Here’s What Startups Should Do Instead of Asking For an Expert Review

A random review will get you exactly what you pay for, or worse

Joe Procopio
6 min readFeb 22, 2021


I’ve dedicated a chunk of the last 10 years of my career to helping entrepreneurs both new and experienced get a better handle on their business. So I want to make sure you know that this post isn’t about me; it’s about helping you.

When random entrepreneurs ask me for help, I do my best, but physical, temporal, and legal limitations kind of put me in a box. I have a project going to address a larger and broader need for startup help (more on that later and please try that first), but even when I do get personally involved, which is rare, I’ll only answer direct questions.

I’m a working entrepreneur and a formal advisor to several companies, so that helps me prioritize my spare time. Direct questions also help me stay away from making assumptions or trying to guess what the entrepreneur needs.

But like I said, this isn’t about me. It’s about helping you.

So when those same random entrepreneurs ask me to review their product, their company, their deck, or their business model, I give them a polite but flat refusal.

Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t ask for a quick review, and what to do instead.

They will lie to you to make you go away

What I’ve learned over 20 years of being an entrepreneur and 10 years of helping other entrepreneurs, is that my answer — the flat refusal — is the best answer I can give you.

The worst answer I can give you is to make up some shit to get you off of my back. Being a working entrepreneur with a long history, I’ve learned this is pretty much the go-to move in a lot of cases.

There are three ways to do this, and each one is really difficult to determine the validity of.

  1. They tell you that your idea will never work, and you need help on a certain front from someone who is not them.
  2. They tell you that your idea is awesome, and then they give you some options, which I’ll cover in more detail later in this post.
  3. They will give you a big helping…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at