Finding a Cofounder Alternative

April 14, 2022

When I dropped out of Stanford to pursue my startup, I used to think I NEEDED a cofounder. I couldn't do it alone!!!

I searched for a cofounder for 2 years. I went through 7 co-founders, and whenever things got hard, they dropped. In the end, I made $0 revenue for my two startups Sesame and QueerChart, and had lasting emotional traumas :(

But here's the thing. When I went solo, I found 40 paying customers after 2 months. Now, I'm at $6k MRR.

I always thought I could find a cofounder thats "The One." I'm ex-Stanford, I have an awesome network, and I work well in team settings. But after 1000 hours of finding/nurturing co-founders that inevitably dropped when shit hit the fan or traction wasn't going well.... I realized. Fuck it. I can find other ways to outsource my needs.

I joined a Founder community for solo founders -- they take care of all my loneliness needs and help me figure out decisions. They are all like my "cofounders" -- a close group of founders where we get to have all the connections/support/expertise without any of the drama.

I also filled some of my skill gaps. Since I'm technical, I filled all my nontechnical gaps through reading customer development books and chatting with sales gods. At the same time, I am a shit coder so I filled that gap by using no-code tools. Once I got paying customers, I started out using no-code tools for my MVP, then once validated, I used the money I made to hire people.

Here's the thing. It takes some effort to find a tight-knit community, and also fill in your skill gaps. I took me a month, which sucked. But if I didn't do it, I'd be saying "fuck i need a cofounder... i can't do it alone" for the rest of my life. A broken record player that can only end in grief.


Maddie Wang founders of founders cafe solo founder
Maddie Wang
Gay / Solo-Founder / Stanford Dropout

I'm building Founders Cafe because as a solo founder, it can be very isolating. Last year, I lost 4 co-founders and a best friend on a previous startup.

Previously built a Minecraft Server ($61k), Amazon Store ($120k), and Queer Chart, where I met my girlfriend & close friends.

If you're interested in joining the Founders Cafe, let's talk and if it's a good fit, down to invite you!
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