Thursday, May 13, 2010

Creating An Agile Board: Another Great Post By Fred Wilson

I've been in hundreds of board meetings... Either they are wonderful, or not so wonderful. Why so binary? In my Google Reader, I stumbled on a post by Fred Wilson, who turned me on to another serial entrepreneur blogger Mark Suster, who posted a great article about what a board meeting should entail and how to interact beyond the meeting...

Some interesting feedback from Suster's blog below: 
  • Create a Google spreadsheet listing your top customer prospects, biz dev prospects and other companies you would like to meet.
  • Have a column for “want to meet now, in 3 months, in 6 months, etc.”.  Listing the future “meets” will help them understand your future roadmap / thinking but will help avoid getting dropped into an exec meeting from which you’re not ready
  • Have a column for board members / investors to put their names against whom they know.  This will help because no investor wants to be the one without their name against anybody.  VC’s compete amongst each other to show that they aren’t the ones not adding value (a nice double negative, but true! ;-) )
  • Have a space where you say, “please add other useful intros you feel you could make” and encourage them to add more names
  • Make sure to politely remind investors to run intro’s by you before sending them out.  We want to help.  We don’t want to be unfocused.  But most VC’s are “intro machines.”  Help them to be well behaved.  Help them to follow your process.  If you’re polite and persistent they will – and they’ll appreciate it.
  • Make sure to send a monthly email to all board members / investors with a link to your spreadsheet saying, “I’ve made a few updates.  I’d be grateful if you would quickly check the spreadsheet to see how you could help.”  We will not check proactively without a reminder.  We’re busy.  We want to help.  But we barely get through all our email let alone log into online spreadsheets.
He also goes on to highlight HOW YOU SHOULD RUN A BOARD MEETING IN A START UP... A great post! Thanks to for the great picture!

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