Finding Your Technical Co-Founder

You have product roadmap but no one to build it out. So what should you do?

Finding the most highly skilled full stack developer might sound ideal but it is hard to pull off as a founder.

Well, if you want to build a high growth tech startup, you have to find someone to take ownership of this role. Without this person, you can’t create products that add value to people’s lives.

There are some critical points to keep in mind for recruiting a technical co-founder.

Look for a Different Skillset Compared to Yours

Rightly so, engineers are expensive.

Taking on a technical co-founder is more than just having a developer on your team.

We advise you look for more of a creative partner of your product/service, someone who is going to bring more to table and owning your product roadmap. From there you can identify skills gaps within your team.

Try to look for cross-functional traits such as:

  • A business analyst & developer.
  • An engineer with product experience.
  • A coder and a designer.

Your Values Must Be in Alignment

Remember when selecting a co-founder their has to be an alignment with their values and the startup’s value.

For example, dealing with product release delays or fundraising ups and downs can be challenging. You will need to have a co-founder to take ownership and be a partner in difficult times.

You can’t afford to have a co-founder that quickly loses interest and is not committed to building your startup.

Tolerating values misalignment is playing with fire.

Commitment, Commitment, Commitment

Creating a startup is easy but growing one is hard.

It takes a lot of commitment, drive and expertise to build great products that in turn scale great startups.

Therefore, you must know that your technical co-founder is committed as much as you are to building your startup.

This doesn’t mean working crazy hours but more a deep conviction that your co-founder is looking to scale the business.

Professionalism is A Must

Your co-founder must be organised, able to prioritise and meet deadlines.  Necessary essential skills make a significant difference at the early stage of a company.


Other Skills can Pay the Bills

Being a proficient engineer is a part of the puzzle that makes up a great technical co-founder.

However, there are other skills/traits to look out for:

  • Don’t rule out someone who didn’t graduate with a programming degree - previous coding experience highlights that the individual is capable of building products.
  • Operating in a fast-paced environment - it’s key to pick a person who can thrive in a startup, as the early days involved a lot of fire-fighting while building your product.
  • An adaptable problem solver - within the startup ecosystem, you should aim for your business to add value to customers and continuously innovate. Look out for engineers who are proactive in dealing with problems before they emerge.
  • Hiring - you will need your technical co-founder to assist with building out your development team.
  • Strong expertise/fluency in a specific programming language.

Grow Together. Learn Together. Co-Founders for Life.

Your co-founder shouldn’t be averse to learning and pick up new skills. Finding a person who can grow with the startup is critical to success.

You can uncover this during the recruitment process you can learn about how potential co-founders learn, their curiosity, commitment to improving their skills and what side projects they have done.

A founding team the grows together, learns together is more likely to be together to scale their startup.

Choose wisely out there.