How have you best leveraged your "Board of Advisors" to help launch your start up?


Many of us have friends and people with whom we have worked in prior roles who have become advisors to our start up efforts - in both formal and informal fashions.

What have you found has worked well in terms of the frequency of your interactions with your advisors? I'm thoughtful about not asking for too much time but I genuinely want their insights and perspectives.

Do you bring your advisors together or do you meet one on one? How often do you do general progress updates with them?


Board Advisors

asked Apr 12 '10 at 21:55
Warren E. Hart
2,181 points

2 Answers


Best practices for a Board of Advisors depends on the stage your company is at. In general, you will want to bring your Advisors together at least twice a year and call them frequently for specific questions. Some of the specific things to consider include:

Startup Stage

Probably the most intensive for an advisory board since plans are in flux. Your interactions will probably be more frequent and in some cases daily until the strategy is flushed out.

Product Launch Stage

At this point, the advisory board may need to change since the skills to launch are far different than the skills to start. Another thing to keep in mind is that the frequency of meetings will depend a lot of the skill sets involved. You will talk more with the market expert than with your technology expert.

Growth Stage

Probably the 2nd most intensive point for an advisory board since a lot of the growth strategy needs to be hashed out. Again, the skill sets of your advisory board may need to be adjusted since growth has it's own challenges.

Maturity Stage

A mature company has vastly different needs than a startup and your board of advisors may need to change again. Maturity allows a company to now branch out into different markets and having advisors that understand those new markets will be a tremendous asset.

The thing to keep in mind is that an advisory board should change when your company moves into different stages. This is important for a couple of reasons: 1) Different stages require different skill sets and 2) Fresh ideas will keep you on your toes.

answered Apr 13 '10 at 01:58
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points


Those are very hypothetical questions. Try to answer them but asking more specific ones.

Why do you need advisers? Do you: a) seek their experience and guidance or just b) want to return someone a favor by putting them on the board? If a) talk to them individually -- it's easier to pick their brain that way. If b) -- doesn't matter. You can have a nice D&B social hour... But again, if two of them are great in one field, say marketing, why meet with them separately? Won't you need to make a single correct decision?

answered Apr 13 '10 at 02:55
1,698 points

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