10 super successful co-founders and why their partnerships worked

steve jobs wozniakKimberly White / REUTERS

Not all entrepreneurs need co-founders, but many successful companies — including Apple, eBay, and Twitter — were built by multiple leaders with productive relationships. 

How did these individuals find their business counterparts? And what made their combined skill sets a recipe for success? 

Not surprisingly, many were long-time friends, classmates, or relatives.  Others, however, did not get along initially. Some still are not amicable, despite their joint achievements.

There is a common trend: the most well-rounded pairs recognized their individual limitations and respected what the other could bring to a partnership.  Many of these duos have gone on to run some of the most successful businesses of our time.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen


Company: Microsoft

Year Founded: 1975

How their partnership was formed: Bill Gates and Paul Allen were childhood friends from Lakeside private school. 

They shared a love of computers and were hacker partners-in-crime during high school.

Why their partnership works:  Although it can be dangerous to mix friendship and business, the two pulled it off thanks to a shared obsession with computers and a passion for entrepreneurship.

Once Gates left for Harvard, Allen followed him to the Boston-area and they began plotting business ideas.  With Allen’s encouragement, Gates took the plunge, dropped out of college, and created Microsoft.  Their billion dollar company spun out of a nerdy passion and a life-long friendship.

Source: Wired.com

Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

Company: Google

Year Founded:1998

How their partnership was formed: Larry and Sergey met at Stanford’s PhD program in 1995, but they did not instantly become friends. 

During a campus tour for doctoral students, Brin was Page’s guide— and they bickered the entire time.  Despite their quarrel, the two found themselves working on a research project together.  Their paper, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” became the basis for Google.

Why their partnership works:  Sergey and Larry have similar technology backgrounds; they fell in love with computers at an early age and had university professors for parents.  They bonded over their passion for data mining and grew to have similar visions for their company.

Page and Brin made the joint decision to bring Eric Schmidt on board, and to instill a laid-back atmosphere at the Googleplex. They may have been born on opposite sides of the world (Brin from Russia and Page from Michigan), but Sergey and Larry are cut from the same cloth.

Sources: BusinessWeek, Google Corporate

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

Kimberly White / REUTERS

Company: Apple Inc.

Year Founded:1976

How their partnership was formed: The two Steves became friends at a summer job in 1970.  Woz was busy building a computer, and Steve Jobs saw the potential to sell it. 

In a 2006 interview with the Seattle Times, Woz explained, "I was just doing something I was very good at, and the thing that I was good at turned out to be the thing that was going to change the world…Steve [Jobs] was much more further-thinking. When I designed good things, sometimes he’d say, "We can sell this." And we did. He was thinking about how you build a company, maybe even then he was thinking, "How do you change the world?"

Why their partnership works:  A master of analytics, Woz admits that he never once thought to sell his original computer model. That was all Jobs. Woz’s technical skills paired with Jobs’ business foresight makes the two an ultimate business match. And it is a relationship that withstood decades, fame, and fortune. According to Woz, the two remained friends. Woz said they would "talk every once in a while, and they have never had a real argument." 

Source: The Seattle Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

from Business Insider http://read.bi/1JmeLr5

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