Some actionable steps that worked for me on how to find a tech co-founder!

Finding a co-founder is insanely hard especially when you have a solid idea, proof of work, and some leverage. There will be more noise and less signal!

Here are some actionable steps that worked for me on how to find a co-founder and how to pick one ☝️

1/ Do the groundwork:
If you have an idea, launch a landing page using any no-code tool, do a soft launch, and validate it before going to the next level. You are also signaling that you're not waiting for someone to kick-start things.

More on this here: https://twitter.com/5harath/status/1301551641628487685

2/ Grow your waitlist:
Use Twitter or other distribution channels to soft-launch the LP and get as many people as you can on the waitlist. This way you are building credibility and helps your co-founder to make a decision as there is a community waiting to use your product.

3/ Ship a functional MVP:
Do not rely on anyone to ship an MVP. There are so many no-code tools that will help you take your idea from zero to one. By making this move you are showing that you are action-biased and at the same time showcasing the potential of an idea.

4/ Put a bat signal on Twitter:
If you think your MVP is not delivering the promised value to people and you can’t scale it then put a bat signal out by pitching why people should care about you or your idea.

I did this with Shoutout: https://twitter.com/5harath/status/1321171017822277634

5/ Pick people based on proof of work and leverage:
If you get enough leads, start choosing people on what they did in the past, how much leverage they bring to the table, and how aligned they are to your needs(design, #buildinpublic, ship-first mentality, long-term player, etc)

6/ Set expectations:
When you get a chance to meet 1-1, talk specifically about what you are expecting from them and what they are expecting from you. Is it equity, cash, no. of hours they can spend, ship rate, etc

This sets a tone for the long term play and brings transparency!

7/ Do a test run:
This is a game-changer move! Once you agree on everything else, do a test run. Give a module to build with a specific time target. This shows how action-biased they are, how fast they can get things done, how creative and pro-active they can get in delivery.

8/ Worry about mental stack more than tech stack:
Forget about what tech stack they use, focus on what mental stack they are carrying!

Dive deeper into their vision, work ethic, give-first mentality, value-driven attitude, community building, ship-first cadence, etc.

If anyone met the above criteria and then you have a winner 🏆

That’s it! Hope this helps and if you are like me who found a tech co-founder, add tips/hacks to this thread so that others can get value out of it 💯

Thanks for reading 🙏

  1. 2

    This what I needed. Valuable information.

    1. 1

      Glad to know that!

  2. 2

    This is an interesting and useful starting point for some folks, and told from your perspective which is valuable. There are some parts that would change based on the type of startup - to the point made by @petrovn 👍 ... however, most folks here should be intelligent enough to extrapolate and refactor those parts, I'd hope.

    Great work, keep going!

  3. 2

    Step 3 is not that straightforward sometimes, after all you need a tech person because you are not one and MVP may be beyond the "no code" tools.
    My advice will be to find someone with experience building software to discuss what and where and how can be done - it is very easy - just look around for a freelancers and approach them as potential customer that need something done and get a meeting to discuss in general the what, where and how of the project - that will give you some pointers about the scale, time and potential technologies that can be used - this will help you when you actually start talking with your potential CTO.

    1. 2

      You have a point, but if you can't ship the first version of the product yourself (either you build it on your own or you hire a freelancer to do it), then your journey ends here (for now). We're not in the 2000s anymore. It's 2021 and people are shipping products left and right. If you can't ship a product with limited resources you're not gonna be successful in the long run.

      I actually wrote about it here: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/long-post-the-definitive-guide-to-getting-a-technical-co-founder-if-you-absolutely-don-t-know-anyone-ea920b158d

  4. 1

    hi Sharath
    Solid advice!
    I've build this tool https://partnerz.vercel.app/ to help people browse for cofounders and ideas easily. It's very basic, just built it last week, but I'll try to integrate some of the things you mentioned people are looking out for.

    Also, is it ok if I link to your post in a Resources section I'm currently implementing?


    1. 1

      This is a neat took you are working on @SteLofo. Is it a figma mockup at the moment?

      1. 2

        Thanks! The site is built in Next JS with an Airtable database.

        Trying to figure out how to make individual pages for each listing, so that people can share more details about their idea.

  5. 1

    Love the point about looking at leverage!

  6. 1

    Thanks for sharing @5harath, very useful!

  7. 1

    Love this, Sharath! I'm giving a webinar presentation on this topic next week if anyone's interested: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/insight-for-non-technical-founders-from-a-technical-partner-tickets-135371996285

  8. 1

    This is brilliant advice. Thanks Sharath 🚀

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