Where do I find technical co-founders? Can I do that at 106 Miles?
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Founders
We started 106 Miles in 2005 to educate and empower entrepreneurial engineers.
As our events evolved into 106 Miles meetups, the question of whether 106 Miles can help people find technical co-founders regularly surfaces.
In practice, I've never seen someone find a technical co-founder at 106 Miles. Most of the technical founders who are members of 106 Miles are either working on their own companies, or are thinking about joining companies that have other technical people in them with whom they want to work.
Finding "Engineer Zero" for a company -- aka the technical co-founder -- is hard because co-founders need to be able to trust each other, and trust is built over time. Furthermore, "Engineer Zero" sets the upper bar on the type and quality of the engineers who will join a company later.
The best way I've seen to find a startup's technical co-founder is to draw from our pasts: someone we've worked with before, or someone we went to school with, are the two most successful pools from which to draw.
There are at least three useful Quora pages to read if you're looking for a technical co-founder:
That last note -- where to find great developers -- seems like fodder for a separate conversation...
Yes, indeed, cofounders simply CANNOT be found. "Find" is not the right term. It's like a dad saying "How can I find a mother for this already born baby?" If the idea has already been birthed/started, then it makes no sense to "seek" a co-founder. Why so? Because the stuff has already been born. Co-founders are like parents. Startups are like babies. Companies (that have discovered scalable revenue models) are like teenagers who must now be released into the real world (college, dorm life, work force, etc).
Simply put, like my friend Evan says "History takes time" and as Adam points "one needs to draw on her/his past". Just roaming around looking for a mother to your already born kid is just not going to work. It's a different thing if the idea has not germinated yet or if there is no idea...both are great situations.
Remember, cofounders are often long time friends/colleagues/ partners who have been contemplating something or several things for so long until eventually, they say..."You know what? Let's do this!"
I remember a few years ago reading the words of Paul Buchheit: "So where is the REAL startup school, the one where you can find a good co-founder and all that? In my opinion, it's going on right now inside of the thousands of startups that ALREADY EXIST. You don't need to find a co-founder and funding and an idea, you just need to find an interesting startup and get them to hire you."
At 106 Miles we believe that the best way to learn is to do. Join a startup, and you will learn.
There is no try, only do.