Starting with why

You’ve probably seen the Simon Sinek TED talk on “Starting with Why.” And if you haven’t, check it out! The crux of the argument is that to really inspire people to action (and to sell things), it’s best to start with your mission and work outwards to your product.

The why (your purpose) is in the middle. The what (your product) is on the outside.

Blah blah blah, this is kind of old hat marketing speak tech babble so there’s not really a huge need to rehash it at this point.


What happens when you step on the trade show floor?

It all goes out the window!

Product demos as far as the eye can see! 100% leading with “what” over “why”!

It’s like, “Yeah yeah yeah. We know that building a brand and a loyal following starts with why. But… damn it! We’re in the thick of it now! THE EXPO FLOOR IS WAR!”

And all’s fair in war, right?

Well, sure. If you want to do what everyone else is doing, then hand out sample after sample and call it a day. “Phew!” you can say to yourself. “Glad that’s over!”

Look! Your trays are empty! You must have done such a great job! And feel how tired your feet are? What a successful day on the floor :-)

And yes, it is hard work handing out samples. It’s labor either way. You may as well make it count. You may as well start dealing in the why.

Now I’m curious: if you had to sum up your why in a sentence, what would it be? Just hit reply to this email and let me know. It’s the first step towards embodying it in your real-world marketing!