Finding a mentor can be a tricky step in the launch of a new business, and it’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just like personal relationships, the mentor/mentee partnership requires a balance of respect, care, honesty, and trust.
Built in Austin caught up with eight tech mentors throughout Austin, including Rob Taylor — Convey’s CEO, to learn what business owners should look for when on the hunt for a new advisor. Read the article here, or check out Convey’s roster of leaders.
“Seek advice and counsel from a variety of folks, but don’t let the whiplash stall your own decision making or conviction.”
A mentor at Techstars, Taylor has been the first employee of seven startups over the past 20 years, filling just about every early stage role. He specializes in architecting and guiding a company’s early development to minimize risk and maximize the chance of “figuring it out.” Presently, he is co-founder and CEO of Convey, a SaaS company influencing post-purchase engagement between retailers and shoppers.
How do you know if a mentor will be a good fit?
If they exhibit passion and excitement and put in the time to truly be helpful, this is really all you can ask for from busy and successful people.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve offered?
Avoid confirmation bias at all costs. It kills startups, and I’ve seen this mistake over and over. This is developing a hypothesis about who your customer is or how the product should be built or any other foundational hypothesis, then seeking out only information and data that confirms it, instead of focusing first on data that would disprove it.
Read more advice from each startup mentor in the Austin Tech community here.