Here is feedback that, I hope, is constructive.
1) I`m not really seeing the value proposition for advisors. This is important because I think your make or break issue is going to be getting quality advisors to be active at the site. Getting deal flow is only good if it`s really good deal flow; deal flow for mediocre opportunities is a burden, not a benefit. I`m not seeing why I should assume that the deal flow is going to be chock full of great opportunities. Anyone you would want as an advisor has plenty on their plate, so you really need to make it clear why they should participate.
I agree - as a terminal entrepreneur I was able to pull two businesses together through friends of friends recommending different people to me for different reasons. Ultimately it all came together but took many months and too many coffees in coffee bars. The Goal of Advisor Garage is to speed that process up...i.e. to set entrepreneurs up with people that can help them out fast! We`ll see if it works!
2) I almost signed up anyway until I saw that you were requiring that I recommend the site to three people. I don`t know you. I don`t recommend people I don`t know and highly respect. End of sign up. I appreciate the desire to get some viral marketing going, but if you limit your advisors to people of such poor judgment that they go recommending sites they haven`t actually yet been able to use, you are limiting your advisor pool to a bunch of w**kers.
Good point but I would say that its not a `requirement` as much as a hope...i.e. we will not charge advisors but it would be great if they could recommend other quality people at some point either during or after signup. We are a few crazy people with zero advertising budget so this is why we are asking (not telling!) advisors to recommend others...
On the quality side - Most of the people invited to date have been serious Business people through our own contacts and this group. Hopefully not too many w**kers . But to your point - once we have reached a `critical mass` and it grows beyond those we know - we will implement a quality check requirement so people will not be automatically members until we have reviewed their credentials. A tough but necessary challenge!
3) As a potential advisor, I`m not sure I like the set up where I register and expertise and people are free to demand advice from me. That feels too much like work. They drive it; I don`t. It`s one thing to drop into a forum and bloviate when you have a free time; it`s quite another thing psychologically to have people you don`t know placing demands on your time, however minimal.
- Advisors can search elevator pitches and reach out to those of interest and
- If an advice seeker reaches out to you or another advisor you can, with one click, say `tell me more` or `No thanks!` - an email will be auto sent to the advice seeker. You will always be in the driving seat and can move it forward or just say `No thanks`.
4) Is it expected that advisors get paid in equity for advice they give? Some of your materials suggest that, but it is far from clear. Are entrepreneurs supposed to offer up a chunk of equity to someone they haven`t really worked with based on an online profile? Even allowing for my lack of mental acuity, you really need to be a bit crisper in your presentation of how this is supposed to work if it is an important part of how you see the site working. If it`s not really part of the site concept, take it out.
Entrepreneurs outline if they would like to offer equity or a fee or TBD. As for when they pay - that is for them to determine with the Advisor...it could be after a years `vesting` or whatever makes most sense to both parties.
5) On the advisor page, you have at the bottom the fee information that I think applies to entrepreneurs. I think you want cost to say, Free To Advisors.
It does say free to advisors...
6) Your terms of service protect you, but do nothing for well meaning advisors who end up giving advice for free to problem entrepreneurs. Nothing in your terms of service would prevent them from claiming I was negligent in the advice I gave, or that I somehow made inappropriate use of their idea.
Advisors give advice offline to seekers i.e. its between advisors and seekers to determine what they are comfortable with...
Again, best of luck.
Thanks I really appreciate the time you spent and would welcome any help you can provide.
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