Co-founder has become one of the buzz words amongst entrepreneurs and startups over the recent years. But while everyone is racing to expand their management team by taking on one or more co-founders, there are many stories out there of co-founder disputes that have killed startups. Here are 5 reasons why hiring a co-founder can kill your startup:
1. Losing Sight of Your Original Vision
More people mean more opinions and this can take you away from your original concept. As a founder the vision for the business you have created came from seeing a gap in the market or solving a problem and moving away from this can ultimately be detrimental to the success of the business.
2. Poor Hire
As an entrepreneur you will have learnt your limitations. Just like you, everyone also has their own limitations. It is easy to get carried away in the early excitement of their startup and insufficient checks may not be made about their potential hire. It can often turn out that the person they believed would bring all the missing skills to their business ends up not being able to deliver.
Business is stressful, with arguments and disagreements an inevitable part of the ride. All too often in startups where not enough time was taken to carefully select co-founders, the disputes can be too difficult to overcome and resolutions cannot be found. The result is that the business never moves forward and decision making stagnates, while management focus on office politics rather than the business itself, ultimately meaning the vision is never realised.
4. Risk Adversity
Business startups never run smoothly and financial forecasts can sometimes turn out to be very optimistic. Depending on the remuneration package agreed with co-founders, it may turn out they are unwilling to live without visibility of a decent paycheck and are more risk averse than they presented themselves to be initially. The result, they walk off, leaving the founder who is already stretched for time, left to run the business on their own and without the breadth of skills they had before. Or if your co-founder does agree to stay but do not receive the remuneration they need or feel they are entitled to they won’t be performing to the best of their abilities, detrimental to the smooth running of your business.
5. You Don’t Really Need a Co-Founder
It may sound strange but businesses can suffer from being over processed resulting in a loss of vision or an inability to be reactive to unpredictable changes. Recruiting a co-founder to give the impression of size and to help relieve the workload can seem like the solution you need. But a great employee or splitting down the job role across a number of resources, such as sales, finance, marketing etc could provide you with the help you need without the commit of a co-founder. This leaves you to run your business in a way that suits you and your vision and make business critical decisions quickly.