A Supportive Community for Entrepreneurs

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Chris Heivly is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and the Managing Director at Build The Fort, an umbrella entity that serves entrepreneurs, and startup companies. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on launching startups and has been dubbed The Startup Whisperer. 

Chris co-founded MapQuest, which was sold to AOL for $1.2 billion. He is also a public speaker and the author of Build The Fort: Why 5 Simple Lessons You Learned as a 10 year-old Can Set You Up for Startup Success as well as Build the Fort: The Startup Community Builder’s Field Guide.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Chris Heivly’s entrepreneurial journey and the history of MapQuest
  • What being an investor has taught Chris about building a business
  • Why entrepreneurs need a supportive community
  • How to help your fellow business owners
  • Common mistakes people make when starting a business
  • The role IP plays in startups

In this episode…

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, and without a supportive community, managing a business can be a burdensome challenge. To keep growing, it is important to seek help from other entrepreneurs who have faced similar struggles.

Your lack of expertise in a given area can hinder your business. Chris Heivly’s advice is to identify your strengths and weaknesses while leaning on your community for support. This includes your industry peers, employees, and business partners as an essential part of reaching the next level. 

Chris Heivly, the Managing Director at Build The Fort, joins Rich Goldstein in this episode of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast to talk about the need for a supportive community for entrepreneurs. They also discuss the history of MapQuest, the value of giving back, and common mistakes people make when starting a business.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process. 

You can email their team at welcome@goldsteinpc.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’

Intro (00:09):
Welcome to Innovations and Breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and perspiration, and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein.

Rich (00:34):
Rich Goldstein here, hosts of the Innovations and Breakthroughs podcast. Why feature top leaders in the path they took to create change? Past guests include Joe Polish, Roland Frazier, and Kevin King. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein Patent Law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products. We’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 28 years. So if you’re a company that has software or product or design you want protected, go to goldsteinpatentlaw.com where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you could email my team at welcome@goldsteinpc.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. You could also check out the book I wrote for the American Bar Association that explains, in plain English our patents work. It’s called the ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.

Rich (01:20):
I have with me here today, Chris Heivly. Chris is one of the nation’s leading experts on launching startups, and he has been dubbed The Startup Whisperer. He co-founded MapQuest, which sold to a o l for $1.2 billion. Um, he’s an angel investor. He ran a corporate venture fund and two Microventure funds, uh, and was recently Senior VP of Innovation with Techstars. Chris is the author of the Startup Community Builders Field Guide, which he wrote for founders, investors and Economic Development Leaders to better accelerate their ecosystem. So it’s my pleasure to welcome here today, Chris Heivly. Welcome, Chris.

Chris (01:58):
Hi, Rich. Thanks for having me.

Rich (02:00):
Oh, my pleasure. And, and so you’ve had such a, um, uh, interesting history as an entrepreneur. I’m wondering how, how did it all get started? Like how did your entrepreneur journey begin?

Chris (02:10):

Speaker 1 (02:11):

Chris (02:12):
Interesting enough, I’ve, I’ve written actually two books and the, the series title or build a fort, and, uh, I don’t know if you remember building a fort as a Kid mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, but, you know, I think building a fort is like being an entrepreneur, right? You kind of start with a blank slate and you gotta figure out how to find all your resources and hack something together and take it apart and hack it again. So maybe I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was at Fort Building Age. Um, but that being said, I don’t think I really became a good entrepreneur till I was in my forties, which is after MapQuest, by the way. Mm-hmm.

Rich (02:49):
<affirmative>. Got it. Okay. So, um, well, first of all, like in, in terms of building a Ford, um, there is, there is, it’s not a totally blank slate. This is a context, right? It’s like there’s the tree that you’re going to build it around, which can dictate it. You know, sometimes you could have the plan for like, this is what my fourth’s gonna look like, but it doesn’t exactly match up with the tree that you’re gonna build it in. So maybe that’s blind spot for a lot of entrepreneurs right there.

