Connections, not capital, the ultimate early-stage accelerator

I’m a fan of Steve Blank and his Lean Launchpad methods, which are the genesis of the very popular book (and movement) The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Both provide a framework for early and continuous validation to accelerate the decision to persevere or pivot.  Both also agree on a fundamental tenet of resources needed early in a startup’s life, and it’s not money, it’s a network.

It’s great to see an experienced entrepreneur seek out advisors and connectors who buy into what she’s doing.  The “why” is an emotional hook and when you find people who can get behind that, there’s no end to the advice, open doors, and other resources that can follow.  Good entrepreneurs understand that the investment of time from a strong network can catapult an early-stage company or idea much farther, much faster than a check.

Advisors and connectors act like multipliers; they will improve the reach and efficacy of your validation, learning and sales efforts.  They can help transform your team and your vision when it’s needed.  They bring the experience and outside perspective that can be so important for day-to-day gut checks.  They are so much more than a dollar figure.  They are worth more and they can do more for you early in your journey than money.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Multiply your time and chances for success by seeking great advisors, mentors, and other connectors early and often! Eventually, they’ll even help you attract the capital you think you need early on.

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