Tips about having a cofounder by Marissa Feinberg, Triple Bottom Why
July 3, 2019
Founder and Chief Storyteller of Triple Bottom Why
“You might start to feel the founder fatigue of having to be the Jane or Jack of all trades and to do everything yourself.… while there are some risks there are also rewards in having other team members behind you”
We had the opportunity to sit down with Marissa Feinberg, founder and chief storyteller of Triple Bottom Why, to discuss important topics at hand for new entrepreneurs.
She shares her opinions on how founders can approach finding cofounders and how they can facilitate an efficient relationship for the business.
In this video, we go through four different talking points regarding the value of a cofounder.
The importance of a cofounder
Many founders have a clear idea for what they want for their company. Sometimes they even have a detailed plan for how to get there. However, more often than not, that plan will require help from others regardless of how confident the founder is in his or her own skills.
Having cofounders gives you the partners and teammates that you need to be successful. Their help is invaluable because the necessary growth for your company usually cannot begin without a team.
While any help is better than no help, looking for cofounders with complementary skills is also something to pursue.
Finding others with different skillsets will help ensure that any problem can be delegated to someone who can tackle it with the most knowledge on the matter.
The Do’s and Dont’s when recruiting a cofounder
Founders should be very careful about who they consider to be official cofounders.
A common expression, “Hire slowly, fire quickly” captures the importance of getting to know a cofounder before they are brought on board.
It can become quite difficult to work things out once people legally become cofounders and acquire equity in the company if they are not performing as expected or needed.
Before potential cofounders are brought on board, founders should think about the impact that others can have on the company and if that impact is truly worth the stake in the company that will be sacrificed.
Weighing the benefits and the costs is certainly a must.
Should founders be afraid of having cofounders?
Getting a cofounder is an important decision and a very large commitment to make.
Because of the more permanent nature of officially finding a cofounder, it’s a decision that’s difficult to undo. However, if the right cofounder is found, then a notable amount of stress and fatigue can be lifted off of the founder.
Before the cofounder(s), the founder was required to take on all of the operations needed to grow the business. But allowing oneself to assign these operations to others who are qualified to handle them will allow members of the team to specialize in what they are best at.
A lack of being able to specialize will undeniably lead to a downfall in maximum productivity.
How many cofounders is most efficient
While there is no definitive number of cofounders that would be most effective, there are a few things to consider as every business is different.
It’s definitely good to at least have someone on the team who is an expert in the field that the business is in and someone who can build and develop.
Being able to rely on others’ expertise frees up the founder’s time for managing certain things that need more attention.
And though there is no definitive number of cofounders to have, one should be cautious of having too many.
It can become confusing in regards to responsibilities and who is supposed to handle what. Furthermore, having many cofounders may lead to the devaluing of the title. This may be off putting to some of those cofounders.