Like many other technical people with startup experience, Tristan Kromer gets approached by non-technical founders and is tired of people making basic mistakes in their pitch to him. Here's his list of don't's when approaching a technical cofounder:
- Don't bullshit. If you don't know, say so.
- Have more than an idea to offer.
- Don't ask for an NDA.
- Be clear. If you can't be clear even this early in the relationship, working with you will be a hassle.
- Show that you can do it by yourself.
- Know your metrics.
- Don't make up words to describe your way of working.
- Don't negotiate about share percentages.
The last point is interesting:
If you offer me 1% of the equity, I'll do 1% of the work. If you offer me 25% percent, I'll do 25%. If you offer me 60%, I'll insist on only taking 25% and I'll work 24/7 for you.
It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but makes the point that if you're arguing about percentage points already this early in the startup, chances are the relationship will struggle. If you want to encourage loyalty, err towards generosity (but only with committed cofounders).