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Visions for Founders

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Visions for Founders

  1. 1. Visions for Founders BY GABRIEL YORAN
  2. 2. Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be. Bring to the world a portfolio of quality products that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs. Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value. Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities. Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities. Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
  3. 3. Whose vision is this?
  4. 4. The Coca-Cola Company
  5. 5. This is total bullshit.
  6. 6. Vision (and Mission). Do you need these?
  7. 7. A suggestion for how to come up with a concrete vision for a founder.
  8. 8. “By the end of the decade, we will put a man on the moon.” John F. Kennedy, 1962 “A computer on every desk and in every home.” Bill Gates, 1980
  9. 9. These visions say what needs to be done, but they don’t say why. They are ideological.
  10. 10. “We will go to the moon to prove that democracy is better than communism.” “We must have a computer on every desk because then we have a lot of operating systems to sell.”
  11. 11. You are about to found a company. You need to have an idea of the future. You DO NOT need ideology.
  12. 12. A computer on every desk does not say why it is good to have one there.
  13. 13. But the „why?“ is important - especially for founders!
  14. 14. How to come up with a helpful vision. A simple two-step approach for founders.
  15. 15. 1. Why are you doing what you do? 2. What is your proposition?
  16. 16. When operations is on how we do someting, and management is about what we do, then vision is why we do it.
  17. 17. The first part of your vision is about why you founded your company.
  18. 18. Why did you found your company?
  19. 19. It’s not just great ideas that make great entrepreneurs. It’s endurance.
  20. 20. But how do you endure?
  21. 21. „The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning. Meaning is not about money, fame or power. Instead, meaning is about making the world a better place, increasing the quality of life, righting a wrong and preventing good from ending.“ Guy Kawasaki
  22. 22. Even if you fail, at least you failed doing the right thing.
  23. 23. So your vision should explain why you are working on the right thing.
  24. 24. The second part of the vision is about your proposition.
  25. 25. Why do you need a proposition?
  26. 26. Lack of focus can kill a startup. You cannot be everything to everyone.
  27. 27. You will run into situations where you will have to make decisions.
  28. 28. Decisions always need to be made when they can’t be made.
  29. 29. So you will need a guideline that you can refer to. („Why are we here again?“)
  30. 30. A proposition is NOT a slogan, it is not a catchy claim you can use in ads. It is a clear and true description of your offering.
  31. 31. First, find the core of your offering, of your proposition.
  32. 32. The core is the irreducible
  33. 33. Hide data in plain sight. First version in 1997: Could only hide one file at a time. No folders, no hard disks, no nothing.
  34. 34. In the light of an imminent encryption ban: „Encryption is just not enough, hide your data“ James-Bond-like UX
  35. 35. Vision & Mission: Encryption is not enough. Steganos makes easy-to- use privacy software for consumers.
  36. 36. Interesting people nearby. First version in 2007: People in a list - no maps. Only one photo per user.
  37. 37. Vision & Mission: A world with aka-aki would be more social. aka-aki helps making the discovery of a lifetime.
  38. 38. A helpful vision is a good reason why you are doing something plus what you are doing exactly.
  39. 39. It’s meaning plus implementation.
  40. 40. meaning is The in the irreducible
  41. 41. They call it the „value proposition“
  42. 42. Someone must be in charge of every word in the Value Proposition.
  43. 43. Easy to use N Concept/UX/Support privacy software N Development for consumers N Sales/Mktg
  44. 44. 1. Why are you doing what you do? 2. What is your proposition?
  45. 45. Put these two points in two sentences. Put people in charge. Measure their performance.
  46. 46. Use your vision as a guideline, as a template. But: Be open for emergent strategies.
  47. 47. There will be weak signals you will need to listen to. They could become stronger and render your vision useless.
  48. 48. Microsoft does not want to have a computer on every desktop today.
  49. 49. The vision also works as a cornerstone for your positioning and branding. (Next week)
  50. 50. Homework: Why did you found your company? What is your proposition?
  51. 51. Thank you Gabriel Yoran @gabrielberlin