successes and failures comes down to what’s inside the founding team.
I am going to presume for the purpose of part one that all founders understand their ‘why’ for taking the big bold leap and founding a business. I am also writing from a standpoint where a founder has found a potential co-founder or a co-founding team is already together.
Last week I caught up with Csaba Toth. He’s become a good friend and is the founder of one of our first portfolio investments, ICQ Global. We discussed how founders focus almost entirely on the idea; their vision of a solution. They have great excitement about the opportunity and product, but rarely focus on who they need to help them to reach their goals.
In many ways this makes a lot of sense. There’s no product, validated market fit or business yet, so it feels too early to think about a team.
Hiring your early team members is a hugely important time for any startup and getting it right can transform a business and getting it wrong can be utterly destructive.
But what about before the product, before market fit and before the fundraise? The most important ‘hiring’ you will do in the early years of your business is finding your founding team.