Jul 24 2012

Why We Are Writing Startup Boards

I’ve been a board member for hundreds of startup companies. Many of them never got larger than 10 people while others grew to thousands of people. After being in thousands of board meetings, I’ve concluded that the vast majority of private company board meetings are worthless and the current construct of a private company board an obsolete artifact that has barely evolved over the past 30 years.

I started thinking about this in depth in 2009 when I wrote a post titled The Best Board Meetings. Since then I’ve written other posts on board meetings including VC Behavior in Board MeetingsBoard Meeting Lessons From The Supreme CourtStart Every Board Meeting With A DemoNote To CEO’s: Decisions Come From You, Not The Board, and Should VC Board Observers Rights Exist?

As I continued to serve of boards and think about how they worked, I started trying different things. Some of these things I learned from the boards I was on; others were random things I just decided to try. Some worked, some didn’t, but I learned from all of them.

During this process, Mahendra Ramsinghani, who I got to know as he was writing  The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies, approached me about writing a book together. He’d noticed several of my posts on the roles of a board in a startup and thought that this would be a good topic to tackle together. I agreed and off we went.

Startup Boards is currently in process – it won’t be published until Q1 of 2013. In the mean time, both Mahendra and I will be blogging our thoughts about startup boards periodically and hopefully engaging those of you who are interested in learning and understanding what you think works or doesn’t work. I hope to continue to learn from this process as I work hard to figure out a way to make startup boards highly effective.