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  • #996389
    BrettM33
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    I wasn’t sure if this or the “Get the help you need” was the best place for this so hopefully this post is ok here. :)

    For the last couple of years I have been working on some new software (web-based) in my free time and I am getting ever closer to having an MVP(+) candidate.

    Because of this I am upping the search for a co-founder that has a background in Business Development, Marketing and Growth Strategy – getting another experienced coder on-board would be nice, but my primary objective is to find someone to complement my skills and that is to find someone that can help successfully get this to market and knows how to run and grow a business.

    So I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience in finding co-founders like this and how they went about it? I’ve tried sites like CoFoundersLab but haven’t had much luck – most people there seem to primarily have their own idea and are looking for a CoFounder to join them; kinda reminds me of online dating – you usually get your messages ignored or they stop talking to you mid conversation; although I’ll admit I have actually been on more “dates” through CFL hahaha

    I’ve also tried business networking events, but again, mostly people with their own ideas and even then, bumping into the right type of person you’re looking for is a bit of pot luck.

    Is there anything that actually works or is the chance of me finding someone compatible pretty slim!?

    #1207307
    Robert Gerrish
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    Hi Brett

    Tricky one and your analogy with the world of dating is very apt! I’ve posted over on the ‘need a resource’ thread too, so hopefully we’ll get some useful replies coming in for you.

    I’ll keep an eye on things and really hope we unearth someone for you,

    Robert :)

    #1207308
    eatyourveggies
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    Like online dating, or finding the right staff, gym buddy, partner in crime… it’s a numbers games. Finding someone that compliment your skills is hard enough, but they then have to be able to work with your personality, be trustworthy, available, and so on.

    I’d say you’re doing all the things that will, eventually…. work.

    #1207309
    James Millar
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    BrettM33, post: 246521, member: 18280 wrote:
    I wasn’t sure if this or the “Get the help you need” was the best place for this so hopefully this post is ok here. :)

    For the last couple of years I have been working on some new software (web-based) in my free time and I am getting ever closer to having an MVP(+) candidate.

    Because of this I am upping the search for a co-founder that has a background in Business Development, Marketing and Growth Strategy – getting another experienced coder on-board would be nice, but my primary objective is to find someone to complement my skills and that is to find someone that can help successfully get this to market and knows how to run and grow a business.

    So I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience in finding co-founders like this and how they went about it? I’ve tried sites like CoFoundersLab but haven’t had much luck – most people there seem to primarily have their own idea and are looking for a CoFounder to join them; kinda reminds me of online dating – you usually get your messages ignored or they stop talking to you mid conversation; although I’ll admit I have actually been on more “dates” through CFL hahaha

    I’ve also tried business networking events, but again, mostly people with their own ideas and even then, bumping into the right type of person you’re looking for is a bit of pot luck.

    Is there anything that actually works or is the chance of me finding someone compatible pretty slim!?

    Hi Brett

    Firstly, I am a big advocate of having two or more founders or major invested parties from the get go. The shared ideas on offset energy is a massive advantage compared to going solo. I don’t have any stats but would guess that the probability of success would be far greater with two or more.

    That being said, if you go into some more detail, what do you think is missing from the business that this person would need to deliver. You’ve mentioned business development and growth strategy but I always find those terms a little broad and vague (especially in small business). Is there a specific expertise in business development or a specific product market? A specific channel they need the greatest expertise in? In terms of growth strategy, I read that to mean having a broad plan around growth. I honestly don’t think that is a particular skill set but rather someone that has a deep understanding of your product / solution and someone that has a very good brain on what path to focus on (given that tech businesses often change paths). That may come from having worked in one or more businesses that have taken that journey with some degree of success or if they failed, with some degree of insight to help prevent you from failing and repeating their mistakes (yes I think you can learn from smart people that have failed)

    It may be the case that even though you don’t consider yourself a pro in these areas, your skills and insight are still very good. People underestimate themselves all the time.

