How Will Smith Helped Me Develop My Co-Founder Test

The number one question I get asked about startups is “How do I find a co-founder?” The short answer is that it is really, really tough. You need to find someone that you work well with, complements your skillset, shares similar values, and you get along with. At least that was my answer until I read this quote from Will Smith, and my new test is “can you see your potential co-founder saying this:”

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Bonus points if said with cigar

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things–you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple. . . .”

– Oscar-nominated actor and Grammy award-winning musician Will Smith

This almost makes me forgive him for every movie he has made since Pursuit of Happyness. How do I know this was true of my co-founder? Simple, it was the time I saw him eat 3 Chipotle burritos in 30 minutes to win a bet. How do I know it happened – I was one of the people that bet him. Will save more of that story for another post.


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