Chris Nguyen / June, 2018
What does a lasting co-founder relationship look like?
Chris Nguyen, CEO, and Co-Founder of LogDNA built three startups with his co-founder and CTO Lee Liu. Hear his secret sauce in building a long-lasting founders’ relationship.
How does a lasting co-founder relationship look like?
My advice is that the best co-founder that you want to be looking for is someone who is not like you. You want to find a skill set that actually complements your strength, whether it’s from a technical perspective, a marketing perspective, you never want two of the same individuals by the table.
I’m grateful that I could say I have a co-founder that complements who I am as an individual. Some of the best founding teams that I’ve ever seen and that became unicorns were having a co-founding team that complemented each service across the table.
That is my biggest advice. Find someone who is not like you. If you can’t find someone, if you realize what your gaps are, ask around. You never know who knows who. An engineer might be looking, someone from the business side might be looking, but if you don’t ask, you just never know. That is how I ended up meeting my co-founder. Randomly, in class and funny enough he helped me out in class. That’s when I realized he had a skill set in which I’d love to work with him one day.
10 years later he ends up being my co-founder of three companies.
The cool part of our relationship is that we never argue. We never raise our voices but we disagree. The first point is that you always want to listen and you always want to understand before being understood. That’s one of the cool things that we always had as co-founders.
We always believed in this HOT philosophy. It’s Honesty, Openness, and Trust. We are honest with each other whether you like it or not. We will be honest and we bring that up in open communication. That is really important to us. Never bottle anything in. That’s how conflict happens.
T is the trust aspect. We definitely trust each other. We know that you are accountable for this one domain, he is on the technical side and he knows I’m accountable on the business side. I don’t care if it’s a co-founder perspective, whether it is the office manager or VP of sales, the H-O-T philosophy definitely resonates with us as founders and try to apply that trough every walks of life within the company.