Ask 3 mentors' opinions. Get 5 different answers.

I sat in an on a mentoring session with a company today. A relatively straightforward question was asked.

Three mentors were present. You’d think the extreme case is that the startup would get three pieces of different advice. Nope. It was even more: two of the mentors even managed to contradict themselves mid-session.

So, five different opinions.

This phenomenon is called a number of names. Techstars calls it “Mentor Whiplash.” Founders get opposing viewpoints from source after source.

Weak founders bounce back and forth without ever picking a course. The company grinds to a halt because the founder is stuck in an infinite loop.

Strong founders take the contradictory advice in stride and use it to inform their own thoughts. When they’re pretty certain, they make a decision. Right or wrong, the company moves forward.

Michael Girdley