The Board Of Directors - Selecting, Electing & Evolving

Every company should have a Board Of Directors. At the start it can simply be a one person board consisting of the founder. But it should not stay that way for long. Because if you are your own board, you won't get any of the benefits that come with having a board. These benefits include, but are not limited to, advice, counsel, relationships, experience, and accountability.

The shareholders elect the Board of Directors. But there is usually a nominating entity that puts directors up for election by the shareholders. If the founder controls the company, then he/she is usually that nominating entity.

I am a fan of a three person Board early on in a company's life. I generally recommend that a founder put himself/herself on the board along with two other people they trust and respect. The election of directors in this scenario is simply a matter of the controlling shareholder voting them in.

This situation changes a bit when investors get involved. If the founder retains control, then the situation does not have to change. The founder can still nominate and elect the directors they want on the board. However, investors can and will negotiate for a Board seat in some situations. This is less common for angel investors and more common for venture capital investors.

The way investors negotiate for a board seat is usually via something called a Shareholders Agreement. This is an agreement between all the shareholders of the company. It contains a bunch of provisions, but one of the provisions can be an agreement that the shareholders of the company will vote for a representative of a certain investor in the election of the Board of Directors. The representative can even be named specifically. For many of the Boards I am on, this is how my seat is elected. For venture capital investments, this is a very typical provision.

Adding an investor Director does not mean that the founder loses control of the Board. It can remain a three person Board with one investor director and two founder directors. Or the Board can be expanded to five and the investors can take one or two seats and the founder can control the rest. These two situations are common scenarios when the founders control the company.

As a company moves from founder control to investor control, the notion of an independent director crops up. And independent director is a director who does not represent either the founder or the investors. I am a big fan of independent directors and like to see them on the Boards I am on. Boards that are full of vested interests are not good boards. The more independent minded the Board becomes, the better it usually is.

When the founder loses control of the company (usually by selling a majority of the stock to investors), it does not mean the investors should control the Board. In fact, I would argue that an investor controlled Board is the worst possible situation. Investors usually have a narrow set of interests that involve how much money they are going to make (or lose) on their investment. It is the rare investor who takes a broader and more holistic view of the company. So while investor directors are a neccessary evil in many companies, they should not dominate or control the board. The founder should control the board in a company he or she controls and independent directors should control a board where the founder does not control the company.

When and if a company goes public, the Shareholders Agreement will terminate and public company governance standards will dictate how a board is selected and elected. There will most likely be a comittee of the Board that is called the Nominating Committee. That committee will select a slate of directors that will be put up for election by all the shareholders of the company at the annual meeting. Most public company Boards have staggered Board terms such that a subset of the Board is elected every year. Three year and four year terms are most common.

It is possible for the shareholders to put up an alternative slate. In theory, this approach could be used in both private and public companies, but in reality it is almost entirely limited to public companies. This will be percieved as a hostile move by most companies and they will fight the alternative slate of directors. This "aternative slate" approach is most commonly taken by "activist investors" who take a meaningful minority stake in a public company and agitate for changes in the Baord, Management, and strategic direction of the company. But it can also be used in a hostile takeover effort.  It is very very rare for an alternative slate to take control of a company, but it is fairly common for a new director or two to get elected in this way.

Boards should evolve. Boards should recruit new members on a regular basis. Board members should have term limits. I like the four year term. But I've been on Boards for much longer. I'm in my thirteenth year on one board and my eleventh on another. These are not ideal situations but they involve companies I invested in while I was with my prior venture capital firm and I have a responsibility to my partners and the founders to see these situations through.

A much better example is Twitter, where I was the first outside Director, taking a board seat when Twitter was formed in the spinout from Obvious and USV made its initial investment. Over time Twitter added several investor directors and then started adding independent directors. By last fall, Twitter had the opportunity to create a board with two founders, a CEO, three independent directors, and one investor director. As a shareholder, that sounded like the right mix to me and I voluntarily stepped down along with my friend Bijan who had led the second round of investment.

The point of the Twitter story is that Boards evolve. In the first year it was me and two founders and a founding team member. In the second year it was me and Bijan, two founders and a founding team member. In the third year it was three investors, two founders, and two senior team members. In the fourth year, it was three investors, two founders, a CEO, and three independents. And now it is one investor, two founders, a CEO, and three independents. Many of these changes in the Twitter board happened at the time of financings. That is typical of a venture backed company.

