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

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.

  1. 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.
  2. They will give you a big helping of word salad that leaves you in exactly the same place as you were before.

They will lie to you to avoid hurting your feelings

Now let’s talk about those positive options I hinted at above, because the worst feedback you can get is a false positive.

They will lie to you to try to get you to pay them

I’m a formal advisor to a number of companies and a consultant to others. I take this job very seriously. There’s a process.

They will have the wrong expectations

If you were to ask me what my endgame is with any of my startups, at any of their stages, it would take me hours to explain it to you. I have plans on plans for today, tomorrow, and the future.

They will only consider how closely it matches their own aesthetic

Along those same lines, they’ve got a worldview, and you don’t have a grasp of what that is.

You need answers from experts

To bring it home, this isn’t about me. It’s about you. And you need answers.

You need answers from peers

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with reviewing a model or a deck or a product if you can take the time to get past all of the hurdles I described above. But you don’t need an expert for this, you need a trusted associate, and you need their time.

You need answers from customers

These are the most important answers you can get. There are a ton of ways to get this started. Here are my favorites:

  • Go to early access and offer potential customers free access while you make changes and figure out the solution.
  • Launch the damn thing and go get actual, paying customers.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at

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