How I Would Evaluate a Potential Technical Co-Founder

Someone on Quora asked:

How should I evaluate a potential technical co-founder?

I’m in the surprising and apparently unusual position of interviewing technical co-founders for my startup. I am a non technical founder.

I have several highly qualified people who have expressed interest and who appear, via job background and my experience with them, to be capable of the work and to be honest business partners and good co-founders.

How do I determine which one to choose? What qualities matter most to the business, to investors, to future employees?

I do have technical advisors to evaluate technical skills. But feel free to add specific technical questions for consideration.

This was my response:

If I was in your position and all the candidates had an equal talent in the skill set you are seeking, I would pick the person who had the three following traits.

I felt they were someone I could trust.

Nothing hurts more than the person who back stabs you and takes you for everything.

I see that they have a strong work ethic.

Lazy co-founders can lower your work ethic, or cause you to miss important deadlines at various stages of your business.

They have prior experience in a startup environment.

People who come from major corporations or established businesses usually are unable to grasp the concept of how to work in a startup.

Since this is going to be a growing relationship and it seems you do not know any of these people too well, you may want to make sure that their equity vests.

Good luck!

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.

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