The NEXT 15 Points of Wisdom from ‘The Startup Whisperer” Chris Heivly’s New Book, BUILD THE FORT


Chris Heivly sold MapQuest to AOL for 1.2 billion and entered a rarefied group of startup kings. He’s also handled more than 75 million in investment capital on behalf of other companies. Instead of building a big house in Hawaii, he started The Startup Factory, the largest seed investment firm in the Southeast.

From Chris Heivly’s new book, BUILD THE FORT: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 Year Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success

16. There will never be enough public data available to you that moves your brain to a place where it says – go do this, it is a safe bet.

17.Questions from your inner brain are evil.

18. Fear of failure is the mother of all fears.

19. Fear of future failure prevents good ideas and good founders from ever making the leap.

20. You cant execute month 30 without surviving month 3.

21. When I look back on every company I have ever run, I have just one regret; that I did not spend enough time on developing customers.

22. Spend too much time on product – your vision has outpaced the time allotted and your ability.

23. Cross co-founder support is a pretty cool ingredient early in the company formation and is easy in the honeymoon period.

24. Get to a place where you all feel comfortable exposing what’s rumbling around your head no matter how trivial.

25. Regardless of whether you are a first-time founder or if this is your third rodeo, advisors can help shape your vision.

26. Good advisors have this ability to see through the noise and help you find the core of what you are trying to do.

27. Determining the MVP unlocks your brain to identify the resources required now – not a year form now.

28. It is imperative that you build into the product, on day one, the hooks to track activity.

29. Being a CEO is about finding creative ways to gather resources with little or no cash.

30. I will never make a seed or early-stage investment based on research from Gartner, Forrester or IDC.

For even more wisdom from a startup great, read BUILD THE FORT: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 Year Old Can Set You Up for Startup Success and explore Chris’s Inc. Magazine articles

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