Start Up Pitfalls If You’re a Single Founder
90% of start up’s fail. When the reasons are stated in front of you as to why, it becomes obvious. However, it’s very easy to get carried away with the excitement of an idea and logistically things can be overlooked-especially if you’re planning on doing it alone. We’ve condensed a list below of some of the pitfalls of being a single founder.
-Single Founder: You have an idea and perhaps you don’t want to share the entitlement with anyone else other than yourself. Perhaps you think they won’t work as hard as you or even that they’ll take the credit, but in order to progress having 2 heads can be significantly better than one. Also you act as a driving force to one another, as neither wants to fail the other.
Here is the co-founder Drew Houston of Dropbox’s take on the matter:
My favorite analogy for one founder vs two or more is that it’s possible to raise a child as a single parent, but vastly more challenging and personally taxing to get the same outcome. Not only that, but in this case you’re effectively competing against conventional teams that have more than one founder. Start-ups are risky enough -why start with such a tremendous handicap?
-You have no ‘sound off’ board for your ideas or decisions: Family and friends can only input so much but they perhaps don’t understand the brand’s values to the same extent you do. Employees can equally not be so objective when your ‘sounding off’ to them, as ideas and decisions can be taken to mean a ‘call to action’ by them.
-The time to implement tasks takes that much longer. On your own, especially at the beginning, your doing the majority of tasks alone. However if there are other co-founders’ or even just the one co-founder to take the burden, you can duplicate tasks and jobs can be done faster.
-You will share different strengths: perhaps your vision of your brand needs to be altered along the way, however you may not have the capability to alter your perception of this. Whilst you’re all about figures, your co-founder may be a fountain of creativity that can show you new ways in which you can change and market your brand for the better.
-You can never say ‘I don’t know’ out loud because the chances are if you don’t know, no one else will no either. Your co-founders may have the solution you’re after, but if its just you, be prepared for some sleepless nights as you stare aimlessly at the ceiling. Admit you won’t have the answers for everything.
It can be hard to share the load and the prospect of someone taking the credit, but not putting in nearly half as much as you can be daunting. You may even have to let someone go if you think they’re hindering the initial steps to getting your start-up off the ground. Therefore I would advise you think carefully at the potential candidates, you may ask to join you as your co-founder(s). Weigh out their strengths. Do you trust them? Will they work hard?
There is no denying your own strengths or capabilities and people can do it alone and they have done with amazing results.
Food for thought though. Facebook did not start as one sole founder and its now approximately worth over $300 billion dollars. Sometimes 2 heads really is better than one, sometimes even 5 are…don’t be scared to call in reinforcements, it may just get you to where you’re wanting to go that much faster and it may even be better than if you’d done it alone….