Chris (03:17):
Well, Steve Blank says, no business plan survives first contact with a customer. So maybe no fort survives its first connection to ground and tree and all the things that make up Right. But that’s kind of the pivots, right? I, I think the analogy really holds quite nicely, by the way I’ve been using it Yeah. Yeah.

Rich (03:35):
For about

Chris (03:35):
10 years.

Rich (03:37):
Um, and, um, and so, and you, and you talk about not really being an entrepreneur until, um, you were in your forties, which was after MapQuest. So I, I guess what you’re saying is that there was, there was something that you didn’t get until you were in your forties that now, um, is a core part of what being an entrepreneur is to you.

Chris (03:58):
Yeah. So Rich, the, the backstory, the quick little backstory on MapQuest is we actually baked MapQuest inside of a mapping company baked in, that was part of a $6 billion printing company. So MapQuest in itself was more of an intrapreneurial journey than an entrepreneurial journey. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I think the parallels are pretty similar, but the risk probably wasn’t as much as would be if you were a kind of a true entrepreneur. So that came a little bit later in life. I certainly learned a lot, um, after I left that I became, I ran a corporate venture fund in the late nineties with $25 million. So you kind of learn the other side of the money as I, as I like to say. And, and, uh, so maybe I kind of understood entrepreneurship a little bit more there. Once you, once you meet with 200 of ’em in a year, you kind of get a few <laugh> pretty good idea of what entrepreneurship’s like. But, uh, yeah. I mean, and by the way, are we ever done learning? Nope. So we’re all, you know, I’m still, uh, I mentioned, uh, to you earlier that I, I meet with probably five to eight entrepreneurs a week. And people say, well, why do you, why do you do that? I said, because I wanna stay current. I wanna understand what’s happening. ’cause the world changes every single day, and I need to know what they’re thinking, what their challenges are. Uh, and I’m curious.

Rich (05:12):
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think curiosity is, is the key to keep learning. Um, but, um, so talking about being on the other side of the money, well, like, what, what did you learn being, as you put it on the other side of the money that really helps you to be the entrepreneur that you are now?

Chris (05:30):
Yeah. When you’re looking at founders and their companies, you know, you’re, you’re trying to find some patterns, right? You’re trying to find things that seem to resonate to good outcomes and not do so much of the money and to things that have bad outcomes. Right? So, you know, for me, and, and my investment success comes from, um, entrepreneurs who are extremely self-aware. They understand who they are, they understand the place that they exist in, in kind of the entrepreneurial space. Um, they understand what we just said, that there’s more questions than answers. Sometimes you don’t even know what the questions are, um, that are curious and have this mindset of discovery. Um, and it’s a long discovery journey, right? Uh, I’m personally not, you know, crazy about working with entrepreneurs who walk in saying, I have all the answers to all the questions. Just give me the money and, you know, stand it aside. Uh, right. So what you

Rich (06:31):
Gonna do when you pivot, then <laugh>, but have to pivot

Chris (06:35):
<laugh>? Well, I know one thing. I won’t be there, <laugh>,

Rich (06:37):
Right? You, you’re not gonna be open to that. The, the writing on the wall that says time to shift.

Chris (06:43):
Yeah. I mean, as you know, it’s so hard with when everything’s lined up for you, then what? Why would you wanna put more barriers in front of you? So, um, you know, that being said, I’m not looking for someone who’s looking for all the answers from me. ’cause I don’t have, I have less answers than you do. It’s your business. You’ve thought about it a lot more than I have. You spend more time on it. But I want you to be open to kind of this discovery. I I love that word discovery, that you’re trying to uncover things and figure out, right? We always talk about product market fit. I always tell people there’s three words in there, not just one, not fit. It’s, do I have the right product? What, what might it look like? What, what do my potential market really wants? Or is this a the wrong market to go after? Right now? To me, that’s just a kind of discovery and validation kind of thing. So, back to your original question, I think the best entrepreneurs have a really good sense of that and know where they sit and understanding what they’re good at, what they’re good at, looking at and processing all that information.

