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So let’s say you have a great idea. Maybe it was your side project, or maybe you are 100% determined to make this idea a business. In the pre-income phase you are in now, you need to focus on how to attract the best founding team. And you have to understand that your road will not be easy, because a founding team in a start-up start-up usually has little or no income and a lot of potential problems.
Related: 10 Steps to Finding the Right Co-Founder
At the same time, you probably already know that it is essential to find good technical talent, as opposed to commercial talent, and that even if you find voluntary co-founders, unless you have worked with them in a previous role, it will be impossible to make sure what type of adjustment they will be.
So what can you do to attract and test good co-founders? Here are six tips.
1. Create your vision and keep it simple
Startup founders often find it difficult to describe exactly what they are doing. This is natural: at the beginning, you probably identified a problem and an idea of how to solve it. But there is still a lot of ambiguity and a lot to iron out before your business becomes viable.
Before looking for co-founders, you therefore need a clear vision of what your company is doing, the problems that your idea solves and your target audience for this solution. Just as not everyone can be your client, not everyone can be your co-founder. . . and you need a clear value proposition that works for both groups.
2. Think about the future a little.
Even if you are in a pre-income phase, when it comes to attracting potential co-founders, you need to define your basic business structure. Although nothing is set in stone at this stage, have an idea of the size at which you wish to build your business, the way in which you wish to finance it and the level of commitment which you expect from your co-founders at short and long term. term.
Once you have a clear vision and the basic framework for your expectations of your co-founders, it’s time to develop relationships – and recognize that they are now the people on your team. and the culture you create.
3. Treat references as the best way to find a good match.
Strong bonds are often more important than raw talent. In fact, when you start looking for that perfect co-founder, your first strategy should be to share your vision with your existing networks.
Tell them why you are building, what you are building and what is important to you in a co-founder. You may not get an interested party immediately, but expressing your intention means that members of your network will begin to think of putting you in touch with the ideal candidate.
4. Find or create an open source project or community.
Creativity and ideas tend to thrive in the context of peers operating in a space where creativity and intelligent thinking abound. Find your peers in the community in which you work. This can mean spending time in a coworking space, a regular meeting group or even an online forum. As minds flourish together, and when you find people who like and are inspired by similar things, your co-founding candidates are more likely to match your vision.
Networking and co-working can also lead you to people who might be able to give a cold introduction to a potential co-founder. Expect that it will take time to develop meaningful relationships, but this type of introduction can be the path to a perfect fit.
Related: Are you planning to become solo? 7 reasons why you need a co-founder.
5. Regularly create and manage a blog or microblog.
Once the references and interested potential co-founders have arrived, they will start to consult you; they will assess you as you assess them.
The most important signal you can provide to attract these potential candidates is to constantly share your learning and professional development. A blog attached to your website is a great tool to market your idea, vision and attractiveness to a potential co-founder. Your sharing channel can also be a series of YouTube videos, a presence on Twitter or even an online public forum. Sharing how you think and how you work and how you identify and solve problems is key to attracting the talent you need. Do these things regularly.
6. Date first, then plan the wedding (aka business partnership).
These tips lead to the most important ingredient: finding a way to test the relationship. Like Steve Blank, author of The four stages of the epiphany, said one of the founding books of the Lean Startup movement, the co-founders should seek to “date first” to see if the potential relationship is good.
Founders who have gone through the process many times often say that little success of a startup depends on raw talent, while much depends on how well and quickly people work together. Skills such as empathy, problem solving and reacting to pressure under fire. Testing these skills in a real situation can help you assess whether the co-founding relationship you have found is good.
Related: Before Hiring a Co-Founder, Ask These 5 Questions