I'm looking for a co-founder for a non-tech company, specifically a designer. Somebody young, with no kids. Here is my hypothesis of where I can find a co-founder. Top Companies (Google,Faceook,DropBox,AirBnb) Top Design Schools (Bently,RID,Carnige Mellon) UX Conferences ,Top Design Agencies. Do you have any thoughts on where I should go about recruiting a co-founder? Also im pretty confident to say that really talented people always have options so they rarely attend "MEETUPS," Thanks
Here's what you need to do to recruit any cofounder:
1) Prove or at least instill *high* confidence that you can fund the business or raise the funds required;
2) Demonstrate that you are someone worth following. What have you done previously that clearly shows to others that you have what it takes to succeed?
3) Credibly demonstrate that your idea can create massive success. An idea by itself, no matter how interesting is woefully insufficient.
4) Spend every day making outreach (cold emails, LinkedIn, dribbble, etc) to people, meeting at least 3 a week. You will "kiss many frogs." It's likely you have to meet at least 100 people to find the right person and that assumes you have 1-3.
By the way, in order to actually *meet* 100 good people, you'll have to make outbound to at least 400 people.
5) Negotiate equity and compensation (pre and post funding) and ensure written alignment on how decisions are made between the two of you.
Cofounder relationships are as intense as marriages. And just like getting married, it requires a lot of dating to build the trust.
I'm *totally* unconvinced that two people can find a person they haven't known previously, and become effective cofounders. I think you're better off finding the money to hire someone than actually find a cofounder. The main reason? You probably won't find someone as passionate as you are about what you're building. And keep in mind, I have no idea who you are or what you're building so that's no judgement on you or the idea, just the reality I've observed over 20 years of startups.
You're approaching this the wrong way around. People don't join up because *you* want them to. They join up because *they* want to join. So you have to be talking about the latter.
You've listed a bunch of places to find designers with strong pedigrees. But those people are all a) doing something interesting and rewarding right now, and b) have plenty of opportunities. If you contact people like that cold with notes like what you've written above (demanding, presumptuous, randomly punctuated) you will have zero success. Zero.
Instead start talking about what you have to offer. Tell people about the great opportunity you see. Tell people how design will be key. Tell people how you know you can't do this yourself, and so you're looking to find and enable a designer to do things you can't imagine. Tell people about the money you've raised, the partners lined up, the distribution channels ready to go. And talk about it not to the designers directly, but to your friends who know designers. Because the people you are looking for will take you much more seriously if the opportunity comes recommended by a friend.
And if you can't do that, then yes, just go raise money and hire a designer. Co-founders are partners, almost family. Too many people say they want a co-founder, when really what they want is an employee who will work for free. If you want an employee, just pay 'em. Partnerships that aren't true partnerships end up a mess for everybody.