In summary, the shareholders elect the Board. That is the essential truth in every company. But how they elect the directors can be very different from company to company. For public companies, it is largely the same for all. In private companies, as JLM would say "you get what you negotiate for" so negotiate the Board provisions carefully. They are important.

Most importantly, build a great board. They are not that common. But you owe it to your company to do that for it.

#MBA Mondays

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Early on, friends select friends to be on their boards. And it’s hard to hold friends accountable without straining the relationship. Do you see this?

    1. fredwilson

      friends are a bad ideamentors, former bosses, etc are way better

    2. leigh

      Friends are even hard as staff members particularly expectations around shares….

    3. Scott Barnett

      It’s tough to have friends involved at all – in the company, or on the board.  It creates too much conflict, in general.What about this line:”The founder should control the board in a company he or she controls and independent directors should control a board where the founder does not control the company.”Define “control”?

  2. jason wright

    On Twitter, how is your investment now represented?

    1. fredwilson

      we gave up our contractual right to a board seat along with all of the investorsi have great confidence in the board that is there nowthey represent my interests well

      1. Mark Essel

         But you mentioned there’s still one investor seat.

        1. fredwilson

          Peter Fenton. Not by right anymore. He’s local engaged and super helpful

          1. Mark Essel

            Got it.

      2. John Revay

        Assuming you still have many other rights in the Shareholders agreement, including access to information.Perhaps you can comment on Board Observer rights.

        1. fredwilson

          i am not a big fan of board observer rightsi think observers, particularly management observers, are great for the non-executive part of the meeting

          1. John Revay

            Perhaps – as part of this series – you can comment about meeting formats/agenda – ( re: your comment above about non-exe part of meeting) – I know @bfeld once did a blog post on BOD meetings – he comment that more time s/b focused on forward looking items vs historical review

          2. Aaron Klein

            Agree. That would be a great addition. Best practices for planning a board meeting as CEO.

  3. JamesHRH

    The Board controls the company.I can name 3 companies with All Stars in the executive team but a Board that plays out of Myrtle Beach. It is no point naming them – you will not have heard of any of them.hard to believe Twitter had so many insiders on the Board for so long.

  4. Rohan

    Perfect context to share my interview with Bijan.. :)… He’s such an amazing guy!Thanks Fred, for the inspiration for this..

  5. Darren

    First time I’ve commented here, though I’ve been reading for quite a while.  I’m surprised that the boards you mention are so light on independents.  I would have expected that even fairly early on you’d have a better 5-member board with e.g. 2 insiders, 1 investor, 2 independents — assuming the founders/insiders are open to it.  Our experience has been with boards like this, and the independents have really made for a much better board — and much better strategic decisions.

    1. fredwilson

      I totally agree. Founders take a while to warm up to the idea of independent directors and even longer to bring them onto a board

      1. leigh

        Thoughts on why?  Just concern over outsiders not understanding their vision?  

        1. fredwilson

          Fear of the unknown

        2. JamesHRH

          Most founders and VC have control issues.They don’t have confidence in themselves. Without that, they struggle to believe others are competent.Instant need for control.

    2. JamesHRH

      Quality independent board members are v hard to find.Especially if you are looking for them to have a whiff of relevant experience.

      1. Darren

        I agree — and often the type of independent board member you want is different at different stages in a company’s growth.  However, even if you can’t find someone with deep experience in the company’s industry, having someone on the board who has external opinions (e.g. who isn’t part of the company ‘echo chamber’) is quite valuable.  Quality independents — if they can be found — can also help validate the company to new investors (particularly if going outside of traditional VC).  

    3. Luke Chamberlin

      Most founders/entrepreneurs I know have mentors who are not on the board but play a similar role as independent directors in terms of giving advice and perspective.This probably lessens the urgency to add more independent directors to the board, at least in their minds.Also the more people, no matter how great they are, the more time it takes to manage them. And time is everything.

  6. Robert Hacker

    Perhaps in a future post you will discuss the veto rights of certain classes of stock, such as the prefs held by VCs, and how this impacts governance.

    1. fredwilson

      Not in this series but its a good suggestion for future series

      1. Akshay Kumar

        Another post in a future series that would help is choosing a law firm for a startup. I am especially interested in your thoughts about this practice of giving equity in return for deferred legal fees. It’s something I am going through right now. There are obvious benefits but there are scenarios where I can see how this practice could create some conflict of interest.I have a long list of questions on this topic if you decide to cover it at some point. Thanks!