Rich (07:44):
Right. And perhaps that, that they know their, their capabilities better than they think they know the answers.

Chris (07:52):
Yeah. Because I’m good at some stuff, and I’m really terrible at, at others, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I know one thing that if I have something that I think has the opportunity to be patented, that I’m not gonna go online and try to figure that out myself, that I may actually go to an expert and ask them and maybe even go to their website and actually download some stuff and get smarter. So when I talk to that person, I can be up to speed. Why wouldn’t I do that?

Rich (08:20):
Yeah, no. Well, a hundred percent. I mean, um, like, it’s, it’s good to to know what you’re good at. It’s also good to know, um, when you need someone else to help. And it’s good to learn enough about the subject matter of what you’re gonna hire someone to do, so that you can get what you want out of it. Yeah.

Chris (08:42):
Yeah. And what you need, right? So, you know, uh, to, to talk about this startup community builders field guide that I just wrote mm-hmm.

Rich (08:52):

Chris (08:52):
It’s my belief that the best ecosystems produce the best entrepreneurs, and the best entrepreneurs operate in the best ecosystems. It is a little bit chicken or egg, but that’s not to say that you can’t, you have to be right. You know, when we were, we were starting our careers, right? It was, it was the valley, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, San Jose, Boston. Even New York was a little bit not there. LA wasn’t there yet. Now, today, both, all four of those places are obviously awesome, but so is Austin, Texas, right? <laugh>. Mm-hmm. So, you know, I think that entrepreneurship’s a team sport more than a solo sport. Okay? So you’re gonna operate solo. Well, then the solo is let’s make sure I reach out to lots of people and learn from them, and that’s where your community comes in.

Rich (09:40):
Yeah. No, it’s, it is very interesting. Uh, I, I wonder if it’s like an interplay between the, the two. It’s like kind of knowing where, uh, I mean, to, to me being an entrepreneur is, can be a very lonely journey. Mm-hmm. Because ultimately you are different than all of your employees. Like, you’ve got a different standing, different things that matter. There’s no one that, um, that, um, caress about the same things, um, exactly the same way as you do. So ultimately you’re alone. But yet, I’d say tying into what you’re saying is that you need to know where you are not alone, and, and, and what ways you can get support from others, whether it’s people in your team, of people in your community. Um, but like, it occurs to me almost as if it’s a bit about knowing, like, like when you’re alone and when it really is a team sport. Yeah.

Chris (10:38):
You know, I, I jokingly say that if you’re the only one in the decision room, then every decision is perfect. Right. Who, who’s there to go, huh? What <laugh>. So, you know, why wouldn’t you lean on people? And, and, you know, you mentioned employees. Let’s be honest. It’s very difficult to be open and vulnerable to employees, right? You’re supposed to be the leader and, you know, show this great faith. Well, okay, I understand that then if not your employees, find some peers, find some peers who are going through exactly what you’re going through, or just recently went through it and find that peer group that you just kind of lean on and say, Hey, I’m kind of new to this one issue. Have you guys been there? And they’re like, oh, yeah, we’ve been there. Like, right.

Rich (11:21):
You know,

Chris (11:21):
Don’t freak out. Here’s how you, here’s how I got through it. Right? Right. That stuff’s invaluable. It might be slightly subtle and maybe a little nuanced, and maybe it sounds squishy. Um, but gosh, darn it, why wouldn’t you wanna lean on other people?

Rich (11:36):
Yeah. No. And, and, and it’s, it really can be amazing to be able to do that. It’s like, I, I picture a bunch of entrepreneurs and get together. Well, what’s going on? It’s like, well, it’s Friday. Oh yeah. Payroll. That’s right. Yeah. How was it for you? It’s like, well, I just gotta, I gotta check in this morning. That covered. How about you was like, <laugh>, uh, I just did a cash advance for my credit card to cover it. Right. <laugh>, what about you? <laugh>? You know?

