How Founders Pick Which Advice to Follow

David Paul
2 min readFeb 28, 2023

Everyone is in the opinion business. This is especially true in the ego-heavy startup world where many archetypes give advice — former founders, venture capitalists, software execs turned advisors, etc. As a founder, it is essential to gauge who to listen to and trust.

Ultimately, there is no one on the planet that you should listen to regarding your own business 100%. It would be an act of negligence. So instead, people give feedback based on their history and biases. These people are generally not talking to your customers and employees, nor do they have the same vested interest as you in your company. It is the founder’s job to triangulate information and treat each feedback piece as a data point.

So how do you weigh feedback in the order of legitimacy? There is one person who has systemized the discipline of creating meritocracies better than anyone else I know. That man is Ray Dalio- founder of Bridgewater and writer of the book Principles.

Dalio created the concept of weighing people’s inputs by a factor of believability. Below is the definition.

It is essential to synthesize the definition of believability. Anybody can be successful once, but to do so 3x and be able to explain the rationale of how they were successful is someone I would put much more emphasis on.

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