Solo Founder vs Founding Team — Why Going Solo Is Better

James Church
4 min readJan 22, 2024

When you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, you’re often bombarded with advice, one of which claims that having a co-founder is an absolute necessity. You might have heard that flying solo is a risky endeavour, and that’s enough to instil doubt in your mind. But fear not! I’ve had the privilege of guiding numerous entrepreneurs through their startup ventures, and I firmly believe that the myth of requiring a co-founder is just that — a myth!

Debunking the Co-Founder Myth

The notion of needing a co-founder is deeply ingrained in the startup culture, thanks to accelerators and popular success stories. However, research and our experience with clients show that solo founders can achieve remarkable success. In fact, solo founders are twice as likely to thrive compared to co-founding teams.

So why is it that solo founders can achieve better long-term success than co-founding teams? We believe there are four key reasons:

1. The Clarity Advantage

When you’re the sole decision-maker, you have complete clarity of vision and direction for your startup. You don’t need to navigate through disagreements or differing priorities, allowing you to stay laser-focused on your goals. With a founding team, you might spend valuable time trying to align everyone’s ideas, delaying progress and compromising your vision.

The Story of Alex and Max

Alex had a revolutionary idea for a health-tech startup. She was determined to create a user-friendly app to revolutionise healthcare accessibility. Max, her co-founder, had a different vision, wanting to focus on the pharmaceutical industry. After weeks of back-and-forth discussions, it was clear they have very different directions. Ultimately, they decided not to move forward together.

Luckily being relatively early stage, there was no huge dispute around shares and the split was amicable. However many businesses have failed due to co-founder disputes. With no legally binding founders agreement in place, this leaves the business extremely vulnerable.

2. Swift Decision-making

As a solo founder, you can make quick decisions and implement them without the need for lengthy discussions or board meetings. This agility allows you to capitalise on market opportunities and pivot when necessary, essential traits for startups in a fast-paced world.

The Athlete’s Sprint

Imagine you’re an athlete in a sprint race. As a solo runner, you can adapt your strategy swiftly. On the other hand, a co-founding team is like a relay race, requiring seamless baton passes and communication between team members, which can be challenging and time-consuming.

3. Personal Accountability

Being a solo founder means that you’re solely responsible for your startup’s success. This heightened level of personal accountability can drive you to give your 100% effort and dedication to overcome obstacles and grow your venture.

The Tale of Mary

Mary, a solo founder of a sustainable fashion brand, faced many obstacles. However, her relentless determination and accountability drove her to tackle each challenge head-on. She didn’t rely on anyone else, she made it her personal mission to succeed. Her unwavering dedication not only inspired her team but also attracted investors who appreciated her commitment and trusted her to lead the company to success.

4. Flexibility and Freedom

With a co-founding team, there might be more bureaucracy and compromise when it comes to work schedules, responsibilities, and decision-making. As a solo founder, you have the freedom to set your own pace, pivot your strategy, and work on your terms.

Pivoting with Ease

A solo founder of a food delivery startup noticed a shift in consumer preferences towards healthier, plant-based options. As the sole decision-maker, they swiftly analysed the market and made the bold move to pivot their business model accordingly. With no co-founders to convince or complex hierarchies to navigate, they could make the necessary changes without delay.

Embrace Your Solo Journey

Remember, being a solo founder doesn’t mean you’re alone in the entrepreneurial world. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and industry peers. I firmly believe in the power of the solo founder, and I’ve seen countless success stories to back it up.

So, if you have a ground-breaking idea and the drive to see it through, don’t let the co-founder myth hold you back. Embrace your solo journey, take ownership of your vision, and build your startup empire with confidence.



James Church

Author of the best-selling book Investable Entrepreneur and COO of leading pitch agency Robot Mascot: