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In the last few weeks my team and I have been looking for a co-founder from US. We were posting on Reddit, Facebook groups and some other sites we could find. So we talked with few guys and all of them were very interested into joining, which was really weird for me. But after a day or two they just stopped responding, every single one or if they responded it took a day or two to respond to a simple message what tells me that they lost their interest. Is that normal in US to just stop responding without even saying: I'm not interested thank you. So I realized Reddit and Facebook might not be the best place to look for serious people. If anyone had similar problem how did you solve it? Where could be the best place to find people who are serious about startups and business that comes with it?

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 2 years ago #

    I recommend Angellist.
    Everyone on there is interested in startups in one form or another.
    You can post the position for free and people interested in it can reach out.

  • SR

    Shamanth Rao

    over 2 years ago #

    Dario -

    Going off the limited amount of info you've posted, here are my hypotheses:

    a. these are people you dont have a connection/relationship with, so they arent seeing any reason to respond to what they might see as 'some guy on the internet.'
    b. most smart people in the US have options. plenty of them. at some point, they assessed your opportunity and figured it wasnt right for them.

    I think it's 'normal' for a really busy person to stop responding to a stranger without even saying 'no thank you.'

    These are a couple of things that you can do from here:
    a. Reach out to the non-responders to find out why they bumped you(so you can use that feedback going forward). Say something like this: "Hey X, would have loved to move forward with you because I've really admired the work you've done. Was disappointed to not hear back. Totally respect your decision though. I had a small request, strange as it might seem. I was wondering if you could give me some feedback on what we could have done better to convince you to join us. Feedback is important for me in all areas of my life - so please dont hesitate to be brutally honest."
    b. Try and get a warm intro to some of the folks you want to target. Maybe via a second or third degree connection. That way, if they bail, you can also find out from your connections as to what went wrong.

    • DT

      Dario Trbovic

      over 2 years ago #

      "Reach out to the non-responders to find out why they bumped you" - very good idea, I wanted to do it for some people who I really liked, but I might turn out to be needy or desparate

      • SR

        Shamanth Rao

        over 2 years ago #

        "but I might turn out to be needy or desparate"

        Dude. You might never meet these people again.

        Also, you're not pursuing them at this point - you're telling them you want feedback, which isnt desperate at all.

  • MB

    Mike Barwick

    over 2 years ago #

    From my experience (via first start-up I launched), I was in a similar situation as you. Looking for a co-founder that I haven't met and didn't know. Looking back, phew, I was brave (and was going about it the completely wrong way - i.e. looking for a stranger to become a "partner"). It was a mistake in more ways than one - and a stressful process. I'll highlight the notable/relatable few...

    (1) No one, except yourself is going to be THAT invested in the idea as you. Especially with no near-future income (and realistically, probably never will have any - as your start-up will likely fail). Before you've even begun the "partner" is already likely going to be losing interest - or will be soon after, for all their hard work with little-to-no reward. Committing to the long haul is the hard part (for both parties). When you don't know someone, it's easy to jump ship. Keeping the partner happy, is an art. Use your passion for the product as the brush.

    (2) Starting a business is a f**king nightmare of emotions and stress. A partner should be someone you can get along with (very well), trust completely, and that YOU know can provide valuable work assets. You won't find these on some message board or reddit. Needle in haystack.

    In my case, I was looking for back-end dev as a partner for my idea (at that time I didn't know how to code myself). I scoured the net far and wide. Did many Skype "interviews". Almost all of it junk. Was about to give up, but then decided to post on Craigslist (yes, Craigslist) as a last resort for a partnership. Sounds as painful to read as it was to write and reflect lol.

    But I met these two cool guys from Montreal (only two "normal" guys that showed any interest). In short, we didn't go into business right away. Both parties (mainly them), wanted to get to know me well and vice versa. We did several Skype meetings, chatted, and then I flew to Montreal. We met, had drinks, and eventually built a product - it worked out well. At least until it didn't...

    We ran into lots of issues. A year in, they lost interest, didn't want to code/fix bugs, as per customer requests. Our communication lacked due to our LDR, and as a result, our product had taken a BIG hit. We all jumped ship (yet, still remain friends to do this day). In reality, we didn't really know each other and all promises will fulfilled empty. They didn't owe me anything, as they really didn't know me. To all parties, it was almost an experiment. Not a functioning business.

    Moral of story? We weren't meant to run a business together. It was extremely difficult - especially not knowing and fully trusting someone - or having everyone's input and suggestions falling on deaf ears. There's no way to build friendships/partnerships and trust in a short amount of time to see if you're "business" compatible.

    #Advice: Find friends interested in starting a biz or family members, keep it as local as possible (don't add co-founders outside the country you live), go to local hackathons to find/build relationships, and spent as much time as you can with a potential partner as you can before you put pen to paper on a contract. Even do a test idea or project. This is essentially a job interview for both parties.

    Would I do it again? Never (ever!).

    • DT

      Dario Trbovic

      over 2 years ago #

      P.S. finding tech co-founder is much harder than finding marketer co-founder. It's much harder to convince tech guy to create something you imagined and discussed with him, it takes time. If you gonna do mobile app you need guy for iOS/Android and guy for Web (backend/server/frontend) and one of them has to be a leader and structure the whole thing so it doesn't fall apart.

