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WHY HAVING A CO-FOUNDER IS SO VALUABLE
I was chatting with one of my CEOs earlier yesterday evening. He was expecting a term sheet in the morning from an investor. To call this a stressful time is an understatement. His business is growing but is a long way from maturity. The supply chain is operational (barely) but far from seamless. The team is hard at work but is understaffed. I asked him how he was feeling, making a joke about insomnia. He responded that he couldn’t sleep at all, but his co-founder, remarkably, has no such issue. He commented, “…thankfully, at least one of us is getting some sleep.”
I get asked all the time why co-founders are so important.
Share workload during early days?
It’s about sharing the burden. Start-ups are amazingly hard. The swings are dizzying. One day you close your first big customer. The next your engineers encounter a problem and will miss go-live. Having a co-founder in those moments is invaluable. Someone with whom to commiserate or empathize. Someone who can call you out or pick you up. Or even, just someone who can get some sleep when you can’t.
Solo founders succeed all the time — see Aaron Patzer, David Karp, or Jack Ma.
“But if they have trouble sleeping, there is no one else to pick them up.”