You don’t have to go to endless meetups (unless you want to) or build a long relationship with someone before you become co-founders. In my case it was more like jumping at the chance and later finding out how well it works. What follows is a true story. Reading it might help you. 😉
The Uncertain Start
I am the type of person who writes about any problem or idea she encounters. I’m so transparent that I posted my panties on blogger once.
Anyway, one day I had the best idea (like any other) about a productivity app that I wanted to create. Only one problem: I am not technical.
So I thought about it, read some articles that said: look around in the industry and contact someone (but I didn’t know many people); “go to meetups” (but I was aware of no startups in my immediate surroundings), and “go it alone” (which frankly helps no one).
Basically, I was stuck. Until I remembered.
What My Roommate Said Once
To make sense of what happened next, here’s a quick story:
In 2008, I had an online boyfriend, which was a terrible mistake but I was young, so one day I decided — from the goodness of my heart — to give him a present. But I was stumped.
What do you give someone you have never even met in person?
My roommate was currently in love with Bon Jovy’s Always and she had cranked it up (is that what Americans say?), and she was on a love vibe, so she said to me, “Why don’t you write him a poem?”
I laughed. I wasn’t a poet, and yet… I was a writer, so why not?
It ends with writing one of my favorite poems (which I will not show you). That was the moment I adopted the following rule of thumb:
“When in doubt, just play to your strengths.”
How I Found My Co-founder
So when I was faced with the impossible task – find a co-founder – I followed that advice. And my strength is writing, so… I wrote an article.
And even though the article was overly ambitious and contained a lot of bullshit (the well-intended kind), a lot of people contacted me, and get this: they were all so talented! No trolls. Can you believe it?
I got emails from designers and developers who wanted to work with me… for free. What the?! I mean, I wasn’t in the position to pay anyone, so it made sense that nobody would answer, and yet, a lot of wonderful people did. That’s how I found my co-founder.
His first message (on twitter) was weird, something like:
Yeah, that’s very easy to do. Guess I’m in, whatever.
I was not overwhelmed by his enthusiasm… but I reached out (my motto is never say no before you know more) and after our Skype chat, I wanted to work with him. Many projects later, we are now working together on Amazemeet, which you might have seen on Product Hunt.
His name is Mike Sutton and he’s a great maker, consultant, and friend.
You see? No meetups. No searching. Just sending out a message and waiting to see who answers. People really do surprise you.
How Can You Apply This?
Play to your strengths. If it’s attracting people, organize an event. If it’s designing, make a landing page. If it’s talking, start a podcast. If you have a zillion friends, ask one of them to recommend someone.
Anything you’re good at can help you find a co-founder.
And maybe you won’t be as lucky to “fit” with the first person who contacts you, but it’s better than following some shady advice from the media.
I mean, come on. Do you apply every productivity hack you come about? I doubt it. So instead of spreading yourself thin to “find the right person”, let them come to you. Serendipity will make sure they do.
5 thoughts on “People Say It’s Hard to Find a Co-founder But It’s Really Not (True Story)”
This article was awesome. I love everything about. I’m inspired to do the same to get my co-founder. Thanks for writing this!
Glad it helped you, Bryan! Share the link afterwards. 🙂
You’re right…I definitely will!