Finding a Technical Co-Founder

in failure •  6 months ago  (edited)

stevejobs stevewozniak.jpg

This is a picture of Steve Jobs and his tech co-founder for Apple, Steve Wozniak.

Looking at this photo, I've failed miserably over the past one year in this department.

My approach was wrong.
My mindset was wrong.
And I wish I had knew better.

What I did wrong

1) Thinking money can buy me a partner and a team.


I managed to raise funds, this guy/girl will work with me.

As it turn out for me, it was correct... as long as I had funds. By Nov 2018, all the funds allocated to my then partner was used up in development - which back then I thought was a lot but it wasn't. To be fair to him, he did deliver the promised tasks. However looking back, the funds were used for tasks that were grossly overpriced. And when the budgeted funds ran out, he left to work on other projects - and so did the people he hired to work on the early stuff.

Lesson learned: If people work with you only because of money, you are f***ed. Coz when the tap runs out, they will go. I learned that all startups should bootstrap at the beginning and must find a co-founder who is willing to bootstrap with you. Alignment is everything. Bring up the difficult conversations as early as possible. Is he/she ready to go through the mud and rain together? Does his/her currently lifestyle match a startup entrepreneur? What can both of you agree on right now so that your partner will have a skin in the game? Keep your eyes wide open, see things as they are and capture red flags as soon as possible. Positive thinking helps me keep my energy up. But I have ignored the signs before. For example, it is essential that co-founders communicate almost obsessively with each other at the beginning of a startup. We didn't and I failed to acknowledge this. I was banking on success and more fundraising to keep the ship moving. Wrong indeed.

2) Hands-off approach to development

I should leave the entire technical development and product roadmap entirely to someone else. Let him decide for me should we build on Ethereum, EOS & IOTA or build our own blockchain protocol.

Sell the vision, the beautiful endgame we want to create and leave the building up to them. 'Point them where to go but don't tell them how to get there,' I once read in a book somewhere.

Lesson Learned: Yes - hire people who are better than you and don't tell them what to do. But you still got to know whether they are taking the taxi, the bus, or freaking helicopter to the destination. And if they are dropping by some sub destinations, why. As a founder, read up a lot on the areas you do not know. You must know every bit of your ship as possible to steer it. No excuses.

When a man with money meets a man with experience...
the man with experience walks away with the money...
and the man with money walks away with the experience.

3) Building to impress.

Build a website.
Build a video.
Build a physical mockup prototype.
Build branding assets.
When EMPOWER becomes more real, you can raise more funds.
That was the plan.

The above brought me onto the table with the United Nations.
In the same room as Changpeng Zhao of Binance and many veterans who were championing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to be taken seriously in Geneva last year.

But the objectives were still wrong.

Lesson Learned: Build to onboard users. Build to onboard community. Build to onboard conversations & contributors. Build to find new technology. Build to increase user experience. Build to create raving fans.

Boy, I really wish I knew better.

Most importantly, I feel accountable to my angel investor.

That is why I can't give up.

Pick myself back up and knowing what I know now, build it right.

The following guides has also benefited me and I hope it does the same for you:

How to Configure Your Startup Team

Guide to Finding a Technical Co-Founder

Serious Hiring Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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Never give up.. You've learnt and understand some important elements.
Thanks for sharing.. As im currently on the verge to starting up a bizz..