When You Need An Advisor For Your Company.

(and three reasons why)

Help! I can’t do this myself!

Having a trusted mentor or advisor have your back in time of need can make or break your company. Today it’s typically the young founding CEO matched with a wizened, multi-time ex-CEO turned mentor or luminary.

It’s come down to 3 stories Bad Ass Advisors has heard again and again…

Reason #1

Without my advisor, I wouldn’t have funded the company

Reason #2

Without my advisor, I wouldn’t have hooked my first whale customer

Reason #3

Without my advisor, I wouldn’t have sold the company

Closing one of the first big deals, fundraising and selling are the times when it’s an all-out team effort. For most companies, the team is not just the full-time founders on the bench; it also includes advisors and investors.

When can an advisor can be of the most help?

What are the inflection points that matter?

After hundreds of discussions, it came down to how long the company has been around.

Conclusion: It’s All About Stage Of Company


You’ve got an MVP but need lots of expertise you can’t afford or can’t find to hire — and you’ve got N months to prove there is a there there. Survival comes down to capital access, getting core technology to work, getting influencers to pay attention and learning/iterating and making as many good, fast decisions as possible.

Advantage: Fundraisers

and Luminaries

Graduating From The Incubator

You’ve survived and grown from living on ramen in your incubator, you’ve refined your pitch, met with dozens of mentors and have gotten so much conflicting advice you are now dizzy. What’s next? You need one or two sherpas that stick with you through thick and thin to get you grounded, help see the forest from the trees and keep focus as the 24x7 blur at the incubator starts to fades away.

Advantage: Fundraisers

and Marketing Specialists


You have to raise your A. You need investor intros, bigger numbers and a very clear market position or you’ve written some great code but you realize you can’t do it all, how can you best insure you are doing only what’s critical? Maybe it’s an experienced extra set of eyes that can help, but so is having access to folks that have done it before.

Advantage: Fundraisers

and Marketing Specialists

and maybe Engineering Specialists

and Business Development Specialists

Post-A and Later

You’ve got the funding to be dangerous, now it’s hitting your numbers, entering new markets, scaling staff and optimizing operations. Your business is maturing, your team is coming together but sales, growth and culture make the difference.

Advantage: Sales Specialists

and Mentors

Operations Specialists

and of course — Talent Specialists

In earlier posts, I talked about how to compensate an advisor and why advisor roles are increasingly important in an ever-changing Silicon Valley. At Bad Ass Advisors,

we’ve been getting an incredible amount of feedback and comments from folks contributing to our thinking around helping make advisory relationships work better and thank everyone. We now feel comfortable answering the three big questions around advisors that matter; Why an advisor?, What/Who should be my advisor? and How much should it cost to bring one aboard?

10-time entrepreneur and Chairman of UCSF Health Hub and VC at Series A BuildersVC. To date made over 150 private investments in health, enterprise….

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