Why you can’t find a technical co-founder

andrewchen.co

Hey, I’ve got this great idea for a startup…do you know any developers who might be interested in working with me?

I get asked this question a lot. So, my co-founder Jennifer and I were curious and surveyed developers on what would compel them to team up with a non-technical co-founder. The results were surprising. This survey was not particularly scientific. We received 104 submissions from developers, of which 35 were actively working on their own projects full-time and 69 were not. We asked participants to rate how important a particular criteria was to them in deciding whether to join a non-technical person’s startup. 1 = Not important. 5 = very important.

Idea validation was extremely important to potential technical co-founders.  You, as a non-technical entrepreneur, are not selling a dream or the vision.  You are selling traction.  Some people who took our survey commented about their ideal proof of validation, “If they have $1M in sales and have shown that people are willing to buy this thing without it even existing.”  Another mentioned, “Validated early adopters are people who said they’re going to pay for the product.”

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