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Eliminating the Class of Cofounder Problems (notbad.software)
19 points by davidbanham on June 11, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 4 comments

This post is totally accurate. Not having a cofounder eliminates an entire class of problems. Joint decision making, maintaining shared goals (especially over time) communication and trust all are sources of difficulty on a co-founder relationship. (Source, have been a co-founder and watched multiple founding teams including some who split and some who exited.)

However, as the op points out, nothing is free (tanstaafl). Being a solo founder provides a whole new set of problems as well.

The biggest one in my mind is emotional support. Building a business is hard, and you have up and down days. I have had some miserable days as a company founder and derived enormous comfort from my co-founder. Yes, other people can help a bit, but they don't (and can't) have all the context.

The second biggest one is time. Depending on your business and runway and skills, two or more people can get a business up and running more effectively than one. Yes, as a software developer you can make sales calls. But when you are doing so, no one is writing code.

Finally, all the communication, goal setting, trust building and joint decision making that you get to skip when you are a solo founder? Eventually you have to do all of that with your employees (even if you only grow to a team of three or four). Not saying you should have a co-founder only to practice that stuff (which is hard) but don't think you're going to avoid it forever (unless you remain a solopreneur, in which case more power to you. You either have an enviable business model or a job you can't leave).

Very true! I think it's actually an interesting constraint to place on business model ideation. When you restrict yourself to opportunities that you could reasonably pursue solo it forces you to be more creative. The upside is that your total addressable market doesn't need to be nearly as large.

Large addressable markets are important to outside investors such as angels and VC's of the startup world. The startup model is not the only model. It's not the best model for every business. I only mention outside investment on the startup model because it is not aligned with what you are saying and expectations for capital infusion should be tailored to the difference in model.

What a coincidence, I’m working on an article called “Eliminating garden work by not having a garden”.

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