Finding the right co-founder can be life or death for your startup. Unfortunately, there are few ways to go about uncovering the right partner, or simply figuring out if you’ve found the right partner before a catastrophe happens (which, by then, is too late).
I just read a trending story on Facebook that claimed “Newly discovered wasp can turn cockroaches into 'passive zombies.’” If that’s not a precursor to the zombie apocalypse, then I don’t know what is. I never believed it was coming, but now I’m not so sure.
So I came up with this super complex and very intricate formula to not only help you think through some of these scenarios for your own safety during the zombie apocalypse (you’re welcome), but also to use to screen co-founders.
Let me show you how it works. During said meeting of potential co-founder, pose these questions in a formal or informal process:
1. When zombies attack, how will you defend the world?
This helps you understand your potential cofounder’s big vision, and creative thinking. You’re hoping for an answer that is passionate, awe inspiring and heroic. Big vision mixed with practical strategies. This is a tough one, so don’t be too hard, and move onto the next question.
2. When zombies attack, who will you save first?
This helps you understand your potential co-founder’s priorities and morals. If he or she says their drinking buddy or hairdresser, there may be a misalignment of priorities. Keep searching.
3. When zombies attack, and if I became infected, what would you do?
This answer helps you understand your potential cofounder’s loyalty and dedication. You’re hoping something along the lines of scour the world looking for a medicinal cure. If you hear something like, “toss your corpse off a building while setting you on fire mid-air,” you may want to reconsider your candidate.
4. When zombies attack, what weapon or tools would you use to fight back?
This answer helps you understand the underlying skill set and strengths of your potential co-founder. If you’re looking for a backend developer, you’re hoping he or she’s going to say something regarding computers and technology. If you’re building a fitness business, you’re hoping the answer has something to do with outrunning the zombie (or something fitness related).
5. When zombies attack, if you were bitten and had 20 seconds to save yourself before the disease spread through your body, what would you do?
This answer helps you understand your potential co-founder's ability to think quickly, which is invaluable when building startups.
If he or she says something clever like chop off whatever body part was infected, then you may have a great potential co-founder. If he or she said something such, “I’d become king or queen of all of the zombie world, build an advanced civilization and figure out interstellar space travel,” then I would say -- actually, this would be a really good answer, too.
Does this potential cofounder have the guts to take on zombie attacks alone when you’re sleeping or nursing the foot injury you suffered after jumping off a broken building structure while salvaging food rations from a destroyed Whole Foods? It's something to consider.
You can also use this formula to find your spouse (duh, this is probably where it’s best used. Throw it in your Tinder profile and see what turns up.), personal trainers, car mechanics and pretty much any other service provider. For the record, it’s not so effective with travel agents.
Life is too short to be serious all of the time. I’m no hero, I’m just bringing to light the serious issues that need to be addressed. I mean, this zombie apocalypse can happen at any point. Building a startup comes with a whole ton of obstacles. You’re going to want to ensure that when the dead do attack, you have a co-founder that can not only help build the most influential startup on the planet, but also can fight off the zombies. Just saying.
If you’re looking for a co-founder, join my private Facebook group with about 3,000 other entrepreneurs. Request an invite here.