      But then again you are the leader, so you and tech guy need to be synced all the time, because just maybe his perspective on that project is different.

    • DT

      Dario Trbovic

      over 2 years ago #

      I don't agree that starting business is a f***ing nightmare, you just have to stay cool and turn off your emotions, like I did.

      I agree with other things you said. I easily found 3 partners here in Croatia who have been with me for a year now. We barely see each other but we do everything we need to do until we, hopefully, start working on it full time.

      I believe I can find someone remote, I'm not asking to be with us for a year, but at least for a few months until we prove the concept. That persons is jumping into already finished project, app, marketing strategy, well structured team and overall finished work, he/she just have to be reliable enough and interested into idea to help us launch and see what happens

  • SK

    Sean Kirby

    over 2 years ago #

    Unfortunately, not hearing back from people is far too common. Try not to take it personally and just move on.

    Without knowing more about the process you've used, I can't be certain, but you may have attracted wanterepreneurs. These are people who like the idea of being a cofounder rather than the reality of it. They quickly find that it's more work than they expect.

    I would seek out people with the background you're looking for and try to connect with them. Even if they are not interested themselves, they might be able to offer insights or introductions to people who could help.

    Also, I would try to vary your actual contact. Having a phone or skype conversation is a more personal than simply exchanging emails.

    I hope that helps.

    • DT

      Dario Trbovic

      over 2 years ago #

      That makes sense :)
      I haven't even thought that I might have stumbled upon "wanterepreneurs"

  • LD

    Lemuel Dennis

    over 2 years ago #

    I'm a bit wary about reaching out for potential business partners on social networks. While it may be an effective and fast channel of getting responses, you never know who you're really communicating with. You dont want to be courting a criminal or someone with an unsavory background, neither do you want to be courting a lazy dude with little or no spine for the hard work of a startup

    I'd recommend that you get referred to someone, or you have a network of business people that refer entrepreneurs to you. That way, you'll have a network of people that can give you a bit of background about someone first before you engage them further. Whatever your business sector is, there is a group or association in your community of people in the same sector - get to know these guys and ask them for contacts interested in business.
    Another idea is to talk to your bank manager. If your bank also has a network in the US, you could even ask your bank manager for ideas on how to connect with entrepreneurial clients in the US - he'll give you ideas.
    Remember, you want to get into business with someone that you can do a background check on. Read any of the entrepreneurial biographies - all great entrepreneurs got into business with or employed top execs with people they knew or that were referred to them by reliable contacts.

    And if you can afford it, actually travel to the US to do some networking. In many ways, having a co-founder is like getting into a marriage - for best results, both partners have to click at the personal level. So face-to-face meets are the best, followed by skype meetings.

    Am in a bit of a rush - i hope the above makes sense...

  • LJ

    Luke J Fitzpatrick

    over 2 years ago #

    I wrote about an idea I have, breaking startup teams into four categories. The essentially summary is that a lot of founders waste time looking for co-founders, and instead should be focussing on results.

    The idea is "talent attracts talent." Another way to look at it, the more you get done by yourself, the better talent; and or investment you can invite later. (I wrote about my ideas on this here http://blog.ghacklabs.com/abcd-startup-teams/)

    My tech co-founder found me by chance. He subscribed to my blog, and one time we jumped on a phone call (I think we were chatting about AI, cyber-security, and hacking).

    We talked over the course of a few months, and I need some coding work done (really simple stuff) - asked him if he'd be interested in doing it, and I'd pay him for it.

    I did this on purpose. I didn't want to "jump" into a relationship "too fast" when I don't know the person that well, or do not know how well we work together.

    So, in my mind, I was trailing him as a tech co-founder, testing the waters and paid him - to see how the relationship evolved and not jumping the gun too fast. He wasn't aware of this, which I think could have been key.

    Likely, if I pitched a startup idea to him (without actually knowing) - and asked him to join, he probably would have said no. But by letting the relationship grow slowly and not committing too quickly, allowed us to form a small two-man team.

    Going back to your question ...

    It could be better to not rush finding a co-founder, instead try to work on a small task. And, let the relationship evolve (don't mention the idea of "becoming" co-founders too early).

    My co-founder found me by subscribing to my blog. I actually wrote about over 200 startups in Australia in space of a couple of months - and in a quick time, I connected with a lot of people.

    The problem with finding co-founders is that you have to get on, have to have complimentary skills, and you both have to share a passion for a particular idea.

    I can name a bunch of founders that I'd like to work with (and some of them have pitched for me to join them) - but the real issue I had here was, I wasn't interested in solving the problems that they were. I just didn't have an interest in this. So, even if we worked well together, I could never "join a project" where my heart wasn't in the right place.

    Finding a co-founder is one of the trickiest and hardest things you can ever do - don't rush it, let evolve over time. And, if you can focus on results and connecting with the right people, you may eventually find the right person.

    • DT

      Dario Trbovic

      over 2 years ago #

      I managed to find one guy from US. It's been a week and we've made major progress. We'll see what's gonna happen.

      I'm programmer so I have product ready. I had a cofounder from LA, I knew him for few months and it didn't work out. It's a matter of luck mostly

  • MA

    MARK ARMSTRONG

    about 1 year ago #

    Dario, Any updates?

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