_We’ve posted a few pieces addressing the “challenges of picking your co-founder(s)”:http://gigaom.com/2007/05/17/dangers-of-a-threesome/. Other posts have taken a stab at the best methods for finding a partner — can founders be “matched”:http://gigaom.com/view/question-of-the-day16 to one another? Below is a crib sheet with *tips for what to look for*, as well as *what to avoid*, when selecting a co-founder, as told to us by one of Found|READ’s flagship contributors, Xavier Casanova. They are based on his own experiences._
*What are the FIVE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITIES in a co-founder?*
For me the *top two* requirements are: *(1) exceptional intelligence* and*(2) extreme motivation.* Founders cannot build any company for the long term unless they all possess these two qualities.
Three *less conventional* requirements might be: *(3) belief*: that special little spark in any co-founder’s eye that tells you they believe in what they’re doing. *(4) integrity*, because without this trust cannot be built between two founders, or the founders and their future team. *(5) dedication* you need a co-founder who will _always_ have the business foremost in mind.
*THINGS TO AVOID from my school of hard knocks!:*
*Take your time.* If you don’t have a co-founder, and you need one, exercise patience. This will help you make the right choice.
*Stay away from big egos.* Pay attention to the use of pronouns like “I” where it seems “we” or “the company” might be more appropriate.
*Avoid people with independent agendas*, which can create “impossible long term fits.” For example, if Joe Co-founder wants to go to business school, Joe is probably not a good choice.