Today, the 500 Startups Mentor thread has had some very interesting back and forth about how to mentor startups and more importantly, how to measure mentor quality and advice. While I cannot share the previous thoughts on the thread, I can share my two cents:
A lot of thoughtful comments on the topic of mentoring — allow me to throw something into the mix:
I wonder how much of our advice is actually iatrogenic in nature. How often have we done our best to give what we thought was pure contextual gold, the hapless patie—- I mean, startup founder,
followed it to the letter and they became measurably worse off because it? Like a doctor accidentally prescribing the wrong medicine, we, unintentionally but well-meaningly, have caused damage or injury.
The concept of iatrogenesis for startup founders isn’t ever discussed in startup-land, but should be.
If you want to extend this line of thinking — how do startup incubators/accelerators measure & prevent “nosocomial infections” between startups? In other words, how does one identify and prevent bad habits/practices from spreading amongst startups within the confines of an investment vehicle?
In the past, I have suggested to Bjorn and Max from Startup Genome think about this for their purposes. Someone please run with this.
PS — Go pre-buy The Lean Entrepreneur. Thanks.