Founders ask experts for opinions, then choose whether or not to act on those opinions.
Founders ask experts for opinions, then choose whether or not to act on those opinions. Asking product and marketing experts is ok, but it's generative research, not evaluative.
Experts provide deep insights into a particular problem domain, and provide useful input for problem types that are complicated according to the Cynefin decisionmaking framework. These are problems with predictable but many factors, components, or pieces. There are many "known unknowns" that can be analyzed using cause-effect analysis to uncover a range of appropriate answers. Ultimately, founders need to be able to execute quickly, so piggybacking on others' knowledge can serve as a useful shortcut.
Certain industries require significant expertise to compete effectively (FinTech is a good example). Finance itself is highly regulated and highly dependent on detailed models used for valuation, risk assessment, or accounting. Each of these are context-sensitive. While it's possible to learn some of this from books, seeing how these play out in a competitive environment gives us extra insight. Some areas of finance have high degrees of product innovation, such as derivative markets. On top of that, technology itself has been changing rapidly over the past few decades. Founders entering this market would be wise to consult with experts in areas where they feel it will help generate additional options that they hadn't considered.
Even in other contexts, quite often an expert will be able to view a founder's situation in the context of many companies facing a similar problem. For example, if you are considering channel-testing around Facebook, consulting with a Facebook marketing expert can be a good use of resources.
As a general rule, though, using third-party expertise to evaluate existing options is an anti-pattern. Experts will view the situation through assumptions that may not hold up in the data.
15 minutes (quick coffee meeting) to a longer term engagement (regular meetings over X weeks).
In general, it is best to limit yourself to experts who either
Keep in mind that all advice is context-dependent. Even if an expert was successful before, the situation and competitive landscape changes over time. And despite their best intentions, an expert's advice might not be relevant to your specific case.