Back 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
I spoke with a friend recently who was forced to step down as CEO of his startup. The board felt he wasn’t getting the job done and that was that. Happens regularly. But in this case, he had only raised a small amount of capital, so his CEO job should never have been in question.
The issue here was that this founder had ceded control of the board. What this means is that outsiders had a right to appoint the majority of the seats in the board.
Continue reading The importance of board control
VCs attend lots of board meetings. The vast majority of them are sub-par experiences. That goes both ways. The entrepreneurs spend a lot of time preparing for them and don’t get much return on that time investment. And VCs don’t end up contributing a lot and don’t get much return for their time investment either (especially true when they have to travel to said meetings).
This is a shame and a waste of a precious opportunity. The right board can have a huge impact on a startup’s performance by offering an expert perspective on the issues facing the management team, exposing their network of relationships, and helping the CEO develop and grow as a leader.
So, if you’re not getting the impact you should from your board then read on.
Continue reading Avoiding the “Bored” Meeting
One of the least favourite things about raising money from VCs is having to deal with board meetings once you’re funded. Most board meetings suck. I’ve sat through my fair share on the company side. To date, as an investor, I’ve tried to avoid them favouring regular informal interactions.
But since board meetings are inevitable companies and investors need to work better to get the most out of them. Done right, they can be of huge value.
Continue reading The Model Board Package