Tag Archives: advisor

When there’s so much conflicting startup advice, why even bother reading?

For every piece of startup advice I have read, I have also read a counterpoint.

Mark Cuban says dont hire a PR firm. Paul Graham says hiring a PR firm was good.

Naval says find a passion market fit. HBR says passion is overrated.

Raise money from VC’s. Only bootstrap.

And I could go on.

So if you are looking for an “answer” you are going to be disappointed.

The best you can do is treat these posts and advice as a guideline or a recommendation.

No one knows your situation as well as you do. No one understand the intricacies of your business, challenges and customers as you will. So, the best advice I have ever heard (I unfortunately forget who told me this) was to develop a set of filters.

1. People filter – This filter applies to who you think is your “role model” or “ideal advisor” or mentor. This filter applies to both people you want to listen to and those you dont. So if you are looking for a mentor or advisor, apply this filter first and get people who you think you can take advice from without second-guessing their intent. You can get second opinions on their advice, but questioning their advice at every step will be counter-productive.

2. Expertise filter – This filter is for specific advice on topics – legal, finance, fund raising, etc. Get advice on these items from “experts”.

3. Context filter: This filter applies to how to apply which advice based on your context or situation. This is best done with folks within your company.

Most advice though, however well meaning is specific to theĀ situationĀ and a guideline. After all if you dont apply your own expertise, know-how or values to them, what good is that advice?