It’s all just input. You need to make the decisions

Screenshot 2016-02-10 07.57.35Back in my VC days we ran the FounderFuel accelerator. Our program was blessed with many strong mentors. We regularly brought mentors and companies together. 

While this was all good, often the founders would complain of “mentor whiplash”. Mentors would have conflicting advice for these founders.

I see similar issues with more established companies when it comes to their boards. Often they turn to their board for advice. And often, individual board members have different advice. What are you supposed to do? Especially if the conflicting advice comes from investors that made big bets on you.

Here’s the thing: All the advice you’re getting is just input. You are supposed to digest that input and make the final call.  Continue reading It’s all just input. You need to make the decisions

The traits of a great Startup Advisor

The two things I love to do most are advise founders & their teams plus close complex financial transactions. I love those things so much that I created SurePath Capital Partners so that I could do them all day long! It’s been just over two months now since I launched SurePath and it’s going better than I ever imagined. As I’ve settled into this new role, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a great Startup advisor. Here are my thoughts.

It’s very common for startups to add advisors. Those advisors come in all shapes and sizes. Most advise on the side while they do something else. That can lead to inconsistent experiences. Ironically, the more prominent that person is, the more disappointing the experience is. With rare exceptions, if you have some A list startup celeb advising you, you might get some great intros, but they will be too busy being their fabulous selves to really engage.

Continue reading The traits of a great Startup Advisor

Advisory boards

Yesterday I had lunch with the CEO of a young startup in town. He’s in the process of putting together an advisory board and wanted to chat about it. For those of you that were unable to join us for lunch, here are my rules for great advisory boards:

Be selfish: Advisory boards are not for the company, they are for you. As leader of your company, the advisors are there to provide you with a personal, confidential, trusted sounding board.

Start small: You don’t need a big board, though size does not matter since you won’t actually bring everyone together for meetings. I suggest the following:

Continue reading Advisory boards