This is a TED lecture by the amazing Simon Sinek That my friend and former colleague Hannah Pearce pointed me towards.
I sat and watched this on Sunday and ignored everyone who tried to talk to me whilst it was on. It’s 18 minutes very well spent and will change the way you look at creativity and designing brands, businesses and products.
His belief is that all innovators think in the same way. They start with the ‘why’, rather than start with the ‘what’. So in effect, they design the idea or the reason before they begin to design the product or service that comes out of the process.
A few highlights.
1. Apple Computer are a company that start with why. Their ‘why’ happens to be to challenge the conventional way of doing things. Their ‘how’ is by designing beautiful intuitive products and their ‘what’ is computers, MP3’s, phones and all sorts of electronic gadgetry. Perhaps this is the reason I have my doubts about Apple at the moment, maybe they have been focussing a bit too much on the ‘what’ and not enough on the ‘why’.
2. If you hire people for the ‘what’, they will work for your money. If you hire people who believe what you believe, you are hiring the ‘why’ and they will work with blood, sweat and tears. This backs up what I said back here completely in my John Timpson book review.
3. When Martin Luther King had 250,000 people to hear him speak, you will notice that it was his ‘I have a dream’ speech, and not his ‘I have a plan’. Modern politicians with their twelve point plans for success seem to get it wrong time after time after time, because it is never about the why, always about the what.
It’s really worth a watch. But do it with a notebook, like I did.