    Best of luck with it.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. info@360partners.com.au www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1207310
    BrettM33
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    Quote:
    Tricky one and your analogy with the world of dating is very apt! I’ve posted over on the ‘need a resource’ thread too, so hopefully we’ll get some useful replies coming in for you.

    Thanks very much Robert – appreciate it!

    Quote:
    but they then have to be able to work with your personality, be trustworthy, available, and so on.

    That’s exactly right and something that has also come to mind – finding someone is only the first step; them working out is the next.

    Quote:
    Firstly, I am a big advocate of having two or more founders or major invested parties from the get go. The shared ideas on offset energy is a massive advantage compared to going solo. I don’t have any stats but would guess that the probability of success would be far greater with two or more.

    Thanks very much for your post James, totally agree. I have read that the ideal number is 2 but that 3 co-founders can also work, but anymore than that and it’s usually a mess – which I have experienced personally.

    But you’re right, it’s something I could push for and keep going solo if I really have to, but it’s something where it would be good to have a co-founder with, even not to just compliment my skills, but someone to bounce ideas off of and discuss things with.

    Quote:
    That being said, if you go into some more detail, what do you think is missing from the business that this person would need to deliver. You’ve mentioned business development and growth strategy but I always find those terms a little broad and vague (especially in small business). Is there a specific expertise in business development or a specific product market? A specific channel they need the greatest expertise in?

    Well I guess what I mean is that I feel it would be good to have someone that knows how to run a business successfully and what it takes – like I could try to do it myself but I probably would have no idea what I am doing and things could fail.

    I don’t think I’m terrible at marketing, I have ideas and plans on where I would like the business to go etc but I obviously don’t have the experience or contacts someone else in this field would – so I guess what I’m saying is are they really good ideas? are there better ones? better ways to do them? …. someone that knows how to execute the ideas and can leverage industry contacts etc

    So for example, my software, there is a lot of competition out there for it at the moment, tons of free options and a handful of commercial options – my software would be going up against the commercial software bunch – so I guess my struggle initially would be how do we get it noticed by a large audience effectively without throwing money down the toilet; how do you execute that effectively – are there “ins” to getting mentioned by the bit tech blogs – how do you leverage that kind of thing?

    I mean the software isn’t close to being able to compete just yet, the plan is once it hits MVP stage then I need to look at ways to get more help on-board, as in, more coders to fill out the software.

    My thoughts from the beginning was to find funding, but through research I quickly learned that no-one was going to give you funding for just an “idea” and that you really needed an MVP, something to show at least – and hence I committed myself to building an MVP, but to be truthful, it’s a lot nicer and functional than an MVP really needs to be as I felt a basic MVP just wouldn’t have been good enough.

    I am rambling now, but through research I kind of went off funding through VC”s/Angels a bit and liked the idea of at least trying to keep the company for myself and other co-founders – so my plan was that once it reached MVP stage was to perhaps try something like Kickstarter to try and get some funding to be able to pay staff and get the software to a level where it is ready to compete (and basically wipe the floor with the other software out there! :p); but I know there is a fine line between a successful and a failed KS campaign so that is something that needs to be handled very carefully.

    Oh… lastly, I guess another thing that the person would help me with would be the business model with regards to pricing – one of the reasons I started this and I’ve been tossing and turning on which way to go about that and if it will work or potentially lose us a lot of potential revenue.

    Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now haha…….. thanks again.

    #1207311
    Mischelle
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    Hi Brett,

    Firstly congratulations on a big task of getting your MVP almost finished :) YEAH !!!

    I know your pain, I have a few web applications that we have developed over the years, and the key is developing to meet a need in the market, which we did and I remember the struggle getting my first client, I didn’t even have an MVP, I had a PowerPoint presentation LOL LOL LOL but they signed up and came on board, and we shat ourselves and scrambled like crazy to develop (The client was Mitsubishi – not around anymore)

    BUT, after that, I learned my strength and joy was business and sales along with a small bit of tech, so I got a business partner who was stronger in the tech side to complement my lack of skills.

