In the last few days, I’ve been asked several times what sort of “profile” we’re looking for in a founder.
There’s no simple answer to what makes a great founder. I can tell you that we absolutely want to see a strong passion and a strong commitment to your idea. We’re not necessarily looking for “young” people – we welcome applications from anyone, anywhere. One attribute of a potentially great founder is that they do stuff, and lots of it. They try things, take a few risks, operate like jacks-of-all-trades and always seem to be up to something interesting. You can see that in their personal life, on their blogs, and in the pet projects they create.
I suspect that this type of program will appeal primarily to young people. We’re certainly marketing it through many of those channels. However, I’m an investor in a startup that has a first time founder who is 49, with no prior startup experience. He’s a great founder and it’s a great company.
The bottom line is there’s no profile. We’re looking for great people who demonstrate the qualities that tend to make great founders. Believe it or not, the ideas are important, but secondary.
Great people, passion, and dedication. Period.