Great article from Andrew Chen about how biz people should evaluate their own position when looking for a tech founder and why it can be so hard.
The nerd perspective is, they don’t need you
Much of the reason why it’s insanely hard to find a really good technical cofounder is that the best ones really don’t need you. Or at least they don’t think they need you.
Engineers have huge leverage as they usually do most of the product development. If they believe they can get a handle on the business side of things: sales/marketing, it can be hard to convince them to get onboard your idea.
If you do persuade them, think equity stakes you’re offering. If they are doing all this work, a miserable 1% is not going to cut it.
Remember this: They are not the code monkey. You are the biz monkey.
So if you’re a code monkey, what can you bring to the table?
- selling stuff and making money
- getting partnerships and marketing/distribution of the product
- funding the company
- scalable marketing/monetization strategy (ad arb / viral / freemium / etc.)
- team recruiting, particularly of other engineers and disciplines (not other MBAs please)
New MBAs and quite a few seasoned business folks (who’ve been isolated in non accountable corporations) can’t really deliver on these, which is why tech founders really can’t see what you bring to the table.
The article concludes that an approach is to make yourself more attractive by developing some skills, even so far as learning to code.
Good luck!Posted on 03 Feb 2012.
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