Why I built my startup without a co-founder

Solo Founder Faces Challenges Image

Bill Gates and Paul Allen; Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin; Larry Page and Sergey Brin. There are so many successful entrepreneurs who co-founded their startups and made it out there as a team. The theory is - if you can’t convince someone to co-found a company with you, your idea probably does not work. However, there are also lots of drawbacks involved in co-founding a startup.

First of all, the biggest risk of having a co-founder is parting ways. Just like within a relationship, it’s common that people break up. In my opinion, parting ways with your co-founder is the single most detrimental factor that destroys a startup when there are conflicts in opinions.

Secondly, I personally strongly prefer to work with someone personally, not virtually over the internet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anyone local in Los Angeles who I get along with both professionally and personally and who complements my skill set. I did not want to wait for the perfect co-founder to arise because I wanted to build my startup now. The urgency is immediate and I did not want to find excuses for not taking risks.

Last of all, thanks to the assistance of generative AI, I have managed to productively navigate among software development, customer support and product management. I have a co-pilot, ChatGPT, with knowledge of the entire internet and I believe that the enhanced productivity has made up for the lack of a co-founder.

It has so far worked well for my startup adzviser, which recently reached 100 paying customers. I’m sure as it grows, it will become harder to bounce back and forth between different types of efforts, but as of now, I think that I am sufficient.


Hi! I am Zeyuan Gu. I am building an affordable, easy-to-use alternative to Supermetrics. You can read about my journey and what I have learned along the way on this blog.