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Why ‘that’ Employee cannot be the Co-Founder

Recently a startup almost had an eureka moment as the marketing founder finally found a techie hand, he was desperately looking for the last few months.

Desperate as he was(*), he wanted to ensure that the techie joins him and help him keep the boat afloat.

Negotiation went past salary/ESOP and the techie was looking for something ‘more’. The solopreneur was willing to offer him a cofounder role, as he really wanted the person desperately and he did fit the bill as well (in terms of maturity/understanding of technology).

Hiring cofounder for skill set vs. ‘something more’?

Question for the founder – Are you acquiring a skill sets or really hiring a cofounder?

You never hire a cofounder for his skill set, you actually never ‘hire a cofounder’. And if you do, the cofounder has bring a much bigger value to the table, that of vision & strategy.

Hiring a cofounder for their skill set is a short term vision and you might be wasting away the company’s equity on a person who is in for a quick gain or probably will cause a lot of heart burn in the long run.

Skill sets can be replaced, but cofounders cannot be.

What’s your opinion? How have you solved such situations?

* – All of this sounds logical if you aren’t an entrepreneur. But once you start your journey, the logical boundaries fall apart and you face some of these questions that come with ‘urgency’ tag.

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