When is it better to find a technical co-founder before developing an MVP vs. hiring a freelancer to build it for you, and vice-versa?


A co-founder is a long-term relationships that should be built on trust, and passion, and time... time to fight, time to recover, time to build rapport. Ultimately, your co-founder shouldn't be based on *any* specific idea, because the two (or three?) of you could work on anything you are all passionate about, and either experience wild success or learn some great lessons along the way.

An MVP doesn't require a co-founder get built. In fact, the less technical code required the better. You should be able to validate most ideas with some very basic tools: WordPress site, Email list, a set of google forms, and a little love.

I think the most important question to ask yourself is, "Am I willing to have my idea change for the right person? Or am I just trying to find the best person to execute on my idea?"

For what it's worth, I've seen much more success with the former than the latter.

Answered 11 years ago

I push back on the premise of the question.

Before you look to find a co-founder or spend a cent on building something, make sure you've thought your idea through. Who are you for? What's the problem you solve? Are you clear on the insight you are working against and the positioning you will use when you bring the product to market? Many of the problems I end up working with founding teams on down the road can actually be traced to them having started out building something and then trying to figure out how to sell it, rather than starting with the need and a clear view of their prospective customer.

Spend your time and money there, first.

Answered 11 years ago

Co-founders are permanent, long-term members of your team and a technical co-founder is someone who has a long view of the product's development, is committed to seeing it happen, and can make it happen. If you don't need that, sub out.

Answered 11 years ago

Agree with the answers above. By definition, you don't need a technical co-founder before you create your MVP. Sometimes an MVP can be a free landing page or Wordpress or Mailchimp list, Eventbrite or some combination. Once you have traction and customers and a functioning MVP, any good technical co-founder will be more interested in taking a look and having a conversation with you.

Answered 11 years ago

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