The founder in the company is the pivot. How the founder works and functions affects directly those under it – the employees, stakeholders and investors. Therefore knowing what qualities you as a co-founder should possess is very important. Many a time, people want to be founders of their own companies without fully knowing the roles and responsibilities a founder possesses.
Most of the greatest startup founders – Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, all share similar characteristics and we were try to draw upon those similarities they possess to better understand what a founder stands for and the two most important thing the founder needs to do to be a good one.
Possessing A Wide Array Of Skills
Good founders are great at doing multiple tasks within the company’s framework. A good founder can do product market fit, strategy, management, fundraising all at once. That amount of diversity and well-roundedness goes far in the life of a founder’s company. A founder should be someone who is super-human. And not everyone is super-human from day one, but it is imperative that one knows what they need to work on so that they become a hulk.
Let’s start off with gauging your own capabilities first and trying to answer the following questions. Do I have the complete skill-set to run this company or Do I need someone to fill in the gaps in my skill-set? That will help you decide whether to keep a co-founder or not. A co-founder is someone with whom all skill-sets your company needs from its founders are covered. If you have two or three founders, you have different skills you can compensate. Because, by the way, everyone has weaknesses. You can compensate for each other’s weaknesses. In the diversity of problems you encounter as a founder, you can actually attack them.
Be A Flexible Contrarian
A contrarian is someone who opposes the thought processes of popular opinion. Often to disrupt a market, a product needs to be created which acts contrary to current popular opinion. Because Uber’s founders felt a different way to how public transportation should exist – they created a good product. Therefore being a contrarian is very important in being able to create solutions to existing problems.
Other than that, being flexible is also important. It is important to mention flexibility because many gurus suggest to entrepreneurs to stay firm with their vision irrespective of any adversity. But a newer school of gurus suggest that you have to be both flexible and persistent. The hardest part to accept is that there is no absolute rule and that it all depends on circumstances.
Face Adversity & Criticism Right In The Face
Prepare to be criticized. Prepare to have people tell you your product will not work. PayPal was called one of the worst companies of 1999, because people saw no future in it and we know how that ended up a few years later. There will be people looking to pull you down, not seeing any future in your startup. Focus on your goals and get to it. Pivot if necessary, but every startup can be saved or made into a success. Whatever the product is. Although there is no one method to get success – there is definitely a method to succeed in any type of product your startup sells. Find it.
So that’s what you need to do to become a great founder from just a good one. Follow these three principles and no one can stop you on your journey to world domination!