Chris Heivly released Build the Fort: The Startup Community Builder’s Field Guide. I encourage you to get Chris’s book if you are a startup community builder or are interested in startup communities.
When Ian Hathaway and I started working on The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, we initially talked to Chris about writing a few chapters. Chris became an extensive thought partner with Ian, and we eventually decided to write two books. The Startup Community Way would be conceptual but filled with examples to make our points, and then a second book would be a practitioner guide.
Writing a book is difficult; eventually, Ian and I decided one book would be enough for us. Chris was enthusiastic about writing the practitioner guide, so Ian and I strongly encouraged him to proceed.
I met Chris a dozen years ago when he wanted to learn from my experience in Boulder as he began to help build the startup community in Raleigh-Durham, NC. He visited me in Boulder in late 2016 as he was thinking about helping the 15+ cities within a 4-hour drive from his home in Durham, NC, build startup communities. David Cohen and I had discussed something similar for Techstars. In our conversation with Chris, we proposed that he join Techstars to work on this together.
Chris led an effort at Techstars that evolved into the Techstars Ecosystem Development process. He immersed himself in this and has spent much time bridging theory and practice.
Chris – thank you for writing the second book I didn’t have the energy for.
If you are a fan of Startup Communities, there’s a lot going on around new initiatives on this front.
Ian Hathaway and I are hard at work on a book called The Startup Community Way, which is modeled after Eric Ries’ evolution of The Lean Startup to his recent book The Startup Way. I’m a big fan and long-time friend of Eric’s so I hope he’s ok with our using the same conceptual labeling approach from the evolution of the Startup Communities concept to a much broader audience than just startup communities (Eric – if you aren’t, tell me and I’ll adjust …)
One of my approaches to writing a book is to blog a lot of early content and get reactions to it. It helps me frame my thinking, connects me with people who are interested in what I’m writing, and forces me to put out content in public that I have to work hard at, but in bite-sized chunks. Ian has bought into this idea so he and I have a steady stream of content for The Startup Community Way coming on the StartupRev website.
An example is a post we put up today titled Thoughts on the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund. If you have feedback for us (stuff you think we got wrong, or stuff you think we should reinforce, or any examples you’ve experienced directly) we’d love to hear from you either in the comments or by email.
Techstars is also hard at work on a bunch of stuff around ecosystem development (where communities and ecosystems are different things – Ian and I will have a post up on that soon.)
If this topic is interesting or important to you, either as a leader or a feeder in a startup community, or someone in government, academic, or a large company who is exploring or participating in innovation in a geographic ecosystem, give me a shout anytime!