Solo and Scared

After several years co-founding with smart people, raising millions of dollars, and making good and bad exits, I’m going solo this time. Not because there is a shortage of good co-founders in my network or because I took a greedy shot, but because I realized its very very hard for me to keep co-founders on the same page especially during bad times. It’s just a lot easier for me to deal with shit alone. Guess I’m a loner.

So, feeling excited, confident, and also shit scared. Every journey has its meaning and its lessons, hope this one has more good than bad.

Solo founders – any advice ?

  • We are born alone and will die alone, then why take a bullshit advice that cofounders are necessary for successful business. After my same experience with cofounders , I would tell you that you have choosen a right path. Best wishes

    • That’s is a nice one there, I am actually also doing a solo startup after being disappointed by a co founder on our previous startup. I am enjoying it because no more time wasted in waiting for a lazy co-founder’s output.

    • This! I’m solo and I love it. 10 years of navigating a ship through calm and turbulent waters, making tough decisions that turned out to save my ass.

  • Solo founder here.

    Just because you don’t have a cofounder doesn’t mean you can’t get help from people.

    Join an accelerator, find advisors, join a mastermind…..I’ve done all those and it’s helped. Plus hopefully as I grow I’ll get employees as well.

    Always a challenge and often a grind, but it’s worth it.

  • The best part about being a solo founder is avoiding marathon arguments with co-founders. I may be wrong, but at least I am wrong … quickly.

  • Solo entrepreneur here. Business was my idea, I put my money in, and I didn’t want to waste anyone else’s time and money on my “crazy” idea.

    It’s three years later, and a) the business is fine but isn’t all it could be, and b) I really wish I had another smart, responsible person/people who can help with the hard work and feel personal responsibility for it. Employees, I’m sorry, just don’t have the same level of commitment.

  • Solo here. I started my venture with two other co-founders, ended up removing both of them because frankly they were not able to keep up with the pace. And I had it up to here with missed deadlines (not to mention i was full-time and they were part time).

    I see it as its ok to be a solo founder. Friends will always be happy to help and may not always need equity because sometimes giving them some kind of work that they can then put on their portfolio, or simply a non-paid position that they can put on their resume goes a lot further.

    While I admit it is a bit slower, my goal is when we start making money is to hire a high quality team and work with them to make sure they understand the vision and enjoy the work. So not only will they like the work, but they will get paid for doing it which will output as close to the productivity you will bring.

    Best of luck!

  • Courage is not the absence of fear– it is the ability to act in the presence of fear. You can develop courage as you develop any other skill.

    I’ve been solopreneuring for 2.5 years. The challenges have been immense but I’ve taken them on one at a time and thus far have prevailed. My decision to go solo was driven by necessity. I could not convince strong technical leads who haven’t worked with me before to drop their high paid job to join me. Those I’ve actually worked with and have a rapport and established level of trust with don’t meet my technical cofounder criteria. Rather than give up, I became the technical expert. I’ve developed proficiency and expertise in areas I did not envision for myself, but I have done so because I am highly motivated.

    Every goddamn new wall I face I start off feeling scared, helpless, and weak. However, I remain courageous and prevail, juggernaut style. I will break through every fucking wall that I have to. I try to choose my walls as carefully as I can and try to avoid them whenever possible, though.

    Be the juggernaut.

  • Good advice above. Comedian Richard Jenni used to say about being single or in a relationship, “Would you rather be lonely or annoyed?” Sure if you get a perfect cofounder, things will be great, but how often does that happen?

    I’d say manage the insecurities which we all have. Focus on the positive things you do that help the business. Appreciate and be thankful for each milestone you reach. And surround yourself with a great board or advisors who are willing to be your sounding board. Alternatively, hire a senior dev/designer/PM/whatever to work with and have intelligent conversations.

  • it’s hard. Reallllly hard! I am a solo founder working on my product for alomost 2 years now.

    I have successfully launched my mvp last year. I built a social network from scratch. I designed/built both frontend/backend. Hell shit my social network is a lot better than in terms of features. And that new site is vc backed ($400k) and built by a team. I got traction now of about 15k daily visitors mostly coming from google.

    So if i were you, if you’re building something huge, get at least a partner. You will need someone to bounce ideas with when your brain gets drained. Imagine building a facebook by yourself. Now i’m looking for a partner.

    If you are highly technical visionary who wants be part of a new social network, let me know. My social network is growing (currently 40k members + 300 new daily) all from google. Imagine when I start marketing and spread the word out.

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