Two roads.

Why cofounder partnerships fail — and how to make them last

An ASU management and entrepreneurship expert discusses the differences between lead founders and cofounders.

In this story published June 13, 2024, in Harvard Business Review:

Thus, whereas lead founders are more task-driven when finding business partners, cofounders are usually more motivated by curiosity or the possibility of finding a partner for work they enjoy more than their current position. Cofounders are more focused on working with someone they enjoy, whereas lead founders are more focused on fulfilling a specific need that must be satisfied. In other words, lead founders think of needs when evaluating potential partners, whereas cofounders think of wants. Cofounders thus have more flexibility regarding the types of lead founders they may join since they are not bound to a particular idea or immediate task.

Travis Howell, assistant professor of management and entrepeneurship

Latest news