Sunday, October 12, 2008

23 Days: Not Entellium

I have an unusual relationship with the people who are advising me on Groupthink: I listen to them.

Right now, Groupthink is just me, so I don't have a formal board of directors or advisors. But, I'm fortunate to have a number of friends who are giving me advice. Some has been solicited and some has been volunteered. I'll take it all. Advice from two of them affected what I'm doing by nudging me from two different directions. Good thing too -- my original plan was way too ambitious. And, as I mentioned Friday, another advisor nudged me to disclose what I was working on, which resulted in me finishing up my competitive analysis, my XYZ statement, and my story. That was good too. It gives me clarity, even though, as Mike Koss pointed out, it's got a long way to go.

Contrast this with Entellium, where they were lying to their board of directors. Entellium is an extreme case, but I think similar things happen all the time. Over the years, I've advised a number of startups - some listened to my advice and some didn't (and notice I'm saying "listened" -- you can listen to advice without following it). And years ago, I saw a company consistently lie to their board. It wasn't fraud -- it was just not disclosing some details about some problems -- problems that they could have used help with. Instead, the problems got worse. The day the board found out, the president (a founder and the largest stockholder) got fired. If you're not listening to your advisors, why do you have them?

So, when I write on this blog that I'm interested in feedback, I really mean it. And I appreciate the advice.


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