Build the Fort — Chris Heivly

Bill Gallagher

Build the fort! Ideas that seemed simple when you were a kid may seem insurmountable as an adult, but scaling up and building out your dreams really doesn’t have to be that hard.


Dubbed “The Startup Whisperer” by startup community enthusiasts, Christopher Heivly is a life-long entrepreneur and multifaceted investor who spent forty years working as, for, and with entrepreneurs. Prior to becoming a successful startup community builder and consultant, Chris co-founded MapQuest — which sold to AOL for $1.2 billion. He currently serves as a managing director of The Startup Factory and is a highly sought-after public speaker.


Building a fort is a metaphor for all of the things that are required to hack away at a vision. Get rid of the noise, stop overanalyzing, and simplify your approach. How would you have tackled a project as massive as building a fort when you were 10 years old? Whether you’re building a startup or scaling up your business, Chris takes an approach that feels as simple as building a fort.


Chris shares several stories that highlight his simplified approach to upping your game and building out your dreams. From building out the life-changing (at the time) MapQuest to the work that he has done with Written Word Media founder Ricci Wolman, he has seen the power of creating a community, fostering successful founders, and learning the ways that will make your company work.


There are a thousand ways to mess up your company, but experimenting is a critical component of success. Whether you are facing company, campaign, or hiring failures, just assume that you’re going to make a bunch of mistakes and then go back to the simplicity of building a fort. Embrace failure, learn from the mistake, and just keep trying. It’s really not that complicated.


Interview Links:

Build the Fort



20,000 Scaleups

Scaling Up Summits (Select Bill Gallagher as your coach during registration for a discount.)

Bill on YouTube

Recruiter.com Short List (use code scaleup)


Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Scaling Up Coaches (formerly Gazelles). We share how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail.


Bill Gallagher, Scaling Coach and host of the show, is an international business coach who works with C-Suite leaders to achieve breakthrough growth.


We help leadership teams with the biggest decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth. Scaling Up is based on Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.


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