So let’s talk about why should you have a co-founder. Well, I think there’s three main reasons you really want a co-founder when you’re starting a company.
you can get a lot more work done if you have someone to divide the work up with. And you can get much better work done if you have a co-founder who maybe has complementary skills, so they can do things that you can’t. And there’s someone you enjoy discussing ideas with. So you can brainstorm and come up with better ideas than you could alone, or have someone to talk you out of potentially bad ideas. So you get a lot of uplift in just the amount and quality of work you can do with a co-founder.
Startups are an incredibly intense and taxing journey. And it’s great to have someone you can lean on for support during the tough times. And what I’ve noticed about the best co-founder relationships is they have this dynamic where both co-founders kind of balance each other out. So if one founder is having a bad day, they’re feeling a little down, despondent, and they’ve become a little pessimistic and feel like the startup is about to die, the other co-founder can just help bring them up a little bit, and keep them going and keep them motivated. And vice versa. Sometimes you get too carried away, you sign a customer and you think you’re guaranteed the IPO. You can use someone to just ground you and bring you back to reality a little bit. And so that’s where I kind of find the best co-founding relationships can help kind of even out some of the highs and lows of the emotional rollercoaster that is a startup.
While you can get sort of productivity increased by hiring people or bringing your own contractors, you don’t get that same emotional support that you do from a co-founder. Because ultimately, anyone who’s working for you, you’re the boss, and they’re not as invested in the success of the startup as you are. And you can’t really be as open or honest with them about the company as you can be with a peer. And that’s what you get from a co-founder.
3)pattern matching to success.
If you look at a list of the most successful startups in history, think of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, they all had co-founders when they started. And now I think sometimes people forget this point. Because when you think of these great iconic companies, you associate them with a single person, usually the CEO, who’s over time risen to become prominent, famous and a bit of celebrities. You know, when you think of Apple, you think of Steve Jobs, when you think of Microsoft, Bill Gates, and when you think of Facebook (Meta), Mark Zuckerberg, right? I think it’s completely true that over time, and we’re talking at this point decades, because that’s how long successful startups are around for, over that time period, it’s pretty common for one person to kind of really drive the company become the figurehead for it and stick out that company for a long period of time. And that’s why we remember those people.
But we’re talking about the earliest stages of starting a company. And in those days, all of these founders had co-founders that they lent on for all the reasons I just mentioned. So I think it’s always important to remember that when you’re starting a company, and wondering whether you should have a co-founder or not.
These were all the three reasons why you should have a co-founder for your startup! The idea for this blog came from the YC Startup Library you should check it out if you are a startup founder. If you don’t have time to go through it all don’t worry. I will be doing a quick content re-purposing for the YC Content and will try to make it as short as possible.