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Sam Parr's Co-Founder Compatibility Quiz

The 4 golden questions you should ask your co-founder before starting a company.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting a company is choosing the wrong co-founder. Similar to a marriage, choosing the right business partner can make or break the success of you company. Screwing up your cap table is basically an irreversible decision. The only way to fix it is to spend a lot of money.
What if you could gauge your co-founder compatibility before starting a business together?
On a recent My First Million podcast episode, shared his Co-Founder Compatibility Quiz. It’s a simple way to make sure co-founder values and goals are aligned. In fact, if you’re thinking about starting a business, this could be the most crucial 30 minutes you spend with your potential co-founder.
Sam shares his compatibility quiz starting at 20:00.
Here’s how it works: Each person separately answers four key questions and then come together to compare notes:
What does success look like to you in 10 years?
What are you willing to give up in order to achieve that?
In your day to day, what do you value and how do you want to get there?
You’re Lance Armstrong. It’s 1999. You know everyone else is cheating, and you have to cheat to win. What do you do?
I was so inspired by Sam’s framework that I turned it into a simple Coda template you can copy and use yourself. Copy this doc, then scroll down to take the compatibility quiz with your co-founder.
Copy this doc

Sam is now starting a new company with his friend Joe (and no, unfortunately for us it’s not Southern Sam’s Sticky Icky™ ). Before Sam and Joe committed to that business they took the compatibility quiz. Here’s what Sam had to say about it:
“When I’ve started businesses in the past, I’ve partnered with the wrong people. I’m starting a new company with my friend Joe, and I want to do it right this time.
Call us crazy, but our goal was to poke holes in our relationship. We were trying to figure out why this partnership won’t work. And although Joe and I were mostly aligned, there were a few surprising areas where our expectations were different.
Luckily, we worked through our differences and I’m now incredibly excited to partner with Joe, knowing we’re aligned on the most important aspects of our business. I’m convinced the compatibility quiz is a mandatory step before committing to a serious business or life partner. I even did one with my wife before we got married!”


Now it’s your turn: take the co-founder compatibility quiz
When you’re ready to get started, grab a cola, copy this doc, and share it with your potential co-founder. Then, each person opens the doc on their own computer and follows the steps below.

Start the quiz
Step 1: My personal answers
Click the ➕ next to each prompt below to add your answers. You can add multiple answers for each prompt. When everyone is finished writing, move on to Step 2.
Optional: customize the prompts
Feel free to add, change, or delete the prompts below.
Search
Prompt
1
Success in 10 years looks like...
2
I want to get there by...
3
In my day to day, I value...
4
You’re Lance Armstrong. It’s 1999. You know everyone else is cheating, and you have to cheat to win. What do you do?
There are no rows in this table

Note: At this point, only you can see your answers.
Search
Prompt
Answer
Who
Success in 10 years looks like...
I want to get there by...
In my day to day, I value...
You’re Lance Armstrong. It’s 1999. You know everyone else is cheating, and you have to cheat to win. What do you do?

Step 2: Read everyone’s answers
Is everyone finished writing their answers in Step 1?
Yes — show everyone’s answers.
Now spend 5 mins silently reading all the answers. Mark any answers where you’re not aligned. Then, discuss together.

Search
Prompt
Answer
Who
Not aligned
Success in 10 years looks like...
Making 6 figures. I’ll be happy with that!
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
PR
Selling the business within 4 years
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Net worth at $X
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Seat at big boys table
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Want people to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to business
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
A revenue target of $100M in 5 years
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
PR
I want to get there by...
Working part time on the business
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Having a trillionaire #mindset #grindset
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
PR
I want to build this particular business
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
I don’t want a boss
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
I don’t want any standing meetings
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
JH
I want few, if any, employees reporting to me
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Be incredibly aggressive growing this business
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Treat it like a job (work 40 hrs a week on it)
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
In my day to day, I value...
Autonomy
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
No meetings!
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Freedom
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Live in different cities with my family
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Present in my children’s lives
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Own a bunch of real estate
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
Have fun and adventure
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
JH
I want to work really hard for 3-4 weeks or 6-7 months, and then chill for like 3 months
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
You’re Lance Armstrong. It’s 1999. You know everyone else is cheating, and you have to cheat to win. What do you do?
I think you have to cheat. It’s basically not cheating if everyone is cheating.
JH
Justin Hales
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted
PR
I wouldn’t cheat - rules are rules!
PR
Polly Rose
question-mark reaction, you have not reacted

Step 3: Take notes
Write down a few notes as you discuss the quiz results above.
We were surprised that...


Ready to get started?
Copy this doc and take the co-founder compatibility quiz above.
Copy this doc


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