Friday, June 22, 2012

Do I need an advisor for my startup?

This was originally posted on the Rock Health Blog, and I've included only an excerpt here - you can find the full post here

Advisors can play a very positive role in the development of a company when deployed effectively. Over the last few years, however, we have seen a rise of the “Advisor Class” where it appears everyone is either advising, or believes they are in need of advice. During this same period, more self-service resources have become available, from movements like the Lean Startup, to thoughtful Q&A discussion boards, such as Quora, which boasts nearly 75,000 people following questions on entrepreneurship.
So, does my startup need an advisor? An advisory board? How do you manage that relationship to get the most value from it while expending the least amount of effort? You know your effort needs to be on your company, your product, and your team. Anything else should be given rigorous consideration before adding it to your plate. So how do I take on advisors without being distracted?
If you read no further, remember that your investors value ‘team’ more than you know. Often, in fact, than your idea itself. They are placing a bet on you, your team, and your collective ability to make decisions and execute. If you can enhance your team with a small number of focused advisors to fill gaps, that’s a great win for the team. Just remember, never once has an investor said “I don’t believe in the team, but they have a great advisory board.” – team first, team always.
If you choose to read on, the following post provides hints for you to weigh when considering advisors, and most importantly, how to maximize advisor relationships. It’s a framework, but not an answer. And remember, only you can truly decide if you need advisors, because after all….YOU are the CEO!