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
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
Every entrepreneur who has ever raised money has been on the receiving end of lots of wisdom, advice and guidance from their investors. Most of the time this is a great thing. The best entrepreneurs can get funded no problem, so who they choose to work with is at least in part a function of the “value add” those investors bring. That value add is often driven by the investors’ past experience. Hence all the guidance. Continue reading Who’s in charge?