Did you Marry the Right Person: A Co-founding Experience

// Published February 7, 2011 by Paritosh Sharma

A recent post I contributed to the IndiaMART Knowledge Services Blog:

The business needs more minds on board: lets get Co-founders

At the start-up stages of a business, while it all starts with the passion and dream of either an individual or a team of friends/ common connects together, who are committed to adding value by creating services/ products for addressing the market needs.

Two to tango: look around

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, all these major businesses have been built by two or more partners. There is a certain chemistry that works wonders for a growing venture when like-minded people come together to create an enterprise. There sure are many successful businesses, which have been created by entrepreneurs single-handedly and there will always be, but even they have felt the need for getting more people and especially those, who are smarter than them, on board to drive real value of their ventures.

Its a relay baton

Sports teach many a lessons in business. The relay race in which the baton is passed by the first runner to his/ her partner, who carries the same further to the finish line is a perfect example of an enterprise being set-up by a core team/ co-founding team.

There is a sense of strength, bonding, sharing and mutual growth in such teams which actually takes the venture further to achieve greater heights. Many a times, when an entrepreneur loses steam and feel down and out, its the real jet setting that is received by the core team sharing the same vision and dream, which gets him. her back on track! The core team is like a band of brothers which plays the same tune at all times and knows each others moves with just the look of the eye.

How is it being single?

We have seen and met many ‘single’ entrepreneurs who have expressed the need of actually getting someone on board at a senior level with them, but one of the major most challenges they face is the passion.

A major learning we received from such entrepreneurs is, finding such people is easy, who are passionate initially looking at the opportunity, but there have been instances when that passion fizzles out and the steam runs out.

Strikingly, we have also seen instances where the teams have dis-integrated post the joining of members on board who have great potential but are a cultural mis-fit to the organisation and hence not really well aligned with the growth of the enterprise.

Hence many a times people (ready to mingle) say its good and bad being Single.

Did you get your Horoscopes match?

Like in a marriage, in business, a few rules do apply. Its always good to have more people adding real value to your business in more ways than one. But you must see that your Co-founders must have the same set of values, principles, goals and vision for the business.

They must also be at least till a certain extent like minded on business issues as yourself. Its about how being a ‘Couple’ is. The chemistry quickly shows.

Lessons Learnt: A complexity increases, define the KRA’s

In the highly complex business ecosystem today much of the human reactive approach is aspirational. And aspirations may change with time and may also hence instigate a change in the behavior and needs and wants of various people. The same may also happen with the co-founding team of a business venture.

*IndiaMART Knowledge Services team has hence identified for such businesses the smart move is to quickly and clearly define KRA’s and ensure that a 100% ownership of the same is taken and well adhered to.

Finally, there are times, when marriages don’t work and its time to bid adieu

Yes, marriages are supposed to be made in heaven, but God helps those who help themselves and hence you have to work towards making a successful married life. A strong bond, a relationship forever.

Similar is the relationship which has to be worked upon amongst your Co-founders who have to really work hard in aligning themselves with the core vision of the business and place the business before self. But at times this may really not work and if its the case, keeping the business concerns alive and kicking and working towards its growth, the partners may have to look towards exiting out.

Its not easy to leave your own dream mid way, but as we have spoken to so many entrepreneurs who have been through such experiences, well, it sure will give you a huge relief which will set you activated once again to further look for challenges and create real value.

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