Adviser Whiplash

Ask 10 people for advice on your idea and you’ll get 10 different prescriptions. Which one do you follow?

Ask ten people for advice on your idea
and you’ll get ten different prescriptions.
Which one do you follow?

I see this all the time at some of the world’s top accelerators
where the problem is even further exacerbated because
these teams have access to lots of recently successful entrepreneurs.

These seasoned entrepreneurs are paying it forward
by volunteering their time.
A commendable gesture
but one that often leaves the startups more confused.

When faced with conflicting advice
which one is the entrepreneur supposed to follow:
The one that comes from the mentor who made the most money,
or the one that makes the most sense?


Recent success does not necessarily correlate with giving good advice.
You can be a great entrepreneur but not a great teacher.

Tiger Woods is a better player than his coach,
but his coach is a better teacher.

In my view, the advisor’s job is NOT to give solutions
but rather ask the right questions
using the Socratic method.

It is not about giving solutions,
but exposing the right problems.

It is the entrepreneur’s job, then
to brainstorm and prioritize possible solutions, and
test them through small, fast, additive experiments.

It is also the entrepreneur’s job
to double down on the best advice (and advisors)
and ignore the rest.

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