Extracting More Value from Investors

Investors can be a great resource for founders -- and not just because of the capital they provide. Many investors have great operating experience and vast networks, or they've at least observed many startups from the sidelines and can offer good advice based on the patterns they've seen. Unfortunately, a lot of founders underutilize their investor network.

Here are the three most common mistakes that I see:

Fundamentally, most investors can be viewed as 1-2 hours of free labor every month. There are exceptions, like board members/major investors who'll be willing to put in a lot more time, or very casual investors who might not want to invest any time at all, but most investors are good for at least some (free) work every month.

So what can you ask investors for? Almost anything! Some ideas:

Introductions to...

Comps for...

Feedback on..

Advice for...

So next time you write an investor update email (and you should be writing those monthly!), list out 5-10 things that you'd like help with. It takes very little effort, and you might be surprised by the results.

Tags: Investor Updates

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