Founding a startup is easy, said no one ever. Being a first time founder is even harder according to Nick Fassler. Fassler didn’t expect smooth sailing when he founded Thrively last year, but thinks it is part of the startup process. He says ,”Chances are you aren’t going to get it right”. He is finding a way to move forward while approaching the difficult tasks of finding a Co-founder and team building, “you need to make sure you have the runway laid out for your success.”
Finding a Technical Co-Founder
One of the reasons why being a first time founder is harder is that there aren’t as many resources available. You won’t have as much experience or a reliable network of connections like a serial entrepreneur. Fassler is making a big effort to fix that and become integrated in the industry. He attends as many hackathons, conferences and meetups as he can.
Lesson Learned: industry experience and connections gained from hackathons, conferences, and meetups is invaluable.
Fassler’s other agenda at hackathons, conferences and meetups is to find a technical Co-founder and people to recruit to his team. He has noticed that the process is often too rushed and extreme. “Most people approach finding a Co-founder without considering cultural fit or compatibility,” say Fassler. “It’s like asking someone to marry you on the first date”. The best advice he’s found comes from the blog humbledMBA: “You don’t find a technical cofounder, you earn one.”
Instead of committing to working with the first person that is willing, Fassler’s strategy for finding a technical Co-founder facilitates a long-term working relationship. He is looking for someone that has a learning mindset and brings energy to the workplace with their enthusiasm. “Whether they are an experienced hacker is less important than if they see the world as full of unlimited possibilities,” Fassler says. “Accepting that paring with the right person will take time and might not work at first is part of the process. You can’t let it discourage you.”
Lesson Learned : Although it is important to move forward and keep a momentum going at your startup, that does not mean you need jump into a working relationship with someone who isn’t the right cultural fit.
In addition to finding a Co-founder, Fassler is looking to build his team. He has found himself stuck in funding catch 22 that’s common in the startup world. He put it like this: “You need a team to raise money, but you also need money to attract a team.” He has decided bring on the right team before finding funding. Both finding funding and team building are daunting tasks, even to those with more experience. Fassler wants to take the time to find people who understand Thrively’s mission.
Lesson Learned: When faced with two crucial tasks that rely on each other, focus on the one that will make things easier in the future. That might mean that you are tackling the harder task first, but it will be worth it later.
Want to learn more about @thrively? Connect with Nick on Twitter @nickfassler
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