The 5 Worst Startup Cofounders You Can Have

April 19, 2016

8:00 pm

There are many people you can have as cofounders, and not all of them are going to pay dividends. But that shouldn’t put you off because startups with more than one founder are proven to be more successful. You have to bear in mind that although it can be comforting to have someone to rely on when starting your own business, the wrong cofounder can destroy your company before it gets off the ground.

This guide is going to introduce you to some of the most common startup cofounders and why they are bad for your business.

The Employee

This person has become an entrepreneur for the first time and they have seemingly the perfect resume with lots of references. The problem is they don’t have the entrepreneurial state of mind. They are the sort of person who loves to collect a regular salary and they like having all the health and pension benefits.

The problem with someone who has no experience with the entrepreneurial world is that they are often unwilling to work unsociable hours or trade in any of the benefits they have become accustomed to.

The Perfectionist

It’s good to get something done right, but the world of entrepreneurship is rarely perfect. The chances are you are going to go to market without everything you would like in place. Startups are rarely completely ready for anything. The perfectionist is a bad person to have around because they cannot accept this and they will happily delay a project to make sure it’s absolutely perfect.

The problem is by the time something is perfect the moment is gone and a great release is compromised by missing the ideal opportunity. As you can see, perfectionism can be your worst enemy.

Sometimes a good plan right now is better than the perfect plan a week from now. But the perfectionist is unable to accept this.

The College Buddy

Everyone has someone who could fit into this category. You may actually know them from college. They are the type to come up with a great idea for a business at a bar one night. And you have found yourself in a situation where you want to make things happen.

These people tend to be all the same in that they like talking about their big ideas, but leave them to their own devices and not one of their ideas will ever turn into a business. Executing something really isn’t on their minds.

These people tend to be dead weight for entrepreneurs. Remember, an idea by itself is utterly worthless.

The Inventor

The inventor is a smart cookie. They nearly always have perfect grades from school and they often know about obscure subjects. There’s no denying that they are smart, and that’s why you may be thinking that this walking piece of brainpower is perfect for your business.

But the problem with brilliant minds is that they are all about the product. They have little idea as to the money side of things, and normally they don’t care. They only want to make their ideas a reality, even if it happens to bankrupt them in the process.

The One Who Is Always Right

This potential startup cofounder could be one of two ways. They are brilliant but come with an enormous ego. They may also come with an enormous ego and be completely useless. The problem with this guy is that he’s always right, and if you can’t accept that then too bad because he’s going to do it anyway.

Working with a startup cofounder is about compromise. There will be times where you come into conflict with each other, but if you are unable to ever work out a compromise then you are going to see your business come to a grinding halt.

Sometimes It’s Better to Be Alone

The harsh reality of entrepreneurship is it’s sometimes better to be completely alone in the business world. It’s better to take on major tasks alone than to be dragged down by a cofounder who simply doesn’t work.

When deciding whether to take on someone as your cofounder, never allow someone to get in the way because they happen to know you. There are so many entrepreneurs who have failed because they allowed their friends to get involved. Look at potential startup cofounders from an objective standpoint.

Do they have anything to offer your business?

If the answer is no, it shouldn’t matter what sort of relationship you have with them. Business must always come first. Who is your ideal startup cofounder and why?

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AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.