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Why you won't find a technical co-founder

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the challenges non-technical founders face in finding a technical co-founder, and provides an alternative perspective on hiring a developer instead of seeking a co-founder.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Why you won't find a technical co-founder

1. What are the key requirements non-technical founders typically have for a technical co-founder?

  • High-level individual contributor (IC) abilities in areas like backend, frontend, hosting, AI, and design
  • Strong leadership abilities to lead and inspire 5-20 developer teams
  • Shared vision and passion for the domain
  • Availability within 0-2 months to work completely for free
  • Personal compatibility and commitment to the founder's idea for at least a couple of months, if not years

2. Why are these requirements unrealistic?

  • The person with all these abilities and willingness to work for free does not actually exist
  • Even if they did exist, they would have better alternatives and not gamble their career on a founder they just met

3. What is the opportunity cost for a technical co-founder?

  • If the MVP development costs 10,000€, that is the opportunity cost for the technical co-founder, who could have instead stayed at their job making 5,000€ per month
  • The founder is asking the technical co-founder to take on a significant risk, while the founder themselves may not be willing to take on that level of risk

4. What are the reasons a founder might want to pay for a developer instead of seeking a co-founder?

  • Find someone much quicker, without the lengthy co-founder search process
  • Still have the option to bring on the developer as a co-founder later if the partnership works out well
  • Avoid needing to convince the developer about the vision and their abilities
  • Take on 100% of the risk for 100% of the reward initially
  • Get a higher level of commitment and focus from a paid developer

[02] What if I have no money?

1. What should a founder with no money do instead of seeking a technical co-founder?

  • Realize the limitations of the situation and act accordingly, without pretending to be a seasoned business person
  • Try to find passionate developers, even young students, who may be willing to work on the project for the experience and challenge
  • Delete the unrealistic list of requirements for a technical co-founder and focus on finding someone to collaborate with at a similar level
  • Set a goal to save up 10,000€ to hire a developer, which will provide valuable experience for the next project

2. What misconceptions does the article address about technical co-founders?

  • The initial developer does not necessarily need to stick around long-term
  • Loyalty and commitment can come from employees or freelancers, not just equity-holding co-founders
  • Developers often take ownership and responsibility for their work, even without equity
Shared by Daniel Chen ·
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