What’s the best way to use your board well?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Do most VCs add negative value? | A Founder’s Notebook

Being aware of where you add value vs. not isn’t just a requirement for VCs — it’s true for everyone. Having clarity myself about where each board member adds value vs. not has significantly helped me get the most out of Seeking Alpha’s (excellent) board.

What’s the best way to use your board well?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Where VCs and board members add the most value | A Founder’s Notebook

In my experience, Seeking Alpha’s board members have added most value in three areas: (i) helping us hire great people, (ii) introducing us to business partners, and (iii) helping us raise money by enthusiastically introducing us to other investors.

What’s the best way to understand investor behavior?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Conflicts of interest between startups and VCs | A Founder’s Notebook

I’ve been lucky to have superb VCs invest in Seeking Alpha. One of the things that’s helped me to maximize my relationship with them is understanding when our interests diverge. Here are two examples: It’s in their interest to push their portfolio companies to swing for the fences, even if that means raising the risk of failure. VCs rightly care about their brand, which is strongly impacted by association with successful companies with “buzz”.

What’s the best way to set goals?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to specify challenges and goals correctly | A Founder’s Notebook

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant, and Time-bound. A good problem statement should be all of those things. For more on SMART, see the Wikipedia page. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/SMART_criteria