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There a lot of great points on this thread. We need more distinction between contextual and non-contextual advice. If one is ‘at the board’ working through a problem — then a hint or solution, moves the problem forward. On the other hand, if one is just ‘leisurely browsing advice listicles’ without being at the board, facing the problem, then most likely you are just ingesting dopamine-flavored noise.

Advice without context from anyone — whether it is PG, pmarca or Richard Feynman or {_your_fav_successful_survivor_} - would be useless, unless you are working/thinking about the problem that they are giving solutions for. Help only works if you are looking for something. Also sometimes it is good to just enjoy problem-solving and figuring things out. We are too quick to look for advice — and I get why: because no one wants to “reinvent the wheel”; There are too many standardized administrative things with startups that can be just solved by looking up advice; no problem with that; but sometimes it is worth struggling through a problem even though geniuses like PG and pmarca can give a solution quickly.

Abundant capital has led to too many VCs with too many blog posts looking to differentiate with their advice, under the guise of differentiation, content marketing, “proprietary deal flow” etc. If content is “bait” then you are at the bad end of the line.

When faced with a problem, find someone who can help — All other times, just do the work and enjoy problems :-)

(Did I just give advice? Can’t tell)




> Advice without context from anyone...would be useless, unless you are working/thinking about the problem that they are giving solutions for.

Totally agree. In my opinion, this can be a real reason to give advisors equity: to incentivize them to keep the context of your company in their head.

In many cases, you can get equally qualified (non-contextual) advice, for free, from tons of other folks (around SV, at least). But few will have the extended context that advisors who have been around for a while will.


> most likely you are just ingesting dopamine-flavored noise.

I hope you don't mind if I steal that phrase. Well put.


I like that distinction. I find that the best "non-contextual" advice is best when delivered as a model for how to think about a given problem, where the answers are more evidence/examples than diktats of what to do.




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