It has become a generally accepted rule now that any startup that seeks growth should collect users feedback and iterate on it as fast as possible. However there's another kind of feedback that startups can hugely benefit from but is underrated, which is experts feedback. The term "experts" in this context shouldn't be understood by startups as a set of VCs and angel investors with long investment experience, instead, an expert is someone possessing a specific knowledge in the startup's domain. Experts can be perceived as a sort of technical mentors who can help founders improve their products and become better executers.
The aim of every startup founder is to reach product/market fit. This is an extremely important goal to work on and it often turns out to be harder to achieve than expected. One way that helps founders achieve product/market fit is to consistently get feedback from their initial customers and continually perform the needed iterations on their products until those initial users are very happy and organic growth is just going crazy in an exponential way.
The reason why users feedback is important is because it gives you a clear idea on what your product should look like and what path should your startup follow to be as much useful as possible, because after all those users are going to pay you if they like your product. After figuring out their path and what likely their Product would look like, founders need to execute as fast and as accurate as possible in order to make all that concrete, and it's here where most founders fail. They either execute horribly or focus on the wrong things due to the lack of experience, this will lead them to miss the shortest path and loose more valuable time.
Experts feedback is most needed when founders are trying to figure out the best way to implement customers feedback. It's more about identifying priorities and best practices than suggesting general ideas and new features.
It's very difficult for first time founders to not do mistakes and miss deadlines, and while the accumulation of these kinds of problems is what makes startups fail, experts can help founders avoid those problems and focus on improving their product quickly.
You may find it useful to categorize feedback according to its relation to product/market fit. Customers feedback shows you what you should build to achieve product/market fit, while experts feedback shows you how you can build it as fast as possible. The two sorts of feedback are complementary and help founders achieve concrete results and develop confidence.
high morale and optimism are very essential for founders to be able to overcome the hardships of the startup world. In an insightful report released by YC startup school summarizing the 2019 batch, one slide has captured my attention, it showed how startups who talk to their users are on average 12.8% happier than startups that don't. In fact, startups that didn't talk to users were the only group with declining morale over time.
Increased morale is fundamental for any team to find the motivation that lets them endure difficulties and work harder, it's like a fuel for Humans. Now if founders want to get happier and more motivated they should talk to users, if they want to get more confident they should talk to experts, and if they want both they should talk with both users and experts, frequently. These are the mental benefits of feedback. The practical ones are mastering the what to build and how to build it loop.