Understanding your "Why"


You’ve made it this far, so I’m going to ask you to take a leap…

It’s time to make a transformation in the way you view the story you want to tell. This transformation is shifting from the “What” and the “How” to the “WHY”.

The “Start” is a fine place to start, so let’s jump in. Below you will find a TED talk by Simon Sinek. I apologize beforehand about the quality of the footage. Apparently Puget Sound TEDx didn’t understand the value of good production quality. His point is still well made. Please watch the video below.


Start with Why - Simon Sinek

Every single company on the planet knows WHAT they do. Most can even explain HOW their service or product is different or better.

But very few people can clearly tell us WHY they do what they do.


I know it might seem too easy to conjure Apple, but after hearing Simon talk about Apple’s “Why”, we can see how Apple is able to differentiate themselves from their competitors and stay true to their culture. Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO after being forced to resign by his board of directors in 1985. After 12 years of mismanagement – pre-iphone and pre-ipod even, Apple's marketshare was in the basement. Steve needed to rebuild the company from the ground up, and the first place he started was with the Apple brand itself. Steve rehired the Chiat Day agency, and began an intensive, eight-week sprint to find and define their brand's "core value." In an incredible speech steve gave internally at Apple, revealing their motivation, thinking, and ultimately the first salvo in what would come to be known as the "Think Different" ad campaign.

Steve Jobs, upon introducing the legendary campaign, defined Apple’s core value as...

“We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better”

When you can lead with that “Why”, you have the power to tell an amazing story. With that, let me introduce you to Dillan…


Apple - Dillan’s Path

After spending his whole life struggling to communicate, Dillan learned to express himself with the help of his tablet—highlighting technology’s effect on those with special needs.


Did you notice how we didn’t hear ”Apple” mentioned once in the entire commercial? Did you even hear the word “iPad”? It’s not really about the bells and whistles of the hardware that make the story moving. It’s not the speed of the processor or the aluminum body that matter in this context.

How did this commercial make you feel about Apple? Emotional connections are a much greater indicator of how a consumer operates than anything else. So it stands to reason that how we “feel” matters more than what we “think” if we are going to influence people to take action.

Is the feeling in line with Apple’s core value? I think we can all agree that, in this example, Apple changed the world for the better. But who are the “people with passion” that Jobs referred to that can change the world? Apple’s designers, engineers and developers can all have a passionate belief in their organization. Dillan has a passion to overcome his disability and communicate with the world around him. His mother and therapist have a passion to help him (and others afflicted with non-verbal Autism) connect with others.

This leads us into the topic of our next email communication… Who is the Hero of your story?

Keep an eye out for the next email and thank you for participating,