Common wisdom is that starting up with a team is better than going it alone. Many accelerators and VCs won’t even talk to first time entrepreneurs who haven’t built a team. There are just too many responsibilities for one person to reasonably handle, especially their first time around.
A great team of cofounders really can make for an awesome startup journey. Good partners share the work load and the stress. That means they understand where you’re coming from when the stress gets to be too much, and they can help encourage you. Along the same lines, there’s nothing better than celebrating success with the people who helped you get there.
On the other hand, two or more passionate people, stuck together with little money and lots of stress? Even marriages crumble in that situation, and the cofounder relationship can also go sour if disagreements aren’t handled responsibly. In fact, according to this Funders and Founders infographic, 62% of companies fail because of conflict on the founding team.
Some of the arguments outlined here are pretty silly. “Who’s going to clean up the pizza?” “I work more than you?” Please. As for the first, just grow up and clean your own mess. And working hard? If you’re worried about how much your partner is working, you may have picked the wrong cofounder.
There are plenty of real fights that come up, though. Discussions about equity can be volatile, but Funders and Founders recommend splitting everything equally and moving on.
And what about work/life balance? Startups can be all-consuming, not just because of the amount of work there is to do, but because if you’re doing it right, you also love the work. Funders and Founders suggests that there should be nothing outside of the company, but we disagree. It’s understood that people do other things, and your company will be better if you recharge every now and then. Communicating openly with your team about other commitments will make this issue a lot easier to navigate.
And what about the size of the founding team? Statistically, two person teams are the most successful. (Good news for the Nibletz team!)
Check out the rest of the infographic below.