A lot of articles and books have been written on this topic, and we often hear about the error of the wrong choice, but for some reason we can't create a core within ourselves that will be indestructible in the matter of choosing the right partners. I'll write my point of view on this issue briefly.
1. Choosing the right co-founders in early stages
- The partner accelerates your business, complements your weak competence, you can see the effect for the company, which can be calculated. Let us suppose you are product owner, who is responsible for the product, develop it, see what values and how it will convey to customers today or within 5–10+ years. For this reason, you need a salesman, a person who understands how to bring the product to thousands, millions, and even billions of customers.
- When you started communicating, everything was fine, you initially liked the person and there was no doubt. You worked for a month, the feeling of confidence in the person only increased. And if BEFORE the partnership you like to work with him, then there will be more chances that everything will work out.
There is an important principle. Initially, we think about people well, until they prove us otherwise.
- He sees, as well as you, that the company will be a market leader and will change the lives of specific people and so on.
- In your opinion, this is the most intelligent and talented person in the industry, or definitely smarter than you in the crucial competence of the project.
2. Choosing the right clients in early stages
- The client improves your product.
- He really appreciates what your company does.
- He pays you money. However, there is a controversial issue, sometimes at the very beginning it is cheaper to sell for free and collect feedback than to spend money on finding the right customers.
3. Choosing the right investors in early stages
- He gives more money and tales less share.
- He gives smart money, not only advice on how to do business, but partly takes over parts of the technological and business development of your company. For example, he can bring a big right client, he can make sure that this client won't be the last, he can help to find smart money for the next stages, he can help to enter new markets and so on. But there is also a controversial issue. Some founders just do not need to be disturbed, and the first point will be enough (Pavel Durov, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.)
4. Choosing the right contractors
Sometimes, it is more profitable to outsource everything that affects your product and business as much as possible, and it is important to understand:
- Pay for the result. You are a startup and cannot afford to pay a lot or with a large prepayment. You should fight for the most favourable conditions for your company.
- Work with talented and adequate students. Do not forget that we are in Russia, and we have the strongest technological base, our fundamental education is better than in other countries. Search for students in MSU Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, MSU Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics, BMSTU, MIPT, HSE, but don't forget about the regions: Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, Tomsk, and others.
- Sign contracts with everyone, even students and freelancers. It will not protect against all risks, but there is a possibility that psychologically reduce part of them.