Chris (12:01):
Yeah. I just sometimes joke, uh, Rich, that you’re, you, you’re not really a true entrepreneur until you cover payroll outta your own pocket. Right. <laugh>. And I hope that doesn’t happen. I’ve never had to,

Rich (12:11):
I’ve been [indecipherable] many, many times over the years. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (12:15):
That’s, but, uh, yeah, we all know it’s a journey, so why go alone?

Rich (12:19):
No, absolutely. Um, and, um, it’s something we were talking about earlier too, is like, so when entrepreneurs are by themselves, do they make good decisions, <laugh> or maybe not the best decisions when they’re doing it alone?

Chris (12:37):
Well, maybe we can couch this, and not bad decisions, but maybe the wrong decisions, right? Sometimes you don’t know for months or years later whether that was the right decision or not. But, you know, I think, you know, back to that room and being by yourself, like, you know, we, we can rationalize the crap out of a lot of stuff in our head, right? We can make bad things look good, good things look, make bad. Um, I kind sometimes say that our, our brain is evil, right? We have our little dino brain that’s trying to protect us, and maybe the voice of your mother or your father and, you know, societal pressures about what you’re supposed to do and what you’re supposed to be or how much money you’re supposed to make. Like, all that noise gets in the way of good decisions. And I think, you know, I like, you know, my advice to anybody on the entrepreneurial journey is, please don’t do it alone.

Chris (13:27):
Please. Just, you know, find a group of people that you can kind of reach out to and grab a coffee or a lunch or a end of day frosty beverage and, and just say like, here’s what I’m going through. I I’m not sure I can cover payroll. What should I do with my three employees? Right. You know, and if, and, and, you know, if they reach out to you and you go, you know what? I don’t have the right answer, but let me introduce you to someone that has just been through it, and maybe they can help. And I think there’s a natural d n a in entrepreneurs is there’s a give back compo component. There’s a vulnerability and a sharing, I think, with most of them. So, uh, don’t be, if you don’t ask, then shame on you, not shame on them.

Rich (14:07):
Yeah. And I, I also find that it’s like, w we don’t know what’s possible outside of our own bubble of our own view until we start talking to others. And then all of a sudden possibilities for, um, solutions open up that just weren’t in our field of view.

Chris (14:26):
Yeah. I’m going through this with my son right now who’s owns a, has a side hustle, owns a skateboard shop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. And, uh, it’s getting ready to expand and, uh, it’s gotta figure out how to cover some inventory and you know, that you have the cash flow and manage that. And, and I said, listen, I can do a, I can fake finance a little bit, but you know, let me give you the two, three guys good friends of mine who are more the C o O finance types, and they can talk about all the options you have open. That ones I can’t even think about. ’cause you know, you think there’s one option and there’s really like 10 options, but, you know, gets back to Rich to that thing. Like gather as much information as possible, then make your decision. And hopefully by then you’ve made it based on a lot of information as opposed to one narrow lane. Yeah.

Rich (15:17):
So now you really, um, I, I would say enjoy, but it’s, it’s just, IM important to you to give back to entrepreneurs to like, um, to kind of be that guy who’s available to consult with them, especially in places that are underserved where there aren’t a lot of mentors around. I don’t like what instilled that in you? Like what made you say like, this is, this is, this is how I want to operate, this is how I need to operate, is to give a, a, a whole bunch of my time to, to make myself available to others.

Chris (15:54):
Rich. That’s a really good question. I’m not sure I’ve gotten asked that question ever. So let me, I think it’s a couple things. One is I’ve never chosen to live in New York City or Boston or the Valley or la so I’ve always been a little bit more of a bigger fish in a smaller pond. I’m not talking about a mini pond, but, you know, um, I, you know, lived in Chicago and Washington DC and Raleigh Durham. So I guess in that I’ve already kind of had this second tier kind of view of things. Um, I’d say another element is I’ve never met a blank sheet of paper. I didn’t wanna figure out how to fill in <laugh>. So, you know, if I was doing this in Boston, you know, there would’ve been 30 years before me of history and, and infrastructure and, you know, a community to deal with.

