Learning from an evening with Chris Heivly

Last Wednesday, the Leicester Startups World Tour hosted Chris Heivly.

Chris is the “entrepreneur in residence” at Techstars, and cofounder of MapQuest – later sold to AOL for $1.2billion.

Here are some of the highlights from the hour he spent with founders in Leicester:

  • If you can acquire customers both faster and cheaper than your competitors, you’re there.
  • Find 50 customers. Not 10,000. Just 50 who will really care.
  • Entrepreneurship is a team sport. Be the kind of founder that: Talks to people. Asks for help. Processes that advice. And gives full commitment.
  • Moving to a new town or industry? Reach out to three interesting people and ask them for coffee. Then ask “who else can I do this with?”. He had 275 coffees in 5 months when he last moved.
  • If there was an exact playbook, we’d all be successful. It looks and feels different for everyone. Don’t judge your own path against someone else’s.
  • His main regret, always? “I wish I’d spent more time on sales & networking, than building product.”
  • Talking to people will give you all the business intelligence and customer insight you will ever need. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just get out from behind your desk and talk to real people.

The World Tour continues in two weeks, with ‘Bosun Tijani, from Nigeria.
‘Bosun is an investor, polymath, founder of Nigeria’s foremost tech hub, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in Africa. Ticket link here!