At a recent board meeting a CEO explained why he, a man with strong business experience, needed a Jerry with strong industry domain knowledge added to the team ASAP. The other day I was talking to an aspiring entrepreneur in Houston about his revolutionary new ideas about marketing and suggested that before engaging with VCs he find his Jerry, in this case a seasoned marketing guru, to compliment his internet and consumer marketing prowess.
Although our firm specializes in seed funding, and prides itself in helping complete management teams; it never hurts to have a silverback guru from your space paired up with a strong business focused show-runner. Sometimes that silverback sits on your board of advisors, sometimes he is your COO, and sometimes he is a special consultant, but every new idea needs that repository of knowledge coming from somewhere so that you can effectively navigate through the space.
The industry expert isn’t just there to make VCs like me happy, the expert can help wary customers try a new service or product, and speed up your launch process in time sensitive spaces. He can call up suppliers and call infavors from his experience to get you that critical part you need so that you can fulfill an order on time.