Recently I was talking to a tech investor about giving advice to portfolio companies. What’s mandatory for the entrepreneur to do vs only a suggestion or recommendation? This made me think: entrepreneurs need to ask a series of questions whenever hearing startup advice. Here are a few questions to start with:
- What’s the startup stage for this advice? Startups trying to find product/market fit have much different challenges than early stage and growth stage ones.
- Who’s giving me this advice? What was his or her background and experiences that shaped this advice?
- Why is this person giving me this advice? What’s their motivation?
- Who can I corroborate this advice with? What’s another person that would have an opinion on this advice?
- Is this advice I can act on now or should I file it away for a later time?
People love to give advice and I’m no different. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to ask questions in the context of the advice and figure out its potential applicability.
What else? What are some other questions to ask when hearing startup advice?