Firas Raouf of OpenView Venture Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm, recently interviewed me for two podcasts on the topic of optimizing the contributions that a board of directors can make to a startup. Seasoned venture capitalists are well aware of the challenges that emerging companies face in the boardroom due to conflicts of interest and misalignments. Entrepreneurs must be equally aware and enter the boardroom with their eyes open as to these critical issues because they can undermine the success of a promising venture.
While some boards of directors are effective, many boards perform well below their potential, and some boards are dysfunctional. This is particularly the case for emerging companies, largely for two reasons: (1) startup boards omit necessary processes because they feel it is “too early”; and (2) inexperienced entrepreneurs and first-time CEO’s are often not aware of best practices in this area.
These two podcasts provide useful practical advice for early stage company boards of directors: