I read an article this morning that really resonated. When I started my first startup, I was hell bent on assembling a team of advisors with industry expertise and big company logo.
As George point out, and my experience proved out, seeking “advisors” and giving them equity doesn’t mean good advice.
Truly experienced and credible people –more often than not– have made some money throughout their career. This is also a testament to their track record so far, if not anything else. Now, if one can afford to pay for it, her money comes cheaper than her time. In other words, she would prefer to invest and act as an angel, rather than as an advisor per se. In this case, the interests are aligned and advice comes naturally, plus the company gets some cash.
Every startup that I’ve been at since my own I have preached this advice. If they’re really interested in helping and believe in your idea, they’ll want to invest.