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jhaynam jhaynam is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Interview With StartEngine Founder on what he looks for in new businesses

Just interviewed Howard Marks who is the cofounder of a startup incubator about what he looks for in startups. He also happens to be the founder of Activision - cool guy.

http://entrepreneur-stories.com/howa...d-startengine/
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dan_plan's Avatar dan_plan dan_plan is offline
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Interesting article.

I was wondering why investors often prefer two co-founders, as opposed to just one.

Is it because they think two people with a stake are needed to bring the company to success or because they don't like to be involved with a company where one person (the founder) has got so many shares?
Or a bit of both? Is it possible to ask Howard Marks?

Anyway, what's your view?
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James Smith's Avatar James Smith James Smith is offline
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I assume that not the same Howard Marks I am thinking of, is ageing ex-drugs baron turned legalise drugs campaigner and now appears in the odd film?
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jhaynam jhaynam is offline
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Dan - Howard's view is that two founders are needed to balance each other out. You need more than one skillset to successfully execute the founding of a company.

-In his words "If one founder gets sick, and you have two founders, at least one will still be able to carry on the business. From his perspective there's more security with two founders than with one.

James - You're right, it's hard to find articles about the Howard Marks from Activision because the drug lord Howard Marks covers up the name.
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andrewpallett's Avatar andrewpallett andrewpallett is offline
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Interesting read, but I don't agree with the two founders idea. Yes, you need others around you as it's impossible to have a complete skillset as a single entrepreneur, but I think having two founders would make it harder to lead the company and make decisions later on (I'm thinking of a difference in opinion etc) - a good read on setting up a team is The Beermat Entrepreneur by Mike Southon and Chris West if anyone's interested!

As for the getting sick thing, I wouldn't agree with that either. I fractured my ankle earlier on this year, and I went to meetings on crutches!

Best,

Andrew
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lucien lucien is offline
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Hi guys,

Like Andrew, I also disagree with the two founder necessity idea.
Having a co-founder has its advantages and disadvantages, so does going it alone.
I guess it depends on various factors such; the kind of business one is intending to start, skill sets needed, amount of work to be carried out, and of course individuals mindset.

Regarding the 'difference in Opinions'; I think every entrepreneur should always welcome other people's opinion, as this enable us to look at things from others' point of view, subsequently, pick up on thing we may have missed or overlooked.
Bottom line is, what may apply to someone else, does not necessarily applies to you. So its up to us to weight the advantages and disadvantages of options available to us, and choose which ones we believe will suit us best.

Regarding investors' preference for two founders; just like every body else, each investor has they own belief, if you come across one that does believe in the two founder concept, well, 'on to the next', found another one; there is plenty of fish in the sea!
Its also important to stress that experience investors will treat each case individually, so lets just hope as 'solo entrepreneur' we come across these types.

Regards,
lucien
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jhaynam jhaynam is offline
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Good Points Andrew, I agree that two founders is not necessary, I think what Howard is afraid of most is investing in one person who might "flake out" on him and then he loses money.

Lucien is right though, not all investors share this opinion and you can easily find one that will invest in a solopreneur.

It's an interesting question of whether two opinions is better than one.

What about this question, do you guys think its better for confidence (taking more calculated risks) to have two founders as compared to one?
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dan_plan's Avatar dan_plan dan_plan is offline
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Very interesting topic.

Regarding the only founder getting sick, probably the investor was thinking more of the "hitting by a bus" scenario.

Can't a sole founder get investment and build a team of employees with that investment?
So, there is no problem of getting hit by a bus - business will still run.
And you can hire people with different skillsets and views...
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