I recently came across this article on Facebook, shared by the Circle of Punks and I realized that the lessons that it teaches are very applicable to all us entrepreneurs.

Therefore, I was thinking, why not break down the points and share it in a simplified version. (:

  1. Seek Co-founders with the heart, not ability.

Throughout my time with Yi Hao and Nicholas as we were discussing on matters of Card-Y, many problems arose. Surprisingly, most of the problems that hindered our progress was not about Card-Y itself, but the nitty grainy stuff such as our personality clashes and human desire to have a say in how things turn out.

I asked why this was happening. I had a great organizer and another was a math and science whiz. We were all great in ability, having passion that surpasses even the best of those our age. What went wrong?

Then I realized that ability was merely an extra, an afterthought. The extent of strength the foundation of the startup is, depends very much on the relationship of its co-founders. 

Just as the article put it, it is like being married, which I wholly agree. You must learn how to communicate with each other and at times compromise on your own for the benefit of the startup. This is a perspective of teamwork that many in society don’t realize.

Yi Hao questioned me and asked whether this was my project or our project. It was then that I reflected and stopped putting my opinions above others. There were many times that we fought and refused to talk to each other because of such things. Hence, to entrepreneurs and the budding alike, this is a phase that your co-founders would have to go through. We are all different and our opinions would surely clash when we have different beliefs.

Then the question arises. How do I select my co-founder then? I’d say that the best co-founder you can find, is one who has character.

The reason why Character is the most important is because, the co-founder would have the humility and understanding to compromise and to assert his stance, while thinking for and empathizing for fellow co-founders. Regardless of what happens and the poor relationships caused by arguments, they’d have a clear-headed mind to make peace with the team and progress again.

Even when you go through anything, you know that this person would stick through it together with you be it through sickness and health of the startup. 

This is the mark of a successful startup. Remember, a committed heart is far more valuable than a brilliant mind.

Taken from: http://www.paulgraham.com/really.html