Chris (16:42):
And not that that’s wrong, but I just seem to enjoy more of the creation aspect. Um, and then maybe, you know, I’m a Philly boy, right? So maybe it’s the underdog, rocky in me, right? Who really wants to root for <laugh>, really wants to root for that person. That doesn’t seem that’s been overlooked. Or, you know, that has just as much passion and may be smarts as anybody in those other cities, but just doesn’t have the resources and, and, and knowledge. And if I can find that person and just kind of boost them, cheerlead them, you know, honest feedback with them, if I can do those things and, and then, then you start doing it, Rich, and then you realize, wow, that this really feels good. ’cause you can see the impact almost immediately. And once you do that a couple times, I don’t know how you could turn that off. So if anything, I keep turning it up, <laugh>.

Rich (17:36):
Yeah. And I think going along with that is, it seems like you’re naturally curious and you’re probably curious about that diamond in the rough, the person who is out there that, um, um, that can have the next big thing.

Chris (17:50):

Rich (17:51):
The, um, and it, it just, it needs to be discovered. So sounds like curiosity too. Yeah.

Chris (17:58):
Now, some might be thinking as they’re listening, all right. He has a, he has an agenda here. He’s, he’s using this for deal flow to make investments. I’m telling you, I don’t make any more new investments. I’ve made plenty of seed investments and series A investments over the last few years. I haven’t made a new investment probably in three or four years. I don’t do it for that reason. There’s no transaction element to this. This is pure give back. And people go like, you sure? I’m like, yeah, I put it on my website, open office hours, 20 minutes. Anybody signs up? They come from all over the world. How cool is it to talk to someone? Some guy finds you in, they’re London and you know, they’re doing a map thing. I, my God, you did MapQuest. Like, yeah, I’m actually a geographer. I actually know, you know, know this kind of stuff. How can I help? Um, so I, I’d like to say I get out of it more than they do mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which surprises most people.

Rich (18:53):
No, I, I get it. And, and that’s the hidden agenda right there, is you get satisfaction out of it. So that’s how you’re getting them.

Chris (19:01):
Yeah, exactly. It’s a secret, like a little reverse

Rich (19:05):
Out of it. Like, you do get something out, you get good feelings out of it. <laugh>.

Chris (19:08):
Yeah. I get the walkaway smiling.

Rich (19:10):
Yeah. So what do you think that a lot of, um, um, entrepreneurs overlook when they’re, they’re getting started? Or like what, like what’s like a, a major theme in terms of like, um, what their vision doesn’t show them that kind of sets them in, let’s not say the wrong path, but maybe gets them, um, in an inefficient direction?

Chris (19:35):
Sure. Well, you have to see this as a patent guy that sees lots of quote unquote inventions that, um, people get over enamored with the product and people

Rich (19:47):
Get over enamored with the patent.

Chris (19:48):
Yeah. Or, and even the patent of the product when, when that, you know, has limited value, you know, uh, as I say, the world’s <crosstalk>

Rich (19:58):
Solution, they might have correctly identified the problem

Chris (20:01):

Rich (20:02):
Add a, a reasonable solution to it, but then they fall in love with the solution without being open to others. Is that kind of

Chris (20:09):
Yeah. And, and more importantly open to see how the customer actually wants to consume their product or service. Um, you know, I think I said earlier, you know, quoting Steve Blank, no business plan survives a first contact with a customer, right? And so to, in today’s world, it, you know, my younger entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial, you know, you went out, you build a product and then you got it into a good shape, and then you figured out how to go market and sell it. We do not do that anymore. You don’t have the time or money. No one will invest pre-vet in the idea anymore besides your family and friends. So, uh, so you, it’s a little bit more of a prove it state of affairs today. And so prove it means you gotta be able to show me or any other investor that someone more than you recognizes the value of the product and the value that I’m gonna get out of it.

