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Navigating the minefield of potential Co-Founders will often be the first major challenge of starting a new business.

When I started my first company I brought on a Technical co-founder to help offload some of the engineering to, fast forward 6 months and I found out that he actually had less than 10% of the engineering experience he claimed to have; Once I found out that he had lied about his work experience and engineering abilities I was left with dead weight on my cap table.

I made this mistake as a Technical founder and someone who lacks engineering skills would have been even more vulnerable to someone who flat out fabricated experience.

When I was working with the Bio Lite team in NYC this was very apparent with everyone on their team, they not only worked in the industry but lived in it.

Camping wasn’t just something that they had a tacit interest in, they all loved being outdoors and understood the needs of their users; Because the team was the user group.2| Lack of hobbies — Have you ever met someone who goes home at night after work and just sits on the couch binge watching TV? The work of a startup is 24/7 and you need to find a co-founder that is going to be dreaming up ideas at any time of the day.

I brought on someone who was supposed to be a skilled engineer, only to have a glorified secretary doing mindless tasks that I could have hired someone for $10/hr to do.

Whatever skill this co-founder brings needs to be very valuable, it could be someone with a long history of successful E-commerce, or a talented engineer who will be able to manage a larger group of engineers later down the road.

Now I use the somewhat-standard 4 year vesting schedule with a 1 year cliff.

This means that your co-founders will not have ANY equity until the 1 year mark, and will vest every month up until the 4 year period.

Corporations have time on their side and giant pools of applicants to sort through before making the decision on hiring a new employee, you have neither of those things on your side.

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