The Startup Adviser is taking off next Tuesday for a little party time (well-deserved). So, this here is the MHT Startup Adviser Holiday Edition. Relax. Yule make it to the end of the quarter without us.

Just in time for the New Year: UX consultant Laura Klein has seven signs you need to redesign your product.  (via @michaelrlitt)

“If there is something that I hear from lean startups more than “pivot” and “fail” it’s that iterating on your product is the way to improve it. And I absolutely believe that iteration is critical to making great features and products. The problem is, sometimes just improving what you’ve got isn’t enough. Every so often, from a UX perspective anyway, you just need to throw everything out and start from scratch.”

But as you look ahead, keep a wary eye over your shoulder. That toxic customer you signed in 2010 is coming back for another piece of your precious time. Grasshopper Group’s David Hauser has some tips on how to avoid this problem next time.

“Few things are worse than supporting a demanding, entitled customer who feels that their purchase price buys them control over your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I’ve run into my fair share over the past several years, and I call them Toxic Customers.”

Hauser and Klein have been helpful, but it’s not enough. This stuff is difficult. You need an advisory board. SmartHippo’s George Favvas will tell you whom to include – and, perhaps more importantly, whom not to include.  (Via @dcancel)

“Who not to include on an advisory board: Token individuals who are there just in name but who aren’t actually engaged in your business. You don’t want someone conducting diligence on you or your company to call up an advisor only to find out they don’t remember who you are.”

Galen Moore December 21, 2010

Click here for the original article.