I work at home alone so it’s not lip service to say that I have to go outside of the office to get the best advice.
I learned, launching Kickofflabs, that you need to avoid your personal networks at all costs. Those people are too nice to tell you the truth. Even my wife. I could tell Gretchen was skeptical. She was too nice to tell me what she thought about our business. I think she believed that my silly experiment would just end one day and I’d be back to a normal job.
Even strangers are too polite to tell you what they really think. So… who can you trust for advice?
People voting with their dollars.
Someone can tell you that you have a great idea or they could pay you something for it. Which tells you more? That’s why I’m happy we launched KickoffLabs without a lengthy free beta. Talk to the people voting with their dollars and find out why they did. Then find out why others didn’t.
Kickofflabs is not a funded company, but we’ve had a lot of investor meetings. What I love about pitching and taking investors through our pitch is that they don’t hold back the punches. Perhaps I’ve just met good ones… but I wouldn’t describe them as polite. I think they are just understand how to vote with their dollars.
People who’ve been there before.
If someone has done what you’re working towards and is close enough to your stage that they remember what you’re going through and the solutions that worked for them well enough to dispense advice.
Beyond that you should have a hard time trusting what people tell you. They may have good intentions… but you can’t sell good intentions.