“Pros-Cons of a Lone Founder…”
Every week I see a few mails with the subject line “Looking for a Co-founder” in most entrepreneurial networks with details of what they are looking for. I am transported back in time when I too used to send such mails, participate in events that promised connections to co-founders, etc.
I met a few people in this search. My expectations of a co-founder were someone who had the same passion, complementary skillsets and similar risk taking ability. Somehow I could not find the right co-founder and started alone. I have not regretted that decision ever.
There are many advantages when you are the Lone Founder. A few that I have found to be positively impactful:
- You have no one else to blame for whatever happens ;). The buck stops at you.
- Even if anyone leaves you, you know you can build it again since you had started off all alone. Compare this to the chaos that occurs when someone with the title of co-founder quits.
- You can take decisions very fast, without committee level discussions and approval for every small thing.
- You learn more skills than you thought you could ever.
- You have a wide choice of whom to have in your team. There are several professionals in the Industry whom you can attract to build a professional leadership team.
- You build a wide network, since your network is key.
Along my journey, I have also come across some myths around co-founding
- It is easier to raise funding if you have a co-founding team.
- The start-up will be more successful if it’s co-founded.
Having observed and met several entrepreneurs, I have not felt the above 2 rules to be true. It is a crowd mentality which makes us believe that more co-founders means a higher chances of success. But the fact is that success does not depend on the number of co-founders but much more on sound business practices.
That said, it’s all not rosy if you are the Lone Founder.
- It’s a taxing journey alone. Be prepared for it.
- You will be spread across all many activities of your start-up from Technology, Sales, Finance, Fundraising, Hiring to Legal. The list goes on. And you will be stretched thin many times.
- It might take much more time to build the enterprise than you planned.
It’s been 3+ years, since I started HealthMacro. I have not regretted this decision of going alone at any point. It has been an interesting and challenging journey. Destiny has also been kind enough to be helpful to me at various stages in this journey.
For those who still are looking for their co-founder to startup, my suggestion is just go ahead and startup. You can do it. Alone.
This is the ninth part of a series by the author. Find the previous post here.