At yesterdaysCNET Panel,George Zacharymentioned that one of the qualities he looks for in a founder is how relentless they are. Someone who is so passionate about their idea, they will continue working on it no matter what obstacles or economic conditions are in their way. After readingWeddingLovely founder Tracy Osborn’s story posted on Hacker News today -How to thrive as a solo non-technical founder - I am convinced that Tracy is one of these founders.
You don’t have to go far in Silicon Valley to find someone who is looking for a technical co-founder. Just go to pretty much any tech meetup or attend one of the many events geared toward matching up co-founders (e.g.Founder Dating). The problem is, most technical people either already have their own startups or have the option to choose from the very best ones due to low supply / high demand (and if you only have an idea with $0 funding, you’re likely not a top startup). In fact, technical co-founders approach choosing a startup very similarly to how an investor picks one - they go with the startup that will likely have the biggest return on their investment.
While Tracy, a designer and front-end developer herself, started out by looking for a technical co-founder, she quickly learned that this process was futile and ended up learning to code enough to get her website up. Now, within a year, Tracy is running a revenue-generating business. This lesson took Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley years to learn according to his Quora answer:
“Pre-dodgeball I went thru 3-4 years thinking I was going to meet some magical engineer who would build all the stuff I was thinking about. But I never met that person, so I taught myself ASP and MS Access (yikes! eventually PHP an MySQL) out of a book and got to work just hacking stuff together. I’m still a really shitty programmer (askHarry Heymann) but I know enough to hack a prototype together (which is what you need to get other people / investors on board).”
Since joining the Designer Fund and500 Startups in 2011, andrelentlessly doing whatever it takes to keep her company running, Tracy has now gotten enough traction and street cred to actuallyearn a technical co-founder. Of course WeddingLovely is just starting out, and there is no guarantee of success at this point, but I have no doubt that Tracy will persevere no matter what it takes to make her vision of disrupting the wedding planning industry into reality. Learn more about WeddingLovelyon AngelList.
Have you met other founders who are this relentless recently? If so, who?