As you build your startup you will, likely, come to a point where you think about building your board. Be it in the form of a more informal Board of Advisors or a formal Board of Directors — good startups surround themselves with incredible advisors.
All too often the people on your board (particularly the Board of Advisors) are largely just “token people”. People who look great on paper but are actually not that involved.
I believe this to be a fundamentally missed opportunity. Building a real board can make all the difference between success and failure. A great board works for the business by providing guidance, opening their network, advocating for the business and holding you and your team accountable to the highest standards.
When you approach people to be on your board, be very clear and upfront about what the expectations are. Token board members, who are on your deck but in reality don’t do all that much, are largely useless. And make no mistake — investors know this as well and will discount them in their decision making process.
Board members are part of your team. Make them work! :)