We have all seen the adverts and the search for the perfect co-founders: The Hacker Ninjas, Rockstar designers, the Designer Gurus, The Pixel Movers, but hackerstreet has been home to one of the most elegantly written co-founder post that We’ve come across in a while.
Which got us thinking - What does the right pitch look like, when you are looking for a teammate with a complimentary skillset? This applies when you want to try it for In50hrs, or be it for the startup ahead.
1. Lose the Jargon
When you are writing, you want to assume that the person you are talking to, doesnt get flattered by the jargons out there - big data, analytics (or in the last five years, Social Media), etc etc might not get the attention of anyone. But if you are specific to the point to exactly the core technology you are using, you might get some crisp and sharp eyes on your post. Getting to the point, helps.
2. Lose the Adjectives
We do not believe you are looking for an actual Ninja. Provided that, you will attract the wrong kind of audience - mostly aspiring, but not there yet types - who are the wrong audience for you, and the job at hand.
3. Introduce yourself, not by how you see yourself, but by how others see you.
I have yet to see a post that says “I am known to make some major leaps of faith, i fall often, but i always learn a thing or two out of it - atleast the hope I hope so - and get back on the horse”, adding to it, experience in the domain (if you are the business guy), and the kind of places you’ve worked in will get you bonus points. Keep it real.
4. Explain the venture that you’ve set yourself to embark on
This is the toughest, because anyone with an idea is brimming with excitement and there is no blemish, but only a bed of roses and all thorns are ignored. In our opinion, thats the wrong start to a venture, it means infact that you are still short of your research. Writing about your venture in a realistic sense, who the competition is, and the opportunity you are after, will win you some very special brownie points. Remember to face your fears early on than later.
5. Explain what you bring to the table
Make it very very clear. If we are looking for a co-founder out in the open, go as wide and complementary as possible. Most co-founders who are friends tend to carry overlapping skillsets, but if you are looking out, see if you can make it complementary. But first, and if there is trust to be built, make it very clear what you bring to the table.
6. Why is this different, new and why should anyone care?
There must be an assumption as to why you believe this makes sense. For Freshdesk for eg, that case was simple. “There is a large number of Small and Medium enterprises that are using Zendesk and as shown in the hackernews thread discussion, they are increasing the price and there seems to be a large unmet audience”
7. What you are looking for in a teammate
Spell it out. What are you exactly looking for in a teammate? Are you expecting the other person to go meet other people? travel? make sales? and keep in mind that the roles are equal, and one is not blatantly holding more power than the other.
8. What is the End goal?
Are you looking for a teammate for a competition, a hackathon, an idea-to-prototype event, or is the plan to do a startup? If a startup, what would be the commitment and is there funding / avenues to raise money - all of that would have to be laid out. Lets say you already have a team and product in place and you want to experiment with some new ideas - and this might not become a new startup, but just a new product to your existing line, then make sure its clear in the messaging.
9. Wear their hat.
Imagine life from the other side of the table. Lets say you are a developer with mad skills or a designer with a good sense of colors, lines and design. Or an ideasmith who has a knack for spotting opportunities. What are each of these looking for in an ideal teammate? What would get their juices flowing to want to partner with anyone. Make sure that somewhere in the pitch, that is covered - a technologist/developer joins a team for many many reasons - might be for money, might be for the thrill of learning something, might be just for fun, but make sure you know what you can promise and deliver on.
10. The Essentials: Clarity and Modesty
In everything carry a sense of modesty. This is a partnership you make towards a venture - and its risky and there are rough seas ahead. Keep things simple and straightforward early on. Be modest - better yet be yourself.
Need an example? Check out the post in Hackerstreet.
Note: Sitting on an Idea, that you would like to prototype and validate? Participate in the upcoming In50hrs - coming across Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Delhi. Register Now