Does the Australian startup ecosystem have a problem with armchair ‘experts’?

For anyone active in the Australian startup scene, a scroll through your LinkedIn feed will probably feel like a needle caught on a scratch. Personal bios spruiking people as innovators, strategists, consultants and, inevitably, entrepreneurs are widespread and prominent, each eager to mentor and advise new founders on the best way to run their business.

All the while, drummed into startup founders’ brains is the importance of finding a mentor and getting an advisor, with new ventures regularly started by ambitious, inexperienced founders with a hunger for someone else’s knowledge.

In recent years, rumblings of discontent have begun to brew around the rise of self-proclaimed business experts and ‘entrepreneurs’. Poor advice passed on to gullible early-stage startup founders has led some founders and investors to question if Australia’s startup scene is being overrun by armchair consultants, investors and other experts who are not themselves running startups.

These individuals are largely non-founders, often having worked in government, big corporates or financial institutions. They’ve likely left their posts to pursue a life in startup land with the hopes of either starting their own business or advising someone else on how to best start theirs. Read more

Dominic Powell – SmartCompany – 10 August 2018