April 28, 2022 by Clawdia

14 Questions you Need to Ask your Co-Founder to Establish a Successful Partnership

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In regard to your start-up, choosing your business journey partners is one of the most critical decisions you will make. It is pivotal to discuss with our potential co-founders how we envision working together, regardless of whether they are your childhood friends, college buddies, or colleagues from our former workplace. This is especially true if we have no prior history or acquaintance with them.

To me, it will be less relevant to discuss fine details of the partnership during the initial meeting with potential co-founders, but rather to explore if we share the same philosophy. 

What do I mean by this? It is important that we have a shared vision and goals for the future, and that we complement each other in two areas: in a professional capacity on the one hand, and in a personal capacity on the other. Most importantly, we want to make sure that we have good chemistry with the candidate and that we can imagine working comfortably together in the future.

I have prepared a list of questions for you, to assist you in finding the best, most feasible partner in the world. By asking each other these questions, you will be able to determine whether your potential co-founder is the right one for you so that you can plan for a long-lasting and successful partnership.

  1. Why is each of us joining the partnership? What motivates us all to commit to this? 
  2. What are our vision and goals? In what direction are we heading?
  3. What are the fields of interest for each of us? What is each of us passionate about?
  4. We all have different strengths, but what are they?
  5. What is each partner’s perception of the organizational culture of our company
  6. How can we organize our company operations in a way that will allow each of us to reach our full potential? 
  7. What is the amount of time and effort each partner can devote to the company
  8. What are the partners’ red lines that should not be crossed? In the opinion of each founder, what should be avoided under any circumstances? Or, if we put it another way, what could possibly stand in the way of our successful initiative?
  9. Is any one of us continuing to work as a payroll employee on top of his or her job at the company?
  10. How long can each of us work without income before we generate that income, or until we secure an investment?
  11. What will be the respective responsibilities and roles of each member of the founding team?
  12. In our company, how many shares do we each hold?
  13. Are any of us planning to invest in our project?
  14. What are the company’s decision-making processes?

⁠Last but not least, the most important question is to you – after you have addressed these issues with your potential partner, what does your intuition tell you about him?

⁠During the second stage, if you are eager to explore the partnership with the potential co-founder further, you need to start discussing the basic terms of the partnership. This includes share distribution, the decision-making process, and so forth.

I will address these issues in future articles.

Feel free to send me an email at clawdia@clawdia.ai if you have any questions.