Who to trust for what advice?

Note to my future self…

When you find yourself either seeking for advice or you stumble upon some ask yourself the following question:

Who should I seek advice from for this problem or situation?

In other words, is the person that’s given me the advice qualified to do so? This seems like such a basic thing to think about but it’s something that I find myself overlooking a lot.

I started to think about this question today after watching an interview that Vinod Khosla did with Sam Altman where Sam asked Vinod exactly the same question.

Who to trust for what advice?

In the interview Vinod recognizes that one of the toughest challenges that founders face is knowing who’s advice to trust in what topic. His main point is that founder’s should dig deep to understand whether the person that’s trying to give them advice has experienced something similar to what they’re facing.

He gives the example of a founder trying to hire a VP of Marketing for a hyper-growth company where a great VP of Marketing from a legacy player might not be qualified for the role because they might know about marketing and management but they have never experienced huge amounts of growth year over year.

I personally think that this is an important point to remember in an age where VCs and other figures tend to be “louder” on Twitter, Medium, etc. in an effort to differentiate themselves and provide real value to entrepreneurs. Although I think that most of these individuals are well intentioned, I think that most advice is quite generic and experimentation still trumps most other forms of learning.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that you should stop listening to the advice of others. I am just saying that you should THINK before you listen to other people’s advice.

Now back to work..