When building a product, find your why.

Shower ThoughtsStartups

We make great computers. They're beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. With every computer we create, we challenge the status quo. Buy an Apple computer.

Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We challenge the status quo by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. Buy an Apple computer.

I recently watched Simon Sinek's TedTalk in which he presents the golden circle theory. Rather than thinking about the "what" first, then "how," and finally "why," great leaders and institutions always start with the fundamentals of human behavior - the "why."

Now, in a hypothetical situation where Apple created two ad campaigns; one using the conventional 'what-how-why' approach and the other using the 'why-how-what' formula, Simon advocates that the latter is more successful in luring in customers. To investigate further, I conducted a small survey with six of my close friends and asked them which ad seemed more interesting.

Surprisingly, contrary to Simon's expectations, all of them favored the first ad. This sparked my curiosity - why this result?

Here's my hunch: the first quote would resonate better with the broader audience; the people who prioritize the "what" over the "why" (or rather, the people who don't resonate with the "why" message).

Meanwhile, the second quote will benefit a narrower audience - people who are curious about a company's underlying reasons - the "why" resonates with their personal beliefs.

Based on this, I think the "why" would appeal to the minority of trailblazers and early enthusiasts in the field, categorized as the 'innovators' and 'early adopters.'

They're the ones fascinated by the latest cutting-edge technology. On the contrary, those fixated on the "what" belong to the 'early and late majority' crowd. They only use a product not because they believe in it, but because everyone else is starting to use it and it holds some value in their life.

Law of Diffusion of Innovation

How to Succeed past the Law of Diffusion of Innovation

To me, the goal of launching a successful product starts with overcoming the tipping point, which is around 16-20%. But to get there, you gotta know your product's "why" - the reason behind it and why you believe it's destined for greatness.

Now, here's the goal.

You gotta target the early adopters - the people who are die-hard fans of your product's purpose. They're the ones who will spread the word, and that's how you get to the early majority. Not through fancy ads or bogus hype, but through genuine passion.

And the most incredible thing?

Your early adopters become the core of your brand. Even if you branch out to new fields, they'll continue to support you. Take Apple, for example. They started with computers and phones, but now they've got Apple TVs too. And people will still buy their products, even though other companies have been making TVs for years.

So here's your goal.

Create a passionate connection with your early adopters, and they'll become your die-hard fans. That's how you achieve success. And you don't need to reach the narrow peaks of bestseller fame either.

Just 100 true early adopters is all it takes.