I love Founders Institute’s new Founder Advisor Standard Template. I am on the advisory board for several companies – most of them very early stage – and one of the things I have always done is have a “conversation” about my compensation, without putting anything in writing. Given my desire to be an asset to the company, one of the things I have always done is say, “let’s defer getting this all legaled up”. I don’t want my start-ups wasting money on lawyers pre-fundraising (or even post, frankly) – and I have always felt that I am both a little bit willing to risk getting screwed and a little bit willing to demonstrate my value and worth. Once I demonstrate how hard I work for my companies, I have yet to be screwed, so in that respect my approach has tended to work out well for me. But I have always thought, “It would be nice to formalize this”.
Founders Institute’s attempt to create a “seed series” standard document for setting up advisory boards is a brilliant idea and very valuable to early stage start-ups. I also am a fan of the approach that they have taken to recognizing that various advisory organizations will have varying levels of commitment.
It is getting easier and less expensive than ever to build a high-performing start-up.