Evan Williams says startup advice is wrong because it's often not proven properly since it's impossible to A/B test startup advice, and all advice depends on context.
He's right. And wrong. I guess that's ironic? Hah. Anyway.
As I covered in my article on how to write good startup advice articles, when giving startup advice, the two most important points are:
- Avoid over-generalisation
- Provide context to personal experience
If you avoid over-generalisation and provide context, then people can work out if, and how, your advice applies to their situation.
Obviously, if I dish out advice like "only hire A players", then my advice is wrong. But that's just because it's crappy advice. If, instead, I say: "in a company like the one that I'm running (include description), in this context, I found that hiring in this way worked better for me than hiring in this other way", that's advice that is valuable because it includes the context needed to figure out how and when to use it.
The best advice is disastrous in the wrong context. Startup advice is never universally right, but that doesn't mean it's universally wrong.