The Skills Needed to be a Solo Founder

Startup’s often put their founders in tough situations and one of the toughest is becoming a solo founder. Within the Sterling Road portfolio, a solo founder recently raised an $18M Series A led by Accel. Here are the 3 skills Joseph Quan, CEO of Knoetic, perfected to ensure 2021 was a successful year:

Be a Generalist

Why: As a solo founder, you will be directly involved in almost every goal your startup sets. You’ll need to be able to personally address a range of problems to keep the company on track.

Be a Learner

Why: Even the best generalist will not know how to solve every problem, so you will need to collect a broad range of options and information to give yourself the best chance of finding the right answer.

Be a Recruiter

Why: Being a solo founder doesn’t mean building your company completely alone, instead you will need to find true believers willing to commit to the aspirational future ahead while taking less risk than a cofounder.

Being a solo founder is incredibly difficult, on top of all the usual challenges of building a startup. To be successful you’ll need a broad set of skills, a willingness to learn, and to hire great people early.

Thanks to Kaego Rust for their help with this article.

Sterling Road invests in pre-seed B2B startups based in the US and Canada.
Full investment process. Contact: ash@sterlingroad.com

Photo by Sean Benesh

Pre-seed Investor. Email: ash@sterlingroad.com. B2B, US only. I work with founders for 3 months before investing. More info: http://SterlingRoad.com/process