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The Art of 
Finding a 
Co-founder 
by Guy Kawasaki 
The Art of the 
Start, version 2.0
What Co-founders Should Share
VISION 
What do customers need? 
How will the market evolve? 
How will technology change?
SIZE 
What do customers need? 
How will the market evolve? 
How will technology 
change? 
What kind of company do we want? 
How big a company do we want? 
What will our future titles be?
COMMITMENT 
What are our personal priorities? 
What sacrifices will we make? 
How long will we do this?
How Co-founders Should Differ
EXPERTISE 
What can you do that I can’t? 
What can I do that you can’t? 
What can neither of us do?
ORIENTATION 
Who’s got the microscope? 
Who’s got the telescope? 
Who’s got the gyroscope?
PERSPECTIVE 
Young versus old? 
Engineering versus marketing? 
Male versus female?
Words of Wisdom
Take your time and do this right. 
Think “marriage,” not “fling.” 
Don't rush
Don’t hire to attract investors. 
Hire to make your team stronger. 
Recruit to build, not to fund
Make everybody vest, even you. 
Do this now, before there’s 
something to fight over. 
Plan for the worst, hope for the best
Pass the Shopping Center Test 
If you saw your potential co-founder 
at a shopping center, 
what would you do? 
Leave to chance that you make contact? 
Go to another shopping center? 
Run right over?
If you’re strong initial reaction isn’t to 
dash over to the person, do not make him or 
her your cofounder. This is the second most 
important relationship you’ll ever make in 
your life—maybe the most important, in fact. 
So go slow, do it right,and hopefully do it 
once.
This SlideShare is based on a 
tiny part of Guy’s upcoming 
book, The Art of the Start, 
Version 2.0. 
If you like it, there’s a lot 
more from where this came. 
The book will be out in 
March, 2015. 
Photo credits: Jrm Llvr 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrmllvr/

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The Art of Picking a Co-founder

  • 1. The Art of Finding a Co-founder by Guy Kawasaki The Art of the Start, version 2.0
  • 3. VISION What do customers need? How will the market evolve? How will technology change?
  • 4. SIZE What do customers need? How will the market evolve? How will technology change? What kind of company do we want? How big a company do we want? What will our future titles be?
  • 5. COMMITMENT What are our personal priorities? What sacrifices will we make? How long will we do this?
  • 7. EXPERTISE What can you do that I can’t? What can I do that you can’t? What can neither of us do?
  • 8. ORIENTATION Who’s got the microscope? Who’s got the telescope? Who’s got the gyroscope?
  • 9. PERSPECTIVE Young versus old? Engineering versus marketing? Male versus female?
  • 11. Take your time and do this right. Think “marriage,” not “fling.” Don't rush
  • 12. Don’t hire to attract investors. Hire to make your team stronger. Recruit to build, not to fund
  • 13. Make everybody vest, even you. Do this now, before there’s something to fight over. Plan for the worst, hope for the best
  • 14. Pass the Shopping Center Test If you saw your potential co-founder at a shopping center, what would you do? Leave to chance that you make contact? Go to another shopping center? Run right over?
  • 15. If you’re strong initial reaction isn’t to dash over to the person, do not make him or her your cofounder. This is the second most important relationship you’ll ever make in your life—maybe the most important, in fact. So go slow, do it right,and hopefully do it once.
  • 16. This SlideShare is based on a tiny part of Guy’s upcoming book, The Art of the Start, Version 2.0. If you like it, there’s a lot more from where this came. The book will be out in March, 2015. Photo credits: Jrm Llvr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrmllvr/