I am on the advisory board of 2 companies and on the board of directors of 1. One way to think of startups as going through the “forever school of learning”.
Before MVP you have 4 seasons or primary school, then after MVP, before Product Market Fit, 4 seasons of middle school, then after raise your series A or 3 quarters of consistent revenue growth, 4 seasons of high school and finally after series B and beyond, 4 years of graduate school.
As you’d expect, the challenges (or courses) get more difficult as you progress. The early challenges are largely speaking to enough customers to get feedback and nailing the specifics of the problem you are working on with product updates and later on they tend to be about metrics, strategy and managing cash.
Here is a template document I have used with my monthly advisor updates. Most of the startup CEO’s create this template on Google Docs. The other advisors update the doc with their comments and since we are all at different locations (and continents) it is easy to review the combined feedback.
There are 5 sections as you can see above. The section I value the most are the what they learned and what they accomplished.
Usually what I have found is that the CEO updates 3 sections – accomplishments, key metrics and areas they need help and the co founder or product person updates the remainder.
Most of the advisor meetings are about an hour a month with many shorter updates and conference calls in between.
Board meeting packages on the other hand tend to be more metrics focused. Here is a sample board deck that I have suggested be used (from IA Ventures) to my startups.
The key part of the advisory monthly update document is that it needs to give your team accountability and ensure the advisor has visibility into the progress so they can help.
Please let me know if you have a better template.