    It was a hard slog to get my partner, I ended up getting a guy I had worked with in the past on a consulting job, I knew his style, we had the same work ethic, but it was hard to give up 49% of my business.

    IF you can do it alone, I recommend that, in hindsight I should have just employed an IT Manager to manage the developers. So maybe consider looking at a business development consulting company to help on that side.

    I don’t have a clue what your product is, but KS is OK for B2C products, which I assume that’s your market.

    You say there is a lot of competitors for your product, what makes your product different? No offence intended, I just wanted to be able to answer some questions about your planned avenue for funding.

    Exciting times ahead for you Brett.

    Cheers
    Mischelle

    #1207312
    BrettM33
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    Hi Mischelle- thanks for your post.

    Quote:
    It was a hard slog to get my partner, I ended up getting a guy I had worked with in the past on a consulting job, I knew his style, we had the same work ethic, but it was hard to give up 49% of my business.

    When I was just starting out I actually recall asking a past work colleague (another coder) if he was interested at joining me in the project, but he was far too busy with his full time job, his own freelance company as well as his family, which I can definitely understand – point being, it can be very hard to get people interested to invest time into something simply because they need to make a living and any time outside of this is generally very small or taken up with other things.

    I also struggle with the fact of having to give up large portions of my potential company, but at the same time feel working with a partner who is as invested as I am into the company will make it a lot lot better, and as they say, with your example in mind, 51% of 1 million is better than 100% of nothing.

    Quote:
    IF you can do it alone, I recommend that, in hindsight I should have just employed an IT Manager to manage the developers.

    I guess it comes down to how you look at it and how valuable this partner is to the company – would they add a huge amount of value that outweighs employing someone? On top of that you need to have the capital upfront to be able to employ someone.

    But for me – I think I prefer the partner idea over employing someone, simply for the fact that I want the person I am working with to be as invested in the company as I am; someone to share the hard slog and the journey with kind of thing; in saying that though, I will continue working away at it “flying solo” if I have to and do anything I have to do to get where I need to be.

    Quote:
    So maybe consider looking at a business development consulting company to help on that side.

    For some reason I never even considered that, didn’t even think of searching for anything like that – but thanks, I will keep that in mind. :)

    Quote:
    You say there is a lot of competitors for your product, what makes your product different?

    Ok, it’s no big secret what I am developing haha… so I’ll let the cat out of the bag.

    I have been creating new forum software (much like the software we are using right now) – so now you know there are quite a few competitors out there.

    Why did I decide to get into this market?
    Initial reasons were behind providing a different business model and because one of the bigger players in the market were crashing hard and users were quickly transitioning over to it’s competitors.

    I have been using forum software for many many years now and I know the ins and outs of the software, how free software compares to paid software and I started to realize that even the paid software made things harder than they needed to be, not user-friendly in many areas (including the admin side) and convoluted in many areas.

    I then attended a business seminar a couple years back now and got some good insight from successful entrepreneurs – one of which was to differentiate from your competitors, which goes without saying I think – so I have always kept this in mind and certainly wouldn’t have started developing something if I didn’t think I could make it different/better than what is currently available – otherwise there wouldn’t really be any point, you would be selling people the same thing.

    So to answer your question – how do I differentiate? The #1 goal for the software as you may have now guessed is to be the most usable software on the market (both for users and admins); on top of that there are going to be many features and functionality unique to my software (presently speaking).

    So yes, lots of work haha – but I am determined to get there one way or the other. :)

    #1207313
    Mischelle
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    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for sharing, we all appreciate it and it will help with more specific answers.

    I 100% understand why you want a business partner, which was the same reason I wanted it, to get someone to invest time and effort of equal value with equal passion. That is very difficult.

