KaiKul#1: “From Miles Apart to Business Partners: A Guide to Finding Your Co-Founder Across 7,799 km”

Setthawut Kulsrisuwan
3 min readApr 15, 2023

With my respect, this is my first written startup journey aiming to document, reflect and share how we are building a startup, KaiKul, since day one. Hope this might helpful to you and can be your shortcut to your journey. Welcome to the KaiKul first month.

an laptop on a briefcase at an airport used for writing a startup journey
written-at-jordan-amm-16–4–2023–01–30

This journey will be written into 3 sections:
- Journey
- Hindsight (challenge & small win)
- Next actionable items

JOURNEY

Finding a co-founder

I decided to find a co-founder in 2 ways: YC combinator (YC) and startup events in BKK, Thailand.

YC website used for matching with your potential co-founders
YC co-founder matching website

Mostly, in the startup event, haven’t found the match yet. However, found the first one in YC with the similar product goal. We have worked together for 3 months, but each of us had our own work. Then, we split. After that found Kali who have the similar passion, “to create positive changes in one’s life”, and that’s our day one for this journey.

a first chat between Setthawut and Kaili. Introduce ourselves and arrange our first meet
first-hi-with-kaili

We met a first time for introducing ourselves and understanding more about each other. Then we appointed a meeting for our the next big step.

Ideate problems

Our first idea was that we selected to ideate with a customer-centric method which was

“I am <job> I’m trying to <action> but <problem> because <root cause> which make me feel <emotion>.”

to find a problem to work on, and concluded that “people are frustrated while making progress” was the one. Next, we did secondary research and found out that it is the problem. Nevertheless, at that time, we were not sure about this one still, so we decided to interview people for almost 2 weeks instead. Ended up to interview over 60 people with different countries, genders and occupations (Thank you all for your time and willingness to share your experience ☺️). We found lots of insights. For example, most of interviewee would like to have the experienced mentor to guide, share and review their situation. This is very helpful to work forward.

A Miro board used for ideating the problem statements and understanding more about each other’s preferences
ideation-phrase

HINDSIGHT (Challenge & Small Win)

Challenge

  • We live in different countries, so we need to align on time. I decided to head up to manage the meeting time and link, and it went so well. A bit proud.
  • It’s normal to have up and down time, and we were in the down time too. Don’t know why but we always lifts each other up when another in the down time.
  • We spent to almost 3 weeks to find out the problem statement. Next time we could optimize our time by scoping our industry and audience first.

Small Win

  • We found a co-founder with the similar passion, having complementary skills and willing to make it through.
  • We finally did find the problem statement and now in the validation phrase.
  • At first we seemed to be too agreeable, but now we shared what we thought directly but kindly. We didn’t try to win our own idea, but we aligned on what is the most impacted one for our team and customers.

NEXT ACTIONABLE ITEMS

  • Validate our idea
  • Create our first MVP

That’s our first-month startup journey. Hope you find something helpful and if you have any feedback or suggestion, feel free to reach us via my Linkedin or email, setthawut@kaikul.com☺.️

Here’s https://medium.com/@setthawut-kul/kaikul-journey-2nd-month-dcc625eb76dc for 2nd-month journey.

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Setthawut Kulsrisuwan

A tiny-eyes man, pursuing his big dream, an influencer who contributes to the development of human lives.