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Ask HN: A new twist: How do developers find viable business-y co-founders?
4 points by qwer 852 days ago | 6 comments
I know the reverse of this question gets asked all the time, but it's also pretty hard for developers to meet other potential founders that are more on the business side. I'm a jack-of-all-trades developer, so I don't really feel the need to find a co-founder that's technical -- I think it'd be more useful to get someone with the people/sales/marketing skill-set. Unfortunately it's really hard to separate "idea people" from people with real skills that will actually work hard enough to make something happen, until after you've actually worked with them. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that there are a lot of people out there that just want to ride coattails.

(I'm not looking for offers through here... I'm just wondering how other developers have done it)




It's really a good question and I have been wondering about this for some time too. I can't really offer anything valuable except that Google is a great success story:

"Mr. Brin and Mr. Page, the co-founders, spent nearly a year searching for a chief executive before settling on Mr. Schmidt almost two years ago. In the words of Mr. Brin, who is now 29, ''He was the only candidate who had been to Burning Man,'' a counterculture techno-arts festival held annually in the Nevada desert." from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/13/business/in-searching-the-...

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Connect with those that you admire the work of, something that demonstrates skills you don't have. The best business people are still creators & get a lot done - just not with code.

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Hackernews has "business-y" folks who might be active. You want people who can show that they've done marketing or hustled in things before. They probably have a blog which would give you an idea of what they are about. They should be on twitter engaging and basically have a good online presence because thats important to spread the word for any business.

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Take an MBA class at night and you'll meet lots of actual people working in business areas. Or work at a big company. Both will give you the opportunity to work with people and judge their abilities. Apparent success is probably not going to be a good filter. There are whole industries built on appearing successful and hardworking.

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The ones I've met have been friends, friends of friends, or co-workers of friends. It takes me a lot longer to trust the value a business person will add than a developer, but if someone you know recommends them and can attest they were the top sales person in their startup for instance, then I'm more interested in working with them.

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Track record and personal recommendations, find someone who was an early employee at a successful startup in a similar space doing the role you care about and poach them.

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