F**k Equity : What I’m Looking for When I’m Looking for a Co-Founder
This is an answer to all the “i need a technical co-founder”. Yes. I know. You are offering me equity. So? There is more than equity in co-founding.
There is more than equity in co-founding.
Passion. We need to see the sparkle. We need to believe that we both believe. Not necessarily in the idea, because the idea is like having a car when you don’t really need one: you slowly but certainly get attached to it. We need to believe that what we are doing is valuable. We need to believe in the learning process, we need to believe that the time spent doing research, learning new tools, getting familiar with the technology, marketing it, that time is time worth spending. Time that we enjoy losing is not time lost. We don’t need “good/guru/unicorn/35 years Node.js experience” programmers, we need people that have the willing to learn programming, that have the passion and the patience to make mistakes and learn from them. We need problem solvers that give themselves the tools to solve problems. If they are skilled, that’s great. But if they ship good code/design AND they learned in the process, that’s gold.
Motivation. We need to see responsiveness. We need to see enthusiasm. We need to see initiatives, even (constructive) confrontations. Showing that I’m wrong is showing that you care. Showing up, by text, by call, by video, in person, it shows that there is a minimum of motivation that, with time, can be maximized.
Collaboration. It is hard to expose plans, to organize meetings, to take the time and the initiative to communicate your ideas, to keep people posted, to elaborate our thoughts, but that’s what makes teams strong and products stronger. We need to build something based on trust, on communication, on being transparent. More important than building a product, we are in the middle of building an architecture, an identity, a brand. It needs to be built on strong foundations.
If you need a technical co-founder, your passion needs to be contagious. You need to make me dream your dream. You need to be more motivated that the person that you are trying to motivate. Like in any worthy relationship, you need to give people the chance to make it work. You need to communicate. You need to keep them posted, you need to take initiatives, you need to make their project your project and make your project theirs, because at the end, there is only one project.
Technical co-founders are not machines where you’ll input instructions and they’ll vomit products.
They are problem solvers, as much as you are.
They’re doing it with passion.