When "Let Me Know How I Can Be Helpful" Fails
I have been on both sides a lot. As a founder I mainly need to run the details of execution. If I have a pro active investor I immediately parse the input against my goals and if it doesn’t fit yet, or ever, I say so.
On the other hand if I want something that fits and the investor can help I ask. Ron Conway has been by far the best to deliver in these cases. Fast and targeted.
Ultimately I want help but not another exec taking initiative outside of my goals, that becomes another person to manage.
On the investor side I tend to describe my skills up front and offer to be pulled in when useful. In my case modeling and story telling to investors. Sometimes I make a huge difference, sometimes zero. The variable is usually the founders openness.
I think about how the industry can proactively help founders a lot since that's a pain point we are trying to solve with our startup, this was a great article for the venture side which makes a ton of sense. There is this data asymmetry that exists for various reasons, that makes it hard to fully match resources to the current challenge/fire without requiring founders and their teams to pause and summarize what is happening or they feel like they are failing by asking for help.
Would love to chat more about your side of the story, if you are feeling helpful... haha