There a few myths about starting a business. Finding a co-founder is one of those myths. In order for a startup to succeed, finding the right team is important. A good founder is almost like a dream like a great marriage. It is a good concept of trust, loyalty, division of labor, and support, but not everyone can find a perfect partner to provide that. One can search for months, sometimes years to find the one. But, do you really need the one? Can you do it by yourself?
For the record, although many people try to push the myth of the importance of a co-founder, it might not be a happily ever after story just because you have a co-founder. Cofounder conflict is actually one of the leading reasons for early-stage companies failing. A cofounder relationship could be harder than marriage. It goes beyond just a business person finding a tech person like how marriage goes beyond just love. A proper cofounder relationship requires the co-founders to at least have common principles, share the same goal, understand boundaries, and not take everything too seriously. This all makes finding a co-founder a very hard task.
The good news is: Maybe you don’t need a co-founder! A study by Crunchbase in 2016 shows that many startups had successful exits only had an average of 1.72 founders. This means that many startups were led by only one founder. This should be reassuring if you can’t find a co-founder or if your team recently left you. You can still do it!
However, the road down solopreneurship might be difficult. You might be at events where people ask about your team. People might not have the confidence to fund your company as you are the only founder. It takes a lot of perseverance to get through and become a solopreneur, but there are people who have done it. For example, Jeff Bezos is one of those solo founders who founded Amazon. Of course, there are other companies that were founded without co-founders such as eBay, Ford, Tumblr, Umami Burger, and Wonderbra.
Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger started his chain by himself and didn’t believe in having a co-founder. He hired labor off Craigslist for $10 an hour and did the rest himself. He hustled and the rest is history. His chain is one of the most successful chains in the burger industry.
Being a solopreneur allows you to not compromise on your vision. It allows you to have the freedom to pursue whatever you want to do. Just because the world is telling you about getting a co-founder doesn’t mean it is necessary. You too can be a single, independent solopreneur.
Of course, being a solopreneur could get lonely. Come in and connect with other founders at Treehouse Society!