Boards of startups – more insight from Fred Wilson

We Wilsons love giving advice (usually unrequested and unwanted :-p ).

Fred Wilson, a US based VC (it oviously runs strong in our clan), has a great blog (albeit I wish he’d syphon off his music posting to a different blog rather than just tagging it, but then that’s what makes him who he is).

He has an interesting posting on his thoughts on the composition of a start-up board and its operation.

I agree with most of it, albeit the local board members point is tricky – the best people aren’t necessarily the closest but I do agree that meetings can go awry when a couple of the participants are calling in, since its easy for them to become excluded – but then its so easy now to do a userplane call or an IM video session so as to at least let the person see you. We had to do a partners meeting like this last week, and apart from a few dropped connections requiring a “redial” it worked fine.

Definitely agree of the Board size – more than 7 and you’ve got either a) a heck of a talking shop or b) a sermon from the pulpit to the congregation or c) a small group that meets in the presence of a bigger group! Its also hard to figure out why a startup would actually need this many people on its board – that probably equates to 50% of the number people that actually are employed / do the work in the company 😉


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