February 3, 2016

The Confusing Cofounder Relationship

People all over the world knows what a startup is and how different it is from a big company. There are already lots of stories about successful startups and all their way to become a huge company. That's the dream for many people, I'm included too, the idea of being part of a startup thrills me and in fact I have my own plans for one of my own.

Ok, not entirely my own, as many others I'm not alone in this, some years ago I met Fernando, the guy who will be cofounding a startup with me someday. We already made our first approach to the startup world by creating Codify (and by creating I mean it's there but it's not currently active), like many people we still haven't decided what exactly we'll be doing, we just want to cover so much and I know that's a very bad idea and part of the 101 of what not to do when starting a business. While we find that one thing we want to do Codify will be waiting and meanwhile we are learning and doing as much as we can.

We've been at it for almost three years now, working on projects together, talking about possible business ideas, learning all that school is not teaching us, making friends and challenging us every day, a typical cofounder relationship.

Now, why is having such a relationship is so weird for many people?

Some people say your cofounder knows you better than your wife/husband and it may be true, with a cofounder not only you spend a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time, you also share all kinds of experiences, good and bad ones. You share dreams, expectations and most importantly, at the end your cofounder is probably the only one who is as convinced as you of an idea, the only one who will always do as much as you in order to achieve what you want and will be the last one to abandon you from a sinking ship. Sure, your family, boyfriend/girlfriend and friends will be there for you as well but none of them will be as close to you as your cofounder since no one will experience things as close as you, no one will truly know what you feel but your cofounder.

Cofounders are in sort of a "marriage" where the only goal is taking care of your baby, your company and as all marriages, being successful requires a lot of time and effort. For external people that relationship is just weird, it goes way beyond being best friends but of course without having anything to do with a "love" relationship (well, in some cases it does) and that's something many people fail to understand, nobody gets exactly how those relationships work and why would them?, the only way to understand is by being in that situation yourself.

Creating a Startup is not an easy task, it is time consuming, unpredictable and you'll drag many people around you into it, even if they are not directly involved but it occupies such a big part of your life that it's impossible for that not to happen. When I hear the word "Startup" my mind goes directly to the U.S, Y Combinator, the incredible Startup podcast and many other things but sadly enough, Mexico's reality towards a startup is not as cool as in the U.S., there are not as many people willing to sacrifice that much for an idea you are not sure will work and even those who create what we call a "PyME" (Small and Medium Companies) don't have anything to do with the startup concept, most of them are just selling food in either a small place or a food truck. There is still a long way for Mexico in the startup age but I'm sure there's enough talent here to create awesome things, I was lucky enough to find people who believe in me and my dreams and even more lucky to find someone willing to go down the road with me, my cofounder.

It's true we haven't exactly started yet, we can not consider ourselves true entrepreneurs yet but I know it's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". I have no doubt we'll success, even here where the conditions are not as favorable for startups. We actually have to succeed, as time goes by we convince ourselves more and more that we are not capable of working in a strictly formal environment like many big companies have, we have no interest in something that's not creative, even less interest in just fixing things instead of creating them. In all this time we've developed a workflow, an environment we are comfortable with and we have no plans to give up on that any time soon. Sure, we both would like to work someday in a big company, I myself would love a job in something Linux related like Canonical, JoliCloud or event the Linux Foundation itself, but that's not our end goal, we would do it for the experience and because it truly interests us but not as much as having something we created ourselves.

We still have a long way to go but I know the wait will be worth it.