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Author Topic: On finding partners and co-founders  (Read 1859 times)

40hz

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On finding partners and co-founders
« on: March 20, 2013, 07:42:54 AM »
I don't know about the rest of you, but barely a month goes by without me bumping into somebody who is eager to bend my ear about their latest brainstorm for a web-based business, service, or app that they "believe" will someday become (and here their voice drops to a confidential hushed sort of tone as they glance around quickly) "as big as Google...or even Facebook!!!"

Eventually, they'll realize (usually when I yawn for the third or fourth time) that I'm not interested in putting any of my money or time into this "incredible opportunity" they're presenting. That's when they inevitably ask me (drumroll) The Question: Do you know anybody who would be interested in "cofounding a start-up" or "partnering in" with me on this?

YNEH0.jpg

I'll bet many people here have had one of these conversations too. Hopefully you were on the receiving end rather than the other way around. However, if you were the party doing the pitch, I heartily recommend you read the following article posted over at Svbtle. (full article here)


Quote
Stop creepy cofounder ‘dating’ and start convincing someone you are awesome enough to work with

I had a phone call a couple weeks back with someone who was looking for a cofounder (not an uncommon thing, right?) I asked what he's been doing to find a cofounder and his response nearly made me spit out my coffee.

“I posted a few ads on job sites,” he said. “Then I'm interviewing the people who reply to see if they'd be a good cofounder.”

What? Are you serious? Like seriously serious? WTF?
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 8)

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 03:23:11 PM by 40hz »

Deozaan

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Re: On finding partners and co-founders
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 10:59:51 AM »
A little over a year ago I was hanging out in the #unity3d IRC channel on freenode and I recognized the nick of someone else in the channel was the same as the name on a useful script I had recently found on the Unity 3D wiki. I asked if he was the same person who wrote that script, and he confirmed that he was, then told me he was working on a version 2.0 of the script and asked me if I'd like to help him test it out. Feeling fairly honored to be talking to someone whom I considered a minor celebrity, I gladly accepted his offer. So he sent me the latest version of the script he was working on.

I offered some feedback and suggestions. There was one suggestion in particular he didn't seem too convinced about, and I managed to convince him of the benefits of implementing the feature I was suggesting (and not to toot my own horn, but IMO it was the major feature that made the script simple and easy to use). But at the same time I also made my own modifications to his script (something I wanted to suggest but wasn't sure would work out, so I did it myself to test it) and submitted the changes to him. Long story made shorter, we spent about a month after that polishing up the script and started selling it, eventually becoming equal business partners in the process.

Step 1 in the “How to Convince Someone You are Awesome” is to actually BE demonstrably awesome… that means you don't just show off, talk a big game, highlight what was done in the past or point people to your amazing LinkedIn profile. Like actually be awesome in context… and show while working on something together to a potential cofounder.

I guess my point in mentioning all this is just to reinforce what that article says. My business partner was already demonstrably capable and awesome (in my opinion) when I met him, since I found his work before I even met him. And I was able to convince him that I was good enough to bring on as a partner on his product through all the feedback I gave him and the actual work I did for him (all initially for free/without any discussion of me being compensated for my contribution).

I'd never really successfully collaborated with anyone else on a coding project before, and things have gone so smoothly with him. It's been an awesome year working with him, and we've got three more projects in the works (two of which we're hoping to have ready for release in April). I consider myself lucky to have met him in such a way and had things turn out the way they have. It's been a great experience. :Thmbsup:


40hz

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Re: On finding partners and co-founders
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 12:16:24 PM »
@Deo - exactly right!

What you don't want to run into is somebody like the well-dressed guy who came up to my godson following a gig in NYC and wanted to "partner" with him artistically. His pitch was as follows: My godson was a superb guitarist, and obviously a very well-trained and professional musician. He, for his part, had "these incredible ideas" for "hundreds of hit songs."

Now this guy, by his own admission, wasn't a musician.

He said he knew "very little" about music per se.

He almost boasted how he couldn't sing, play an instrument, read music, or write lyrics.

But he had ideas - hundreds and hundreds of ideas. For songs. Hit songs no less!

And all he needed was somebody who knew (and could do) all this stuff to work out songs using "his ideas" and then play them.

For which he'd be willing to split 50-50.

It would be "like what Jim Morrison did with the Doors," he said. (Forgetting that Jim Morrison actually wrote all the lyrics and some of the music the Doors performed. Oh yeah...another minor detail...Jim could also sing a little. ::))

When my godson (politely) turned him down, he didn't seem overly surprised. His parting comment was that the problem with people like my godson and his fellow musicians was that they were envious and afraid of real talent. Sure they knew "all that technical stuff." And they could play. But he was a guy that had ideas. Hundreds and hundreds of them...

I'm sure we've all run into a variation of that same guy in the tech world. Even if it wasn't somebody quite so full of himself. Or half so crazy.

Then again, when you think about guys like Steve Jobs or Mark Shuttleworth... ;D
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 12:26:57 PM by 40hz »

Deozaan

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Re: On finding partners and co-founders
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 01:30:43 PM »
It would be "like what Jim Morrison did with the Doors," he said. (Forgetting that Jim Morrison actually wrote all the lyrics and some of the music the Doors performed. Oh yeah...another minor detail...Jim could also sing a little. ::))

That's just details. :P


40hz

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Re: On finding partners and co-founders
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 03:46:07 PM »
It would be "like what Jim Morrison did with the Doors," he said. (Forgetting that Jim Morrison actually wrote all the lyrics and some of the music the Doors performed. Oh yeah...another minor detail...Jim could also sing a little. ::))

That's just details. :P

Yup. And we all know how some seemingly tiny details are more important than others! :tellme:

details.jpg

 ;D