[Startup] Date before you get married

silicon valley 2

I never dreamt of running a fashion e-commerce company with four male founding members. I dated each of them very carefully and married all of them. It just so happened that way and it has been absolutely amazing.

(*the words ‘date’ and ‘marriage’ were used as metaphors)  

1. How did I find my dates? 

I met my co-founders through a friend, a family introduction, and at a startup event. When I tell people that I didn’t have to pay any developers to build products because I have technical co-founders, people would say “oh! you are SO LUCKY.” I answer nonchalantly, “Yes, surely I am lucky.”

But truth is, I was looking for technical co-founders for three entire years. In the past, although I had full-time jobs, I knew I was interested in the e-commerce sector, and wanted to build something. I taught myself basic skills and finally got to the level where I could understand enough to speak with developers and differentiate between good and bad developers.

As of now, my three years of learning and effort paid off. I met two smart web developers (Cornell CS grad, they were graduate school roommates) and not too long after, I met a kick-ass app developer. (MIT grad, genius iOS guy) I sold them my idea and they became my co-founders.

2. What You Need To Know Before Marriage? 

First, dating doesn’t guarantee a marriage. You work on something together and win a hackathon together, but that doesn’t guarantee that you guys will co-found a company together. Second, Love at first sight works, sometimes. One of my co-founders decided to work with me after one dinner meeting. Finally, timing is everything. All of my co-founders were looking for something new before I pitched my idea.

3. Am I In happy relationships?

DearMissJ launched its iOS app and website last year. Last night, I was writing an email to the entire team (now, we have seven people in total). I wrote a long email sharing updates. At the end of the email, I wrote “thank you everyone, I am totally blessed to have you guys around me.” And it hit me, “Wow, I do have so many talented people that believe in me, and I love working with them.” It was the best feeling I had since the moment I finished the incorporation of my company.

4. Tips To Find Your MR. RIGHT

I found co-founders by always keeping an eye out. When I found someone I liked, I would aggressively sell them on joining my team. In SF, the top talent developers are always poached by recruiters or they are already working on their own ideas. I had to convince them that I had a cooler idea and that I was the best person to execute the idea. I feel blessed to have talented, hard-working and cool guys as my co-founders. Just like any other married couple, we might fight a lot but I know I picked the right guyS.

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