Informal Board Member Roles

Informal Board Member Roles

November 9, 2020 by investor

The startup board is typically led by the CEO. Some boards fall into formal roles to tackle specific tasks such as compensation or exit planning.

Many boards see members fall into informal roles.

The most common roles are the domain expert, the advocate, and the critic.

The domain expert looks at everything from the industry perspective and provides basic feedback on the technical execution of the business and compares it to standard business practice. 

The advocate is typically an investor who is close to the team, highlights the positives, and provides encouragement to the team.

The critic is often an investor who is not close to the team and looks critically at the business encouraging solutions.

All three provide valuable feedback, but it’s the critic that draws the most attention. Winning the praise of the critic is the sought after goal.

This creates an interesting dynamic in the board where each one provides value but in a unique way. 

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Hall T Martin is the director of Investor Connect, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education of investors for early-stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of investment decisions.