Do you complement each other ?
Your instinct might be telling you to look for someone who is pretty much like you. Of course, it will be compulsory to be on the same page with your associate, but that strategy can also be counterproductive. If he only agrees with you on every topic and is just a « yes person », you won’t go far together. It is better to accept a person who has a slightly different vision and point of view than yours. That way, he’ll make you think twice about your ideas, he’ll bring you some perspectives you wouldn’t have thought about otherwise and he’ll be there to tell you when you’re having the wrong approach about things. Basically, you want to associate with someone who will be there to support you in the good times and who will also be able to give you some constructive feedbacks at the right time. Same, but different !
To death ?
When you set up a company, you must be ready to work late during the very first months or even years. That’s why you want to make sure that your co-founder is ready to committ as much as you into the project. Otherwise, if one is doing more than the other, you’ll be soon arguing about it. Beyond the professionnal skills, it does matter to find someone you get along with well. If you are to be spending a lot of time together at work and probably out of the office as well, you want to appreciate her personnality. So, before picking up someone, try to find the most informations you can about him to make sure you’ll match for a long run and he’ll be as devoted as you to the success of the project.
“all is good to make sure that your future co-founder will be as much evolved as you are!”
What about its past experiences ?
We’ve already mentioned it but take some time to look into the previous work experiences of your associate-to-be. Will they be a good asset for the development of your own business ? Is he used to have a good contact with the customers ? Is he used to take some meaningful decisions ? Can he handle good and bad critics ? You know you’ll have to meet some potential partners and investors to make your company grow, so you want to make sure your associate can go through this type of situations taking his responsibilities. Your co-founder has to be able to deal with the ups and the downs that the company will have to face on the road.
Can it be a good leader ?
The founder of a company has to play different roles through the day. You want your partner to have some good leadership to help you make the right decisions, to set up the rules and to manage the employees of the company. Also, as you both are in charge, you don’t want someone who would have too big an ego. A co-founder must be able to work towards the general interest of the company rather than figuring out solutions for herself. Eventually, you want to associate yourself with someone who’s capable of listening, understanding and talking with tact. That’s the best recipe for a long-term and successful partnership !