Start with Why, Simon Sinek

This is one of my favourite TED talks, recorded in 2009. Simon Sinek, Start with Why.

“People don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it”

The theme is to help you understand your business, why it matters to you, your customers, essentially why are you in business and why is the business in business.

He uses several leading organisations to help you illustrate the key points, Apple being the predominant example; we all know what it does. Simon explains the why they do what they do – they exist to challenge the status quo (may be not as much in recent years), but recorded in 2009, they were the leading example of innovation, product and service differentiation, customer engagement and perhaps a little about design thinking, mind you I don’t think customers were consulted before the major product / genre launches they had.

We all know what we do in business, this video explains the why we do what we do, the intrinsic beliefs we have being in business.

What do we do – we sell widgets

If we can sell widgets, so can anybody else, it being a cut throat market place, there is no differentiation in your products to anybody else.

  • Price – race to the bottom
  • Functionality – go to China, see how quick functionality is innovate

How do we do that – provide good customer service

  • Quality – can help keep your head above the parapet
  • Reliability – same again, should go hand in hand with Quality
  • Service – on the right track, can your service be duplicated, what is it that make you different to your competitors or others in the market place with perhaps similar offerings
  • Knowledge – intrinsic to a business, build up your knowledge base, you can differentiate yourself

Why do we do that –

That is the 64K$ question, and in many cases very difficult to articulate this. The why is the differentiating factor between good companies and the great companies.

We all have to define what our purpose is, our existence

Can you articulate your cause?

To be successful, most critically, what is your belief

This is the factor that cannot be copied; it makes you and your business unique.


The video is only 15mins long, it is an interesting discussion in the inner workings of an enterprise, along with the Golden Circle, on how all of these 3 areas exist. We delve from the outside, the What into the inner circle of the Why.

Using this video, it can help you understand your business or at least begin the journey into Why.

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