Partnerships – How to find the right fit

Anda Gansca, Co-Founder of Knotch – How to find the right fit and partner up for success.

When I first had the idea for Knotch, I knew that I had to find a co-founder to actually help me build it. An engineer, and so I started going through my Stanford network, meeting with a lot of engineers, trying to find a fit. I think I went through about 13 potential co-founders, and this was also at a time when my family told me that I should not start a company. I should go to business school, and my visa was problematic, and it just felt like everything was falling apart, and this always happens, the second you give yourself a chance, the world just says, “No,” and then going through that, it is just very important.

And then, I think the first light at the end of the tunnel I saw when I met Steph, my current co-founder. The idea of having a woman co-founder made me incredibly excited because I just felt like, you know, outside of building a revolutionary company, we could build a revolutionary way to build a revolutionary company. And, I really wanted someone who was openminded about that, and so when I met Steph, the first hour we spent talking about whether or not human beings were monogamous creatures, and how we felt about Israel, and how we felt about socialism, and so on. And so, we clicked in a very Knotch-like way, without really knowing what Knotch was. And by the time we got to the actual idea, we had already formed, like, a really interesting, interest-driven friendship. That was very important. And I had this strong feeling that this is the woman that I need to build my company with.

And so, I pitched the idea to her, and I think it took her about three days, to get infected with the virus and not be able to sleep at night. And then, it took her about a week and a half to quit her job. So it was a very fast process for us. We felt like it was meant to be. We were both very strong, hyper-rational, self-confident women, and that was basically the only thing we had in common. Everything else was different. And to this day, we debate about everything, and I do not know if we have recently found anything we have agreed on, from the beginning. And most of the time because we respect each other so much, we go through a diligent process of finding arguments that support our views, and then convince each other of the validity of our views, and then adopt whichever idea is better.

So far, in a year and a half, we have never had a problem, we have always reached a consensus. Many times I have given up. Many times she has given up. And we just respect each other and appreciate that we can do that with each other. And so, all the stereotypes that people were telling us at the beginning, and all the fears that our investors had about us being women, and potentially not getting along, and being overly emotional, and territorial, and all those things were all wrong. And I think just the fact that we are so open with communication, and so nourishing, and so generous, and so loving with each other, has only helped us get through the hardest times. And so, to this day, you know, we cry together, we laugh together, we hug each other, we talk about boys, and fears, and company, and everything. And it is just wonderful to have her as my co-founder.