What’s Your Why?

Simon Sinek starts with why. Not what.

The author, marketing consultant and motivational speaker best known for developing “The Golden Circle” shared some of his thinking at a regional TED conference in 2010.

Sinek says we communicate from the outside in. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing (in other words, from what to how to why). But inspired leaders and inspired organizations, regardless of their size or industry, all think, act and communicate from the inside out. For example, Sinek says Apple Computer begins everything they do with an answer to the question why.

Why: In everything Apple does, they believe in challenging the status quo. They believe in thinking differently.

How: The way Apple challenges the status quo is by making products that are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

What: Apple just happens to make great computers. Want to but one?

He adds that “people do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Which explains why we’re comfortable buying a computer from Apple, as well as an MP3 player, a phone, a DVR, etc. We’re buying Apple’s reason why, and we trust that they will disrupt the market with a better product or service, every time.

Naturally, this got me thinking about Bonehook’s reason why and AdPulp’s reason why, and also my reason why as a literary writer. When you start with what, there’s the fact that I am a professional writer and thus can be employed to produce various pieces of writing. But start from the why, and the story deepens.

Here’s Bonehook’s “Why | How | What” rundown:

Why: There are noise makers on every corner — we help brands make meaning.

How: By exploring the mutual points of interest that naturally exist between a brand and its prospects and customers, we’re able to create something better than the flat, one-way messaging of old.

What: A professional services provider specializing in brand identity and content marketing.

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