5 qualities to look for in a co-founder

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There are many reasons why people search for partners with whom to found a business. Sometimes it’s because of the need for essential skills and abilities, to secure funding, or to share the workload in development and acceleration. On another hand, some people might just prefer working in a team.

Sounds great, but what if you end up choosing the wrong business partner? No matter how good the project idea is, the wrong partner might threaten a company’s potential. Check out these five qualities to look for in a business partner:

1.    A shared vision:

A potential business partner might not be as convinced by your vision as you. Such a partnership may face problems when responsibilities – and obstacles – increase, because you might be more invested than they are. Make sure that you give yourself and your partner enough time to reflect on the company vision before taking the decision to work together.

2.   Passion and the spirit of adventure:

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about passion is the story of Jerry Yang and David Filo, the two friends who would spend almost twenty hours a day browsing websites for fun. They were even banned from the university campus for causing the university’s web system to crash. It’s through their internet obsession that they were able to set up a company known today as Yahoo. There’s nothing better than partnering with someone who shares your enthusiasm, and who looks for inspiration in every detail of their life.

3.   Logical and realistic:

It's nice for your partner to dream of making millions, traveling the world, and buying a luxury car from the project’s revenues, but always make sure that they’ve got a grip on reality make decisions based on logic, and therefore have realistic expectations. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of delusional dreams because they fail to set proper revenue expectations, which may lead to discouragement when things aren’t moving along fast enough.

A plan is key. Dreams are beautiful but what’s more important is working on making them come true.

4.   Search for someone who takes the project seriously:

Many partnerships are born casually, between friends in college or on a lunch break. The problem here is that some friends might see the company casually, without being serious about making it work.

Your job here is to make sure that your future partner will prioritize crucial work responsibilities.

5.   An entrepreneurial spirit:

Some people might have enough attractive qualities for you to want them as a business partner. For instance, integrity and skills that are essential to your project might be more important than other qualities such as entrepreneurship and the love of adventure. I’m not saying that integrity and competence aren’t extremely important, but many people find a stable job, with its attendant perks, a better option than entering into a new business venture with all the risk that that entails.

Search for people who value independence, hate routine, and have the urge to grow, search, and try out new things.

There are of course many other qualities that you should look for in a partner, such as honesty, commitment, and respect for laws and promises, and others. What are some of  your co-founder’s best qualities?

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