How Often Do Startups Join Together?

In talking to and mentoring dozens of startups I’ve noticed that many of them are in similar spaces; working on the same general problem, yet not quite competitors. Almost complimentary.

This raised a question for me: In the history of the modern startup universe, how common is it for really early stage (say 2-5 people with only friends & family funding) ventures combine with others?

I ask because it seems to be a good idea on the surface. For example, I know of several companies trying to address developer pain in building cloud based mobile apps. Each is tackling a different part of the overall pain that developers feel. Neither has the time, nor resources, to do anything but focus on their core idea. They each struggle to finding and sell to customers; likely talking to the SAME customers. They also do the same with potential sources of funding.

Wouldn’t it be better if they somehow joined forces?

Beyond ego (which can be a huge deal), what would be the barriers to them joining forces?

Discuss please. I have some hair-brained ideas about actually making this happen and I’d like to gather more experience from others.

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

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