Advice on choosing co-founders

The following advice on choosing and working with co-founders originally came from Noam Wasserman, author of the legendary book Founder’s Dilemmas:

  • Bringing in co-founders who have the technical expertise, sales background, or social connections that you lack;
  • Creating a more diverse team gives you access to a wider, more diverse network;
  • Avoiding co-founding with friends and family; the eventual conflict far outweighs the value.
  • Creating a clear division of labor helps accountability and creativity to flourish.
  • Having a plan to address problems. Don’t avoid conflict; make a plan for it.

(Quoted on a Profit Guide post, Build a team of founders investors will love.)

It’s a solid list but misses something hugely important. The best founder teams we have seen here at Forward Partners have had a deep and obvious mutual respect. A startup is a long and sometimes difficult journey and mutual respect gives relationships the strength to survive turbulent times.