Steve Jobs is acclaimed by many as one of the most revolutionary men in the history of technology.
But like many great leaders, Jobs didn’t reach that level of success on his own. Apple became the company that it is today with the help of his co-founder, Steve Wozniak, his long-time friend.
Yes, two Steves are definitely better than one. And you cannot have Steve jobs without Steve Wozniak in the same sentence if asked how Apple was founded in 1976.
Creating the foundation for a successful business becomes highly possible when two or more people are working together. Handling a job alone can be very difficult without someone showing you things from a different point of view.
Having a partner is not just wanting to have someone to share tasks with. It is about having a person who can assist you in staying motivated, sharing passion and keeping the team focused. And more importantly, a partner can also help you discover new business opportunities.
Jobs and Wozniak were high-school friends. Jobs was 26 and Wozniak was 21 when they organized Apple.
Wozniak, who has undergone computer engineer training, described Job’s incomparable passion for developing and marketing. Woz had all the technical abilities needed by the company, but he didn’t have the driving passion that Jobs did.
Woz created the world’s first assembled personal computer by collecting disjointed parts of the old Motorola 6800 CPU and soldering them on a motherboard. This became the prototype for Apple I.
Obviously, Wozniak and Jobs had very different personalities. However, they were still able to establish a firm that is now the most valuable tech company in the world.
In hindsight, a common admiration for people who think differently was what really brought them together. They founded a company that changed the way people live their lives today.
Where Steve Jobs was the marketing whiz, Steve Wozniak was the engineering guru; two very different people who created a bond by establishing a company that they both fell in love with.
Different skills. Different passion. But with a common goal, to think beyond the ordinary and make new things possible.
Tips for Finding the Right Partner
Finding the right business partner is not always easy, but the rewards are priceless if you’re able to find someone who shares your passion, your dreams and your attitude.
Here are a few guidelines when looking for a business partner.
Know Your Partner
Discovering your potential partner’s character is one way of understanding their business objectives. Your personality and skills should compliment and not clash. Keep in mind, just because you’re friends, doesn’t mean you should work together. In fact, that can be a quick way to ruin a great friendship.
Trust and Respect
Trust and respect are two of the biggest qualities entrepreneurs must have for each other. These two must come together; otherwise, you’re destined to fail. If you don’t trust your partner you’ll spend more time double checking their efforts and drain your limited energy with paranoia and negativity.
Besides personality strengths, it is also important that your partner has the right skills for your business. For tech companies, make sure you have at least one engineer on the founding team. I’ve seen several tech companies fail with great ideas but products that never surface. If you’re an engineer with no design skills and limited charisma, partner with a marketing guru that shares your passion.
Although it might sound nice, having a partner that simply agrees with you is a huge mistake. With no one to challenge your ideas and your thoughts, the drive to stay focused and improve your products will be lost. As they say, before peace, there’s always chaos. And an idea that is unchallenged is in its essence, raw.
A business is a like a boat trip. The sail may not always be smooth, but it’s comforting to know that your partner is willing to swim or sink with you.