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How I met my co-founder – Akhil Gupta

Startup demands a lot of work both physically and mentally which can be divided into three areas Strategic, Operational and Financial. If you are alone you have to handle all the things on your own and sometimes it becomes extremely difficult. I realized this when I was working on my first startup. Though there are many single founders who have built strong companies on their own but I think it is better if you could find a startup-saathi. This saathi not only share the workload, but share the pain and motivation which is needed in a startup journey.

Currently, I am working on my second startup – stagephod.com for the last 11 months. Few months ago I also felt a strong need of having a co-founder or senior level person. Once I decided to have a co-founder, another challenge was how to find one. This became even more challenging as I was looking to find someone outside my current personal/ professional network. The reason behind this thought process was to bring in someone who does not know me as a person and as a result does not come through a preconceived notion about my style of working. I was looking for creativity not only in my startup but also in my relationship with my co-founder.

How to go about it?

There are many posts which get posted on Startup facebook groups – ‘“Looking for a co-founder. We are working on a mobile app which will transform the X industry. Contact me here”. I was very skeptical about these posts and about the success rate of these posts. I think having a co-founder is almost like a marriage and I would want to know many things about the person and not just on which idea he/she is working. So I decided to write a full length article.

Invitation to join me as co-founder of Stagephod
Stagephod-co-founder-post1

Stagephod-co-founder-post2

Stagephod-co-founder-post3

Stagephod-co-founder-post4

Sourcing

First I tried to publish this post on all the prominent startup blogs but no one was interested for obvious reason as it is a personal requirement. The problem was that they did not specifically say no and I lost almost a month in that process.

Then I decided to post it on all facebook startup groups with 1000+ members. I have a list of almost 75 such groups.

Posted on Rodinhood discussion forum

Posted on my LinkedIn

Shared on my fb timeline

Stagephod-co-founder

Result

Total no. of views – 1100+

No. of people approached me – 100+

No. of people spoke with – 50+

Co-founder found – 1 – Akhil Gupta

Akhil-Gupta-Stagephod

Hiring Process

Well I did not have an exact process in mind. The idea was to first talk to the person, exchange our life journeys, thought processes, passions and then before any commitment to do a ‘live in’ for some time where we will work as co-founders to understand each other, each other’s working style, basically compatibility. This is exactly same as finding a life partner. You would like to have such a life partner where the frequency of doing things are coherent and you enjoy each other’s company.

I have seen in my startup journey and strongly believe that if right people are joining you for right reasons they will somehow figure out their role and responsibilities and also it is more fun.

How did it happen

Akhil sent me this response

Akhil-co-founder-email

So, we were on the same page, and we started with a telephonic conversation. We spoke in length about our life journeys, what we are doing, why are we doing, our passions/ dreams, motivators and about stagephod – how I see it and how he sees it etc. and both agreed for a ‘live in’.

What we did not discuss

How we will scale up Stagephod

Equity/ salary

Our qualifications/ past experience

Startups are more about passion and people than idea/ business especially at early stage. A good founding team who can stay together in all highs, lows and super lows for a long period of time eventually make it.

Please let me know your comments at ntayal(at)stagephod.com.

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