There’s Only One Question To Ask Founders
This is the most productive question you can ask a founder. And it’s the first question I ask after pleasantries are exchanged because I know how valuable a founder’s time is.
Unfortunately, the most common (albeit well-intentioned) question that founders get asked is, “how’s it all going?”
Asking this question will almost certainly result in a founder thinking “where do I begin and how much time have you got?” before providing (at best) a brief bullet-point summary of achievements and maybe insight into an upcoming milestone.
These interactions are underwhelming because neither the founder or the person asking the question end up any wiser or better off.
Founders are spending 100-hour weeks building products, selling and forging partnerships, nurturing teams and managing finance and operations, all in the face of achieving one win for every 20 setbacks.
Asking “how can I help?” instantly changes the tone of the conversation. Instead of continuing in ‘always on’ sales mode, the founder can quickly dive into a subject that the person asking the question can actually help with!
The net result is both parties have a richer interaction that increases their understanding of the venture and helps address an issue the founder is trying to resolve.
Next time you catch up with a founder, ask how you can help and see what happens.