  7. JamesHRH

    “In fact, I would argue that an investor controlled Board is the worst possible situation. Investors usually have a narrow set of interests that involve how much money they are going to make (or lose) on their investment. It is the rare investor who takes a broader and more holistic view of the company.” Not a mainstream view. What percentage of VCs hold it, do you think?

    1. fredwilson

      The self aware ones

      1. JamesHRH

        Is that a numerical constant of some sort?;-)

        1. baba12

          Most likely it is like the Avagardo constant…

  8. Mark Essel

    Lessons learned: Independent review is essential to a company’s health as it matures.The board works for the shareholders, and provides balance for corporate leadership. Board members’ external perspective is invaluable to a business, but what keeps them interested in the long term sustainable (profitable) entities if they serve only a few years?Abstraction: Independent review aids in writing (great editors), development (code review), and many other professions.

  9. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    As a founder director I have a lock in period. Does every VC firm insists on having a lock-in period for founders /founder-directors/senior management team? I have see this happen in my previous stint as well.What do you infer if a founder director quits.

    1. fredwilson

      what do you mean by “lock in period”? vesting on your shares?

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        Lock in period for shares and me being employee of the company.I think this may be India specific…. i like what one of your portfolio company founding member did … I like making things and not so much interested in execution and marketing. So once the product is made to near perfection i feel like starting the next one… but alas i have the lock-in period to stay … where really don’t contribute much and get bored and sucked.

        1. fredwilson

          we call that the vesting period here in the states. board members have vesting as well.

  10. kidmercury

    great post. i don’t know how anyone learned anything, or navigated anywhere, prior to the internet. it must’ve been a terrible world. 

    1. awaldstein

      It wasn’t terrible but as someone who has been in the game from post sides of the connected fence, it sure is better now.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Some of us need a bigger playing field.

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Remember fighting to grab the paper in the morning with your bro and sis? Remember waiting for that long awaited mail and asking the postman?Remember to go and grab the Printed journals at the library before your classmates/senior scholar?Yes. Now it is as fast as a second … but there was the thrill of waiting which i miss sometime (sometimes … like waiting for that girls mail 🙂 ).

    3. Luke Chamberlin

      It was better for the incumbents and worse for everyone else.

    4. Rohan

      Lol. Kids probably paid more attention to the wisdom of their parents and grandparents..As is the case with the most things, I think the world got along just fine. 😉

      1. leigh

        Funny – apparently kids get along with their parents a lot more now.  Collective consciousness perhaps?  

        1. Rohan

          Heh. Perhaps.. 🙂

    5. fredwilson

      it wasn’t so bad. we had phones like the image below

      1. awaldstein

        And accoustical couplers like this

        1. LE

          Hey check this out. I had one of those on a tty at home in college. I tape recorded the line one time. If you played it back, the teletype repeated what was being typed verbatim.

        2. fredwilson

          ha!we could do a fun friday where i start with an image in the post and every comment has to have a relevant image to it

      2. LE

        I have some things in my office that I am supposed to sell for my dad. One is a phone like the above (but the really heavy bakelite “murder weapon” version the one in the picture appears to be plastic.)Also a Hickock tube tester and a Blaupunk shortwave radio both circa the 40’s or 50’s.From what I can tell the tube tester is actually somewhat valuable for audiophiles for some reason and in demand. When I was a kid I remember using it helping my dad test tubes.

        1. leigh

          we were looking at old stuff my hubbie had for early web days too — his contribution to Expo 86 interactive theatre concept — the first website architecture for General Motors Canada (before the US had a site i think) — he believes we have to hold on to it all in case it’s worth something one day (i call it hoarding) …..

      3. jason wright


        1. fredwilson


      4. ShanaC

        That thing is seriously a marvel of design.Some days I think the whole computer-phone-cell thing is overrated – particularly on days when I see old phones.

    6. Donna Brewington White

      How quickly we go off topic!  Love it.  And totally, totally resonate with this comment. 

  11. baba12

    Does Mr.Wilson think there is a fair set of rules that should be applied for stratups with regards to the formation of a Board of Directors. As stated “you get what you negotiate for”, could it be possible that investors and more particularly VC’s try to advise the founders the right composition of the board that is fair to all sides or does fiduciary responsibility kill the conscience and if the founders are not savvy or aware of what they are getting it, it is not the VC’s responsibility to counsel wisely.Has Mr.Wilson seen many founders having been screwed over by VC’s in terms of how the Board got formed or decisions were made because of the way the entity was created.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think it is possible to have a vanilla set of “rules” that will work for every situationbut there certainly are best practicesthat is one of the things i want to put out there as part of MBA Mondays

  12. awaldstein

    Fred…Thanks!There is so much shared knowledge in this post. Much appreciated.