Chris (21:05):
And one of the things I like to say is the world is littered with fantastic products that have never seen the a dollar of someone’s po, you know, pulled out of their pocket. And so, you know, don’t be that person. Don’t spend all that time, energy, and even money building something that nobody wants, um, or, or nobody wants in the way that you’ve configured it. So, you know, casually today, if you talk about product development, which we all love, right? Which you, you know, you and your clients and, and your, your tribe are intimately familiar with, and then there’s customer development. And these things need to be done in parallel today. And I kind of say, spend about 50% of your time on both. I’d really like it to be a little bit more like 70 30 on the customer, 70 product 30. But bring your cust your potential customers, your market into your kind of product, um, you know, your product thesis, and get them to kind of validate that they want it and that they’re willing to pay good money for it. Um, I see too many products that are incrementally better than today. And why would you want to be in the incremental product market? I wanna build a product that is the value is off the charts different and people are like, you know, count me in. Right? I’m in early.

Rich (22:21):

Chris (22:22):
So that’s probably the worst, not the worst, the most common thing is a, uh, over, uh, over, over love, you know, too much love of their own product,

Rich (22:32):
Overconfidence and blinders, I guess. Yeah.

Chris (22:35):
I just talked to a guy last week, um, you know, counseled. He went through one of my workshops about four or five years ago. I hadn’t seen him. Came back and he said, how’d it happen? He says, I raised about $900,000. I wasted it all. I got enamored with my product and I didn’t generate enough revenue and, you know, customer attachment to make the business work. I’m like, well, you’re, you’re not the first nor the last <laugh>

Rich (23:01):
Right. <laugh>, but you learned a valuable lesson.

Chris (23:05):
Yeah. Next one will hopefully be much better. Right.

Rich (23:07):
Right. Yeah. I mean, I often tell, um, people that, um, don’t expect your first venture to be a hit. Um, you know, it’s like a lot of times that’s kind of where their mind is going into it. Like, this is gonna be huge. Just imagine that maybe your third or your fourth is Yeah. And it’s first, uh, and the second that give you the experience to be able to, to do the third. And it’s the way in which you, you are sustainable about it, where you kind of play in a way that you’re able to play more in the future. Like, in other words, you don’t put all your resources into idea one. Um, that’s kind of what gives you the ability to then even be able to play a second and third time.

Chris (23:50):
Yeah. It’s almost like chess versus checkers, right? Like you just, it’s a much more complex game to be successful. And, you know, I think a lot of times until you play it a few times, you don’t really understand all the moves that, um, you know, Rich. I was thinking, I remember my son was probably 12 or 13, he came into my office one day and he said, uh, what do you do <laugh>? And I said, uh, I said, Jake, every day there’s probably a hundred things I could do to move this business forward, and I write down the 10 that I think are most important so that I can live tomorrow. And if I’m lucky, I get three of those done. And he said, all right. I said, but here’s the bad part. Tomorrow it could be a whole different 10 <laugh>. Right? The game changes so quickly. But if I can spend more time on more of the right things that matter and less time, ’cause time is a finite beast, right? And entrepreneurs run outta time or money, that’s how they fail. They haven’t found their product or market fit yet. So anyway, let’s help ’em make more better decisions.

Rich (24:59):
I agree. Um, and, um, one more question. So if you, um, what experience have you had with, um, the role that IP plays in, um, startups, but especially exits?

Chris (25:13):
Yeah. So, you know, to, to be honest, almost all of my work is in software mm-hmm.

Rich (25:20):

Chris (25:20):
Which isn’t typically in the last like 10 years a patent, you know, typically a patentable type of thing. And, and so to some level, I, I encourage founders of software to defer the patent discussion until they think they find something of value. But that being said, I also come across, um, you know, lots of, I think unique, very, um, you know, IP that needs to be protected. And, uh, we’re lucky here in Raleigh Durham that we have a good eight to 10 savvy legal minds and they all play well in the community. And if I just smell something like that, I just connect them and say, listen, gather information, they’re good people. They’re gonna tell you when and where and how to mm-hmm. <affirmative> to, to think about how to protect, you know, their ip. Um, and to be the first one to say, you have no IP yet <laugh>, so, you know, a sketch does not an IP make. Right. Get a little bit more information, move your thing, you know, move it advance a little bit more before you, uh, before you kind of, you know, take the time and the, and frankly, the money and effort to, uh, secure that patent. But Yep.

