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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 64. How We Fight—Cofounders in Love and War

Jessica Alter

with introduction by Steve Blank

Introduction

I often get asked about finding cofounders, and I usually give the standard list of characteristics of what I look for in a founder. And I emphasize the value of a founding team with complementary skill sets—e.g., the hacker/hustler/designer cofounder archetype for web/mobile apps. But Jessica Alter, cofounder and CEO of FounderDating, pointed out that cofounders did not mean two founders in the same room. She suggested that I was missing one of the key attributes of what makes successful startup teams powerful. She suggested that how cofounders fight was a key metric in predicting the success of a founding team. So I asked her to write a guest post.

How We Fight

I think about [cofounding] teams a lot—an insane amount. And, not surprisingly, I frequently get asked what to look for or what to think about when starting the process of finding a cofounder—a true partner to start your next company with.

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Like second nature, I start to recite a list of important attributes: complementary skill sets, common visions, the notion of not trying to make someone fall in love with your idea (because the idea will likely change, and then where are you?). There are plenty more, and they are important. But a few weeks ago, after I sat on a panel about cofounders at Startup2Startup, there was a ...

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