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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Board of Advisors 2.0?

During my 1st startup, I was blessed with the generosity of talented, accomplished people who were willing to play the role of advisors. I've given a lot of thought to what worked and what didn't.

Earlier this year, Ross Mayfield wrote a great post on Advisorship that better captures my thinking than I can articulate:

"I liken the role of a BoA [Board of Advisors] as a group with strong ties to the company, playing a role in it's social network as the first degree. Initially, names alone provide credibility or thought leadership, but to really gain advantage, a structure such as above needs to ensure information flow and set expectations."
Seems like Web 2.0 can apply toward Boards of Advisors as well. Anyway, I think the Board concept is a bit of a misnomer (makes me visualize the Apprentice boardroom or something). In my next start-up, I aim to build a "situated social network" built around the mission of the company.

1 comment:

Sandeep Giri said...

Couldn't agree more on the importance of having great advisors, and thanks for being one for Loyalty Matrix :-)

Web 2.0 technology and its functioning style is all about supporting collabortive networks, which is what a board of advisors is. Look at how open source projects collaborated even before web 2.0 was a buzzword, and they have been able to harness quality ideas from group collaboration.

Question is: will you have the right people on your board of advisors who see the effectiveness in collaborating this way? Not everyone is caught up on (or sold to) web 2.0. Personally, I'd love to see this form of collaboration replace your traditional once-a-month-or-so type meetings where you update the advisor(s) on company's progress and then seek feedback. For a young company to truly leverage the advisors' collective brainpower, they all need to have a much more immersive collaboration.