Or the alternate title: “Screw EHarmony, How I Met My Technical Co-Founder on LinkedIn”
This morning I got a reminder email from LinkedIn about my free $50 in ad credit. Being a new public company certainly ratchets up the pressure for recurring revenue, so here comes the AdWords-style promo code flinging! I really don’t have time right now to test another platform without a solid objective in mind, so I’d pretty much 86’ed it. And then my parallel entrepreneur disease kicked in…
Sure I’m neck-deep in spec’ing and working with my bad-ass technical co-founder to develop the core APIs for Mixee. And yes things have moved into warp drive in the last two weeks with a new licensing opportunity. But that’s the beauty of parallel processing – more oars equal a faster boat.
At the same time, my other startup Garkd has been equally burning a hole in my frontal lobe. There’s nothing quite like discovering a key building block or two in the API ether. It’s taken my insanely lofty concept much closer to a reality without 500 hours of coding time.
So here’s my insane plan: my $50 LinkedIn credit is going to be deployed to search for an API & data visualization beast to join me a co-founder. And LinkedIn is a great place to try this grand experiment given their data visualization prowess is epic. Maybe someone internally sees this and is intrigued? :-)
To be fair and upfront, here are the rules of the road:
1. There will be no cash compensation early on. If we crush it, we’ll both do well. If it tanks, we’ll have both spent our hard-earned time in vain.
2. My job is to intelligently and clearly outline my vision for the application – from user interactions to platforms to the business model.
3. Your job is to add more awesomeness to the creation, and code stuff. (If you’re not a hands-on, hard-core hacker please don’t waste both of our time.)
4. You should think APIs could save the world if we could integrate 10-12 of them and then add our own magic dust.
5. Ideally, you have a hacker data scientist half to your personality.
6. I will require you have a significant portfolio of work you can walk me through before we dive into the guts of Garkd (links, GitHub commits, StackOverflow profile, etc.).
7. We’ll work together to architect the systems required to build a working MVP that can be launched.
8. I won’t ask you to contribute a dime in hard costs.
9. I will share the concept without an NDA, but will turn into super-dick if you violate my trust.
10. Once we’re both convinced we can slay the world, we’ll paper our deal as co-founders (and yes, before anything ever gets publicly launched).
11. If we make good (or great) money, we’ll pay each other good (or great) money – as long as it’s not investor money.
12. If we take investor money, we’ll kill the shit full-time for as long as we can making pay-your-bills minimums – and then go another six months. Our goal will be to change how people save and access information.
13. I live by Mark Suster’s well-proven advice on co-founders, so please know that coming into partnership with me.
14. I’m willing to work with anyone in North America, but my Spanish is probably too rusty to consider a Spanish-only speaker.
15. You must be one individual, not a company or conglomerate or agency.
16. I reserve the right to add more ground rules publicly to this post as the process reveals how much junk I haven’t considered.
So here we go on this grand experiment. I'm excited to see how finite the ad targeting tools are at LinkedIn, but apologize in advance if they suck! I’ll request the Comments be used to ask any applicable-to-all questions and I’ll respond publicly – just like seller questions on eBay.
Who’s ready to do this thing?