Tuesday 8 June 2010

Should advisors be paid?

Short answer is no. Long answer is: it depends!

The idea of an advisor is to advise, not to work. When you ask an advisor to work for you, she might expect to be paid. Of course it boils down to the definition of work.

Advisors are usually paid with equity and it's my views that that's the right way to do it. Amount of reward depends, but I think somewhere in the sub 1-0.5% range is the right amount.

For that you can reasonably expect your advisors to:
- have a meeting with you, call or email exchange from time to time (eg. once a week, but short ones)
- read short documents and give you opinion, from time to time (eg. once a month/quarter)
- intros (if an advisor doesn't introduce you to anyone that he could, fire him)
- be your champion when appropriate  wherever they happen to be

You cannot expect an advisor to do the following for you for free:
- make your presentations
- negotiate for you
- giving you extra benefits from their daily business (though if you really go along well, that's often the case)
- generate ideas for you

Think of an advisor as a wise man who can jump up and help you out when you don't know what do to. But be reasonable with what you expect. Whatever you asked them to do, don't be a time hog. Advisors answer questions, preferable closed ones (where they can answer Yes or No). Be smart. Use them wisely.

1 comment:

(jm) said...

> When you ask an advisor to work for you, she might expect to be paid.