  13. bfeld

    Love the twitter tidbit. I wonder if msm, which speculated wildly on this, will notice. Overall great post – up on AskTheVC as the post of the day, although you didn’t have much competition since everything else was about SXSW.

    1. fredwilson

      i resisted the urge to talk about that back when everyone wanted to talk about itbut i am glad to talk about it in the context of a learning moment

      1. bfeld

        Good urge resistance!

  14. markslater

    investors can exert control on day one through vito provisions in the shareholders agreement. How common is this?

  15. chernevik

    I am but an egg, but it seems to me that shareholder agreements could be important protections when founder stakes go below majority.  Yes?Should founders be seeking protections against bad behavior, like discriminative dilution or abuse of vesting, in these docs, or elsewhere?  And should those protections be built in early, to avoid the suggestion that it’s the entrance of Party X that necessitates them?

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t typically see those kinds of protections in the shareholders agreement.

  16. Brandon Burns

    these are my favorite usv posts. a peek behind the curtain of the stage you’re practicing to be on is priceless.

  17. Hal

    Fred this a dynamite post. It covers all the bases with a real world positioning. The twitter experience is a helpful explanation of later stage investor behavior to benefit the company, and your investment value, which in turn links back to your advice on the start up board. Having an independent director who is not a friend, brother-in-law or the like, with you from the start is essential. When you reach the normal early stage venture inflection points – firing your co-founder because she isn’t working out, deciding how much money to take from whom, on what terms, rationalizing your equity dilution in a greater pie discussion, deciding to move to CTO from  CEO – you need someone who has been with you all along, who shares your vision, and has had experience to share with you as you make those decisions. Invaluable!Thanks Fred

  18. Richard

    I am perplexed at the last statement that “most (boards) are not great”. Are there great companies with no so great boards? Does the effectiveness of the board correlate to the success of the company?

    1. fredwilson

      i think good companies are more common than good boards. there is a correlation but it is not a perfect one.

  19. andyswan

    Simon Cowell, not JLo

    1. fredwilson

      i try to be a bit less critical

  20. John Revay

    Re:  Independent directors –  Seems to be a strong focus of this post re: the need for good independent ones.Can we get some comments about compensation for independent directors- cash, options, otherI assume I can get my business friends to join – with hardly any comp….but like finding and retaining great employees – I am assuming finding and retaining great board members costs something.

    1. fredwilson

      cash is expected for public company directors and is often based on number of meetings per year and number of committees served onfor private companies, compensation is in stocki generally try for $30k to $50k per year, so $120k to $200k for a four year vest, all in stock

      1. John Revay

        GREAT – at what stage would you start these “hires”While building Product or Usage?Maybe at Building Product – one outside directorand one additional at each of the next stages

        1. fredwilson

          building usage. you are going need them in place and helping by the time you get to building the company

  21. William Mougayar

    Can you comment on Board Observers too? Why, when, what do they do vs. Member.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      That would be great to hear about.

    2. fredwilson

      i don’t love them. like investor directors, they can be a “necessary evil”

      1. William Mougayar

        But who typically asks for that? A VC that doesn’t have a board seat? And do they just attend, but not vote?

        1. TBodily

          My experience (limited to VC’s and start-up’s in the Energy sector so take with a grain of salt) is that observers are typically requested by non-traditional investors (large corporations for instance) that want certain internal groups or skill sets represented but don’t have enough control to force the appointment of additional members i.e., the investor’s board member is a guy/gal with an engineering background but a finance perspective is needed as well.Observers rarely sit docile and “observe” during meetings and can often derail otherwise productive discussions.  This is particularly problematic when the observer has a stronger personality than the true board member and the real decision-making authority gets muddled.Unless a compelling reason arises I would think observers are best avoided.

          1. William Mougayar

            Interesting. Thanks!

  22. William Mougayar

    Are there other cases where the Shareholders Agreement will terminate, besides when going public?

