Diana Chen on Finding the Right Co-Founders

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This guest post is by Diana Chen, a Women 2.0 Startup Weekend attendee from last November. Diana is currently in the Founder Labs program in Menlo Park, CA. She blogs about her early-start mobile startup experience: Startups aren't easy. Nor are they particularly comfortable. In all E's it's been exciting, exhilarating, exhausting. Some days, someone tells you your product is amazing and you feel terrific. You're getting somewhere, you're creating the product of your dreams, you sing and cartoon birds will help you get dressed in the morning.

Other days the challenges start to pile up. Our brains are pooped. After laboring over interviewing and validating our target customers, our survey methodologies need to be tweaked, then we discover framework compatibility issues, and faced with the abyss of uncertainty we hesitate about how to proceed. So we go back and peruse the books for theoretical inspiration, we ask our mentors for guidance, but we know deep down that our best teachers are still waiting for us in the form of “putting a stake in the ground” and “failing fast.”

As is the case with many other participants here, entrepreneurship has been my dream. So, when the opportunity arose I moved to Silicon Valley starting with Founder Labs. The intensity of the experience in these few short weeks has allowed me to test out ideas in a new field and stretch my comfort zone. There is no app for that! (I think)

Eric Ries notes that “a startup is greater than the sum of its parts; it is an acutely human enterprise.”

My team consists of Zuhairah, Daniel, Mansi and me. Those late nights we spend picking up a new programming language or working on design iterations have made me realize how grateful I am to have passionate co-founders.

After creating Kahnoodle, our relationship management app, and experiencing pressures and learning curves, I'm impressed with our mutual adaptability and morale.

There is much chatter about the importance of selecting the right cofounders, but I believe it's not about dreaming up ideal partners for an Ideal startup; the true test is creating your own ideal out of the talented people you've already found.

Finally, facing uncertainty we face also means that we find new strengths within ourselves. Like the entrance of a startup into a previously calm market, we find ourselves having to reorient psychologically to new challenges that shift our perspectives. We iterate upon ourselves and do our best. We're here to find each others strengths and support one another. And then, I hope, we can scale.