I’ve been saying this for a while now. ICOs cannot escape startup evolution characteristics. This means that their growth will be hard fought, hard earned, and hardly a walk in the park. Success will not be immediate, nor will it have a straight line trajectory to the top.
Yet, many ICOs are presenting themselves with the most optimistic scenarios.
The starting point for a startup’s life is a set of assumptions or hypothesis about something that the entrepreneur believes in. And it starts by proving it, while iterating on it. That proof comes from market adoption, not shouting over the blog that the idea is right and is the answer to the world.
So, my advice to many ICOs is to start reading about startups and focus on the product, customer and market as soon as the sale is over. And don’t get distracted by post-ICO euphoria and the price of ETH or BTC.
Advisors Are Not Like Mentors
Many advisors are recruited for marketing purposes. Maybe that serves the ICO process via visibility, but to succeed, startups need to surround themselves with people that can mentor them and advise them, and those people need to be experienced and qualified to do so, typically as entrepreneurs themselves or investors who have seen and worked with a lot of startups.
The rush to pile up a long list of Advisors as an instant proof of legitimacy or credibility is just a dressing appearance for the website. Beneath this display, most advisors are there for the ride, and the ICOs are less interested in their advice, but more in their photo.
I would rather see 3 or 4 solid advisors than rows of them. And they should be there for you in the long term, to help you and guide you whenever you need them.
Startups pick their board members and advisors very carefully. Many ICOs are not doing a good enough job picking the right advisors.
Advisors that can be mentors are more valuable, so don’t confuse promotion with advice.