    1. Paul Sullivan

      I believe Shareholders Agreements usually remain in place until there has been a substantial change in the business – merger, acquisition, IPO, bankruptcy.In most other situations, the Shareholders Agreement will be amended to reflect changes in the business – enlarging the board, granting/limiting powers of management, addressing changes in capital structure.

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Is especially ‘interesting’ when there is no SA in place!

    2. fredwilson

      i suppose the shareholders could agree to terminate it before an offering but i’ve never seen that

  23. Sinjin Lee

    I like the concept of independent directors.  It seems like they can provide a neutral perspective and help all the parties reach alignment on conflicting issues.

  24. Rand Fishkin

    Thanks Fred – this is something we’ve been thinking about a lot recently (and I’ve been challenging many of my entrepreneur friends to consider it as well). Two questions for you:Choosing an independent board seat member – what qualities do you recommend? Is it better to have a lot of diversity in background (e.g. a B2C CEO on a B2B company board, a metrics-driven board member on a brand-driven business’s board, etc), or instead seek to add like minds who have similar experience.For services companies and others without investors/hyper-growth goals, would you still recommend a board of directors be created? I’m seeing a number of great consultancies grow without a board, but am trying to convince some that it may add tremendous value even if they’re not classic “startups.”p.s. I’d also like to add, as a recommendation to other startup CEOs, that you devote the time/energy to join another company’s board. I did so recently and the value has been exceptional. It does consume precious time, but it also lets you see the forest for the trees in a way you couldn’t at your own company.

    1. reilly3000

      I have a local “Virtual” board of directors with ~12 other local companies- we meet weekly for lunch and solve each other’s problems, with typically one business in the spotlight each week. It has been tremendously valuable to hear the perspectives of businesses in other industries. On a broader scale groups like Vistage have that same value – shared perspective across industry leaders without the need for a formal board.  

    2. PhilipSugar

      I agree with all of your points.  I would say that it is important for the Board member to have a diverse background, with as Charlie points out operating or start-up experience.  Hopefully both.One of the biggest challenges you’ll find with people that have had great success in only one area is the “because I have a hammer every problem is a nail” syndrome.They aren’t going to have a ton of time to come up to speed in your area so they should have had some experience generally in what you’re doing.  I.e. selling subscriptions or services to businesses at a certain price point, but it doesn’t have to be exact by any means.

    3. fredwilson

      so working backwards on your comment,1) yes, founders should join another board. it’s terrific experience2) i think all companies should have a real board. it can be a “kitchen cabinet”. the founder plus two trusted mentors/advisors/etc would work great3) i recommend people who have been CEOs themselves, ideally a few times, who are strong operators and have “seen it all” or as much as possible

  25. James Geshwiler

    Fred, Thanks for the attention to boards, and good of you to highlight that boards should evolve. I’d suggest taking the argument a step further. Not only should boards evolve, but they should evolve in a particular way, matching with the company’s current and future operating strategy and needs.Specifically, writing position descriptions and looking at the board as a whole and as a team. A lot of the time in venture-backed companies, they evolve by having new investors replace the prior ones; that may work since the market theoretically would create a match between investors’ skills and the company’s needs. In practice, however, it’s less than perfect.More in my series on boards:

  26. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Fascinating read, Fred. Read it a couple of times now, too quickly – not had chance to properly assimilate it all but love/agree with the summary that it is a living/evolving thing – all too often many take their Board presence as a bonus/status thing and that’s when Board dynamics get really messy – unless the right governance is in place.It’s a massively significant aspect of any company, at any stage of its life – I do wish more people didn’t underestimate its significance – probably more than any other single thing it will enable your company to thrive – or dive.

    1. fredwilson

      oh god, nothing worse than trophy board members!

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        I am glad to find out that there is such a term as “trophy board members” because I have served on two boards and reported to a third and in all three cases I never was so disgusted in my life with the make up of the boards.All three were not for profits, and honestly, if you cannot fulfill your obligations then do not accept the nomination!  Boards are hard work and be responsible and honor your obligation!  I remember the Milwaukee Ballet, I had been hired the week before the board meeting and to say that I was “nervous” that first meeting would be an understatement; there were some really prominent members of the community on that board.  That board realized that meeting that they had “expanded” the ballet to the point of bankruptcy and I swear that they acted like it just dawned on them!That was the worst year of my life…..

        1. fredwilson

          non profit boards are typically full of trophy board members. i am lucky that i’m on a few that are very good. but in general they are awful.

