Entrepreneurs: 5 watch-outs before you engage an advisor or hire an executive (or choose a co-founder)

I’ve seen the same dynamic play out in every start-up led by a 20 or 30-something founder. Sometimes it’s fatal. More often it wastes valuable time and burns through precious resources.

Picture this. The proverbial plane takes off with the founder at the controls. The founder wants to get as high as possible, quickly. There is turbulence. A wicked storm is on the horizon. The passengers start to whisper, “we need more experienced people flying this plane.” Privately, the founder is questioning his (or her) abilities to fly a jumbo jet. He hasn’t even mastered flying a Cessna. He sees another plane further ahead on the flight
path and wants to gain the experience of that pilot. He grabs the radio and makes a request that he will soon regret.

There is a combo of naivety and enthusiasm that turn great ideas into growing companies. That enthusiasm is often accompanied by a need for speed. A need to learn fast and implement faster. More