I’ve read most if not all of these posts over the years, but I need to re-read them again sometime soon. All of Mark Suster‘s writing is pretty fantastic – super useful for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs.
Here’s the list of attributes to give you a little taste:
Ability to Pivot
Willingness to Accept Risk
Attention To Detail
Decisiveness / Getting Things Done
How many of these can you honestly say that you possess?
Great post about why it’s so hard to find a developer if you’re just a guy with an idea – from the perspective of developer who gets these requests all the time. If you’re an idea person who’s in this position, this is a must read.
Awesome post on picking a co-founder by Vin Vicanti, one of the two founders of Yipit.
Not having a true co-founder was my biggest mistake with TenthRow. I really should have found two – a technical co-founder and a music industry person who was more familiar with working with bands, labels, etc. Never again will I start a company without at least one co-founder (mark my words…).
Fantastic post by Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby. Anyone who has an idea for a website but doesn’t know how to get it off the ground should read this and do exactly as he says. Wish I would have read this like 4 years ago…
Interesting perspective. I need to think more about this. With TenthRow, I really, really wish I had a co-founder from day one…I chalk up not having one as probably my biggest mistake. The “emotional support and camaraderie that come with having a co-founder” are extremely important in my view. It’s really tough to deal with the constant adversity you face as a startup on your own for months and months on end, no matter how strong of a person you are.
That being said, perhaps it depends on the scope of the company. If you bite off more than you can chew as a single founder, then perhaps you’re doomed to fail – it’s just not possible for one person to deal with all the adversity that comes along with fighting battles on multiple fronts at all times. But if you’re focused on solving just one problem instead of many, then maybe it can be done. (Note: make sure you’re really focused on just one problem…sometimes you think you’re fixing just one thing, but that fix depends on solving multiple problems at once…pick one of those, solve it, and then figure out where you go next.)
That’s where we are right now with TenthRow. I started out trying to solve multiple problems for a few different types of customers (even though the ultimate goal was to solve just one problem for live music fans), but now we’re focused on just one problem for one type of customer (making it easier for live music fans to find the best / highest quality live music videos on the web). And I have a co-founder, at least that’s the way I feel about our technical lead (hopefully he feels the same way).
So anyway, I think I would agree that you don’t have to wait for a true co-founder if you have a consumer Internet idea that’s focused enough. Just make sure that you’re really truly focused on a single, narrowly-defined problem.