Rich (26:32):
Yeah, I agree. Is

Chris (26:33):
That consistent with your thinking?

Rich (26:35):
Yeah. Um, very con very similar. I mean, I would say first of all, that, um, a lot of founders really overestimate the value of that IP at the beginning to the point where they, they starve off resources that they should be using for other things.

Chris (26:52):

Rich (26:53):
Um, uh, balancing that is when it comes to software, when there is something that’s patentable, the, the one and only time you can can pursue it is within a year of it being public. Um, so you lose the right. Um, so, you know, if there is something there that is game changing, not incremental, but game changing, yes.

Chris (27:16):

Rich (27:16):
You should take a close look at whether, whether you have the resources to do something about it. Uh, but you definitely don’t want to, um, you definitely don’t want to do it to the point where you don’t have the resources to build the product and to

Chris (27:32):
Yeah. Do

Rich (27:33):
The other things you need to do.

Chris (27:36):
Well said. Yeah.

Rich (27:38):
So very similar <laugh>. Yeah.

Chris (27:40):

Rich (27:41):

Chris (27:42):
Well similar, go talk to people who know Right. Who’ve been through this, who have tons of experience and get them to help you make the right decision at the right time.

Rich (27:50):
Exactly. Like, lean on your community and, um, and find out, find some other points of view and find some people that might have, have, uh, expertise in the thing that you don’t.

Chris (28:02):
Yeah. Been there, done that. That’s the best. Those are the best mentors.

Rich (28:07):
Absolutely. And, and, um, and, and so the, the book launched, uh, a month ago.

Chris (28:13):
Yeah. Uh, late April, early May, so maybe now we’re coming up on two months. Um, it’s my second in this Build to Fort series. The idea of Build to Fort Rich is that we need to simplify and channel our inner 10 and 12 year old, and in order to eliminate all the adult noise that kind of, you know, permeates those thinking brains. Um, and, uh, so there’s a nice little five step model in there. First book is Build a Fort, how to Start Anything. Um, so that’s for, you know, first time entrepreneurs or second time entrepreneurs that need to be reminded of what they should have done the first time. Um, and the second one that we just talked about is what role and how do you use your community and help build the community to the betterment of both you and, uh, both directly and indirectly.

Rich (28:57):
Awesome. And just a, a little note for the audience, um, we’re recording this a couple of months in advance for coming back. So, um, so Chris isn’t outta touch with the calendar. It’s uh, uh, I think he didn’t realize that it might be a couple months to the, to the, this episode itself launches, but, um, but yeah, let’s, let’s find that book on Amazon and, and, and pick up a copy. I’m, I’m going to, uh, and, and so Chris, if people wanna learn more about you or get in touch with you, how do they go about doing so?

Chris (29:25):
Sure. The easiest way is through my website, which is hily.com, H e i V as in victor, l y.com. And, um, you know, blog a lot, newsletter sign up if there’s things of interest, uh, to you. And then, uh, as I mentioned earlier, you can go right to office hours on my website and I’ll give you 20 minutes. Um, sometimes the calendar’s booked a few weeks in advance, so don’t, uh, dismay we’ll get to you and then, uh, we can talk about whatever you want to talk about for 20 minutes.

Rich (29:54):
Awesome. I love that. I love that you do that. Um, and it was really great having you on the podcast to share some of your insight and knowledge and kind of, um, suggestions about a way of being as an entrepreneur to really stay connected with other people and be open to other ideas. So thanks so much for being on the show.

Chris (30:12):
Thanks, Rich. It was my pleasure.

Outro (30:20):
Thanks for listening to Innovations and Breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein. Be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web at innovationsandbreakthroughs.com and we’ll see you next time.


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