I have been reading the new book from Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani titled “Startup Board – Getting the most out of your board of directors“. I can only talk from my experience which is limited, but having the opportunity to learn from the experience from numerous boards that Brad and Mahendra have been on is an opportunity that I think is too valuable to miss. I have to say that my experience of being in a board started when we invested in CLARA, lo and behold, I was a Chairman of the Board of CLARA! I think I can say without exaggeration that I was clueless on what it means to be in a Board.
One can read books and understand the regulations or requirements of the fiduciary mandate of the Board of Directors, but really creating an effective board is an art and it is a collaborative effort of the Management and the Chairman of the Board… and I had no idea where to begin. This was also the time in Iceland when all the dirty laundry was being washed in public about how the Board of Directors failed in all the Banks and Financial Service companies that went belly up. Lot of doubts, lot of questions and a lot of reading and no sleep, to top it off my other board members were the founders of the company and had very little experience. I can say without a doubt that I would have very much liked to have had a book like this before I decided to be on the Board of CLARA. As they say you are a rookie in any job only once, it was true with the Chairman of the Board role and it also includes my current role as CEO of GreenQloud, I have never been a CEO or for that matter Chairman of the Board of anything. There was a lot of learning on the job. Making a book on Board of Directors interesting is hard, but I have to say it has been an interesting read so far. The anecdotes , the insight on specific situations and a flow of why, what and how of Boards is extremely useful and insightful. I am looking forward to digging in.
If you are a startup founder or a first time Board Member, do yourself a favor and go get the book and start applying the learnings, I can assure you that it will be worth your time and money. If you have not built a Board of Directors to keep you honest, please do that first. Building the board is a skill, making sure the right people with the right backgrounds are there asking the right or in some cases the wrong questions is an important journey in being an Entrepreneur or Startup Founder. This book should help you answer all the questions that you have always wanted to learn about the Board of Directors.
Ok, this video cracked me up… if your Board is doing this, then you definitely need this book!
- Startup CEO “Bibliography” (businessinsider.com)
- Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City – Brad Feld (madamespeed.wordpress.com)
- Will Large Investors Back 500 Startups’ Growing Ambitions? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Fabulous Startup Book List (ithacavc.wordpress.com)
- Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship, Marc Andreessen, B2B, SaaS, Growth Hacking, User Experience – Roundup #20, Nov. 24 2013 (startupmanagement.org)
- Jim Ivy of Ricoh Explains How to be a Board Member (jimivyricoh.wordpress.com)
- Startup Boards Is Shipping (feld.com)