Gloria Lin has gone on a lot of dates in the past year. No, not that kind. We’re talking about co-founder dating. As the next generation of company builders takes shape and new founder mafias spin out of places like Stripe, it stands to reason that more co-founder stories won’t fit the traditional mold, and will instead look a lot more like Lin’s.
Lin’s process is a detailed, step-by-step playbook for thinking through all the potential pitfalls that can ruin even the best of co-founder relationships. In this exclusive interview, she presents that rigorous approach in full, from how she found potential partners and handled early conversations to how they ideated and prototyped together to narrow in on a more specific idea. Whether you’re a proven founder working on your next play or a wannabe entrepreneur waiting in the wings, her process can add a dose of rigor to your own search for a co-founder.
Lin also shares the incredibly detailed co-founder questionnaire — with 50 questions spanning across six categories — that she and other fellow founders have collaborated on to probe compatibility more deeply. We’ll highlight a handful of impactful questions here in this article, tacking on Lin’s marginalia: her reflections on why these questions stood out, the sticking points you need to watch for, and how you’ll know when you’ve found “the one.”
But we’ve also included the full set in a designed PDF template so you can grab and go, and also in a Google Doc, in case you’d like to edit and add your own questions.