    You could look at a partner of NON equal value, IE a 15% investment, someone part time to get you to the next phase. This might be more attractive to someone working full-time. They could work after hours and on weekends.

    If you reduce the investment % you may look at this as a 2 phase approach. Get someone like you who can help get your product to the market, and with the reduced % you could get a 3rd person for the marketing and business management side.

    Just food for thought.

    :)

    #1207314
    BrettM33
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    Thanks Mischelle.

    I’m definitely open to partners of NON equal value, I guess the percentage stake would be as you say how much time they can commit and also how much value they bring, which also includes financial value.

    In fact, I believe that is how one of the other leading commercial forum software companies started out – 2 coders + a marketer. :)

    #1207315
    TradesNetwork
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    Its very difficult to find a co-founder because you must find someone who is commited to go the extra mile.
    I have created a new start up called TradesNetwork. Is a marketplace for professional services. I am looking for technical cofounder for over 7 months now. At the start knowone wants to know you but if you continue with your business, i believe that they will come to you.

    Also when you are going to approach investors, you can’t go by your self. You need a co-founder. Most important for everything is to have TRACTION. The investors want to see TRACTION and EXECUTION. If you don’t have those, DON’T GO. The best you can do is to valuate your idea and then go forward.
    As i say i am looking for the same things as you and i know how difficult it is.

    #1207316
    BrettM33
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    Quote:
    Its very difficult to find a co-founder because you must find someone who is commited to go the extra mile.

    Exactly – and that’s a very hard thing to do, finding someone that is invested in the idea as much as you are.

    Quote:
    I have created a new start up called TradesNetwork. Is a marketplace for professional services. I am looking for technical cofounder for over 7 months now. At the start knowone wants to know you but if you continue with your business, i believe that they will come to you.

    I just don’t think a lot of people want to take the risk of doing “free work” and then getting nothing out of it for someone elses idea, so yes the trick is as you said, is finding someone that believes in the idea as much as you – I guess surrounding yourself with more people that have an interest in working on startups is the first step; a lot I think just want that steady 9-5 paycheck and call it a day.

    But as pointed out earlier, people you generally find in the startup communities are already attached to their ideas lol……. *sigh*

    Anyway, best of luck to you and your endeavors.

    #1207317
    bb1
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    TradesNetwork, post: 246896, member: 96306 wrote:
    Also when you are going to approach investors, you can’t go by your self. You need a co-founder. .
    Why?, heaps of business’s startup with a single person at the helm, you just need to make sure you have all your ducks in a row, and access to any expertise you require, they don’t need to be a ”co-founder”,
    #1207318
    Tony Manto
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    BrettM33, post: 246521, member: 18280 wrote:
    I wasn’t sure if this or the “Get the help you need” was the best place for this so hopefully this post is ok here. :)

    For the last couple of years I have been working on some new software (web-based) in my free time and I am getting ever closer to having an MVP(+) candidate.

    Because of this I am upping the search for a co-founder that has a background in Business Development, Marketing and Growth Strategy – getting another experienced coder on-board would be nice, but my primary objective is to find someone to complement my skills and that is to find someone that can help successfully get this to market and knows how to run and grow a business.

    So I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience in finding co-founders like this and how they went about it? I’ve tried sites like CoFoundersLab but haven’t had much luck – most people there seem to primarily have their own idea and are looking for a CoFounder to join them; kinda reminds me of online dating – you usually get your messages ignored or they stop talking to you mid conversation; although I’ll admit I have actually been on more “dates” through CFL hahaha

    I’ve also tried business networking events, but again, mostly people with their own ideas and even then, bumping into the right type of person you’re looking for is a bit of pot luck.

    Is there anything that actually works or is the chance of me finding someone compatible pretty slim!?

    Hi Brett, happy to have a chat to see if I can add any value to your project.
    tonymanto@Hotmail.com

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