Working with a Co-Founder
“Founding a company is a material pursuit in that, I want to be successful, but really it is an intellectual pursuit and a creative endeavour.”
Camille couldn’t stress enough how important it is to find the right co-founder. She had problems early on in her career, trying to start a company before EF, but realised quickly that her ideas weren’t aligned with the co-founder she had chosen. For her, a co-founding relationship is about balance between the level of ambition, delineation of tasks and intellectual alignment. When there is overlap in any of these, it is going to create friction as opposed to productivity or traction for teamwork.
“You’re basically married to your co-founder, you have to get on with them but you don’t have to be best friends”
Finding the right co-founder should be an organic and easy process, like finding the perfect spouse. As a result, when her EF co-founder stepped down earlier this year, it was like a divorce.
During the founding process Camille had to be open to having her theories tested and her mind changed by her co-founder. She started with a specific problem space in the finance industry, which gave a direction to explore, but she had to be happy about moving within that with someone to create a company together. Her mind was constantly blown and there were things she had not thought about or looked at until she worked with her co-founder
“Having a defined idea can be counter-productive because the whole point of EF is to meet people and to co-create something together.”