          1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            Oh and I served on the Pekingese Club of America’s board for a year….that was a club founded by JP Morgan and had as members, at one time, everyone on the east coast with blue blood….sadly, in the late 80’s someone had the brillant idea to open the club to the masses and preached the wonders of democracy! :)Even the AKC got fed up with that bunch…all I kept thinking about was I wonder what JP Morgan would think if he was alive….

      2. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Ah ha, that’s the expression I couldn’t remember for the life of me at time of posting – ‘trophy board members’ – excellent profiling.Sadly, met so many of those types – more interested in the snacks available during the meeting, gossip, and the post-meeting drinks/dinner venue and expenses available to clock-up…

  27. Manuel Fernández Lara

    I have a question, although you might want to answer that in a different post of this post series: do independent members of the board get anything (stock, etc) in return for being in the board? In that case, is there vesting as well?Thanks

    1. fredwilson

      yes, stock based compensation. see a more detailed reply to a similar question above

  28. Nick84

    Finally! Someone explains it in a nice and simple manner. Thank You, I have been looking for something like this for a long time.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Well said, Nick!

    2. fredwilson

      the more you do something the simpler it is to explain it

  29. Donna Brewington White

    Building a management team…selecting a board.Two of the most important aspects of building a great company and it’s all about people.  Go figure.Great post, Fred.  Reading this, I thought about how unprepared most entrepreneurs are for selecting a board…maybe even less so than building a team.  What waters to navigate.  Says even more for those who succeed.  But this is also why this post, this series…and the last one… given the makeup of the AVC audience/community are so invaluable.  Thank you.Will come back to read more of the comments because I’ve learned that much of the value of MBA Mondays is the conversation started and the wealth of wisdom pulled in by that convo.

    1. fredwilson

      its all about peoplenever a truer word spoken

    2. ShanaC

      You really need to do a recruiting post for MBA mondays

  30. Patrick Fuller

    Right now I am the only Board Member, simply because I have a “small company”.  Having seen what Boards can do for a business, I am started a psuedo-Board.  I meet and discuss my company with friends and other business professionals that I trust.  Granted this is really more “networking” but it does help keep my ideas in check!

  31. Raja Jasti

    Thanks Fred for the insights. They are priceless for entrepreneurs. AVC has the best commenters on the blogosphere. The quality of discussions is simply unbelievable.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree. the community here rocks

  32. Dasher

    One of the traps that entrepreneurs need to watch out for are so called independent directors that are either picked or controlled by the VCs. The ‘independent’ director may not want to piss off VCs as the world is too small and may become ‘unintentional’ proxy for VCs. I have seen this happen so many times. So one should pick independent directors that are not scared to speak their minds and have the company’s interest in mind all the time.

    1. fredwilson

      i totally agree. independent means independent.

  33. Reykjavik

    So what happens when your board just isn’t working — they’re too large, too meddling, wrongly focused, etc.? The provenance of the company is a spin-out of a larger company, but we’re start-up sized and have similar product maturity. Can you reboot a board if no one on the board realizes they’re the problem (and everyone in senior management does), or is that a hopeless situation?

    1. fredwilson

      yes, that’s what twitter effectively did over the period of one year. it takes guts and you’ll piss some people off. but if your board isn’t working, you need to change it.

  34. ShanaC

    What’s a normal path for board evolution in terms of skillsets and personalities? (not in terms of amounts of people as in the case of twitter)

    1. fredwilson

      more diversity as time goes on

  35. John Revay

    Good post by Matt Blumberg & Brad FeldWhat Makes an Awesome Board Member…

  36. anzaman

    Do you have any recommendations for creating and maintaining family advisory boards participating in the succession process

    1. fredwilson

      no i don’t. i haven’t really had any experience with that issue.

  37. fredwilson

    words of wisdom from a wise man

  38. Donna Brewington White

    Should the profile be specific, or more general?I think about recruiting for jobs — you also need to create a profile, but if it is more general, then you can recognize those gems who may not be a specific match, but turn out to be priceless in the role. How much leeway do you leave?  Where do you draw the line?

  39. ShanaC

    Why?lets pretend I’m doing a healthcare startup.  Wouldn’t it make sense to have a doctor on the board even if they have no operating or startup experience just to hear what doctors are saying?

  40. Rand Fishkin

    Thanks Charlie! Would be happy to connect. Feel free to reach out (rand at seomoz).

  41. Donna Brewington White

    Ethical framework — that seems especially key.