Startups, institutional investors, Accelerator Blockchain Organizations and ICO advisors all have a common problem, and that is the way of connecting together without making a mistake, and this is getting harder with the current situation that the average investor in projects of 2017 has shown 66% losses in the portfolio. A few people really understand and know about it. The market is still emerging, cap market ICO found is higher than in 2017 but the ICO success reduced a lot. This is a maturity sign to keep in mind. The market is new and already well established because of the high potential for income. From an ICO Advisor perspective (someone who wants to make a real difference), the problem is how to get noticed when you begin your career and you are not well known. How to tell the startup at the early stage that running right away to investors is not enough and a good project needs to be well supported and guided by competent people.
Similar experience with your core business + Network + Strong global knowledge of blockchain + Online presence and activity = Normal results with normal condition
There’s a problem in hiring advisors with just the “title” and no serious past experience, as one CEO expert pointed out. I think that now the market thrill is over and startup owners will have to be pickier when they select ICO advisor. Startup owners who know the importance of a true Advisor will get more difficulties to find the right fit among the so-called jungle of ICO advisors.
What to keep in mind about being an ICO advisor:
ICO Advisors are NOT salesmen
Please don’t ask a bounty hunter or hire a sales representative. The advisor is here to give legitimacy, knowledge and experience.
ICO Advisor Expert is “a few” with true experience
Just a few understand blockchain in depth. If an ICO Advisor profile is full with a lot of customers, that doesn’t mean it is a good sign. Some only use their name and network (investors) but don’t do the real work. On the other hand, some really competent ICO Advisors exist. My experience tells me the true and real experts are humble, open and ready to give advice freely. Stick to that.
What does expertise really mean
The market is so young that most of the advisor have only 6 to 12 months of experience. Think about it. Things are changing too fast, and technologies are also constantly evolving. Of course, some individuals have in-depth knowledge, but this is by no means common.
ICO Advisor is not a doer and not a part of a startup
They do not have authority and responsibility of the last decision. It is the owners’ responsibility to approve the advice and recommendations of the selected advisor.
So how can a startup select a “good” ICO advisor or Business Blockchain Advisor?
As seen above, expertise does not mean anything in such a market where technology is changing really fast, you need to be experienced and the core business to fit with the business leadership. The past experience is essential before the ICO advisor position, pay attention to what the advisor does at the same time to understand his/her activities, culture, reputation, etc. A business consultant in an organization or a former startup owner is more interesting than an improvised ICO advisor getting out from school (no offence to the school training quality). Distinguish the common expertise that could leverage a startup. The founder asks a question: “What really makes the difference for my business? Improvised Advisor or someone with a good and strong experience and skills connected with my business?” What matters is the global picture and enough knowledge to support the project successfully along the way.
International experience, especially in the market of a particular business, is definitely an asset. A good Advisor develops adaptation, a way of seeing things differently (globally) and usually has greater skills and network. International exposure is always better! Any team can use the network to market their project (visibility, contact with other advisors or facilitate the talent research). This is an important aspect to take into account — your social media, audience and potential future investors.
Referral remains the best way to select a business leader. This is a challenge for the newcomers’ advisors who need to make their proof or enlighten their skills and offers in this new environment. Blockchain and cryptocurrency community and any personal connections will be the key. Some ICO advisors, those who are clever and with high potential, get support from “senior” and top ranked experts. If you’ve got the opportunity — it is a really good sign and a plus.
A good business Leader or ICO Advisor writes helpful content to nurture and educate his/her audience. Update your medium profile, check where you release your content. Founders are interested to see which Crypto News or other specialized websites you are contributing for. Do you contribute to other projects, research, organizations? Put together all of your content.
If you can get a positive answer to these questions checklist, you can definitely assess your profile and make it better — there is alway room for improvement. This checklist is also of importance for a team looking for an Advisor — you will increase your chance to get the right support and avoid the number of non-talented advisors.
Hugo Jacques is a Founder of Block Chain Impact (the Advisory service for Seed Funding - ICO / STO - Tokeneconomic - Marketing - Exchange listing), CMO and Co-founder of SmarTransitMedia (Digital Ecosystem supported by DOOH, IOT, AI, and Mobile Apps), Writer and Speaker.