Boards are important. They might not do the day to day work of company building but they set the tone at the top. The group that the CEO reports to has a big impact on the CEO’s mindset which trickles down.
If you raise capital for your business you are likely to get investors on your board. If you choose well you might get some good board members that way. But you might also get indifferent or worse.
The biggest piece of advice I give to entrepreneurs on the topic of boards is to get some independent directors on their board. Ideally these would be peer CEOs who have a lot of experience building and managing companies.
Recruiting board members takes time. Most entrepreneurs prefer to recruit people who work for them and can impact the day to day effectiveness of their organizations. And so they prioritize that.
What they miss by putting off the work of adding independent directors is that they should be also investing their time in improving the effectiveness of the group the work for.
If your board is you and your cofounder(s) and some investors you have a suboptimal board structure. Do yourself a big favor and recruit a few strong and experienced independents. It is well worth the time and energy you will spend on it.
I love what Fred has to say about these thing.