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The Heretic is a free dispatch delivering insights into what it takes to lead into & in the unknown. For entrepreneurs, corporate irritants and change makers. Raw, unfiltered and opinionated.

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Dec 8th, 2023 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

“Why” – The Key to Innovation and Startup Success

Welcome to another day in the life of a startup heretic, where we toss the conventional playbook out the window and thrive on the audacious. Today, let’s dive into a lesson from an unexpected source – a scene from the BBC show “SAS Rogue Heroes.”

Picture this: In the scorching heat of the desert, Paddy Mayne, a character known for his unconventional methods, challenges the Free French to build two 30-foot scaffolds with no plan, just raw materials. As they scramble, confused and unguided, Mayne throws a curveball – why are they doing this seemingly nonsensical task? The revelation is striking: understanding the ‘why’ behind actions is crucial, especially when plans go awry.

Let’s translate this to the startup world. In the relentless race of innovation, it’s easy to get lost in the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of things. We obsess over the perfect business plan, the most efficient workflow, or the latest tech stack. But here’s the kicker – the ‘why’ is what truly matters. It’s the north star that guides you through the stormy seas of startup life.

When you start a project, do you ask yourself why you’re doing it? Why this problem? Why this solution? If not, you’re just building scaffolds in the desert. Understanding your mission’s core purpose is like having a compass in the chaos. When things inevitably go south—and trust me, they will—knowing your ‘why’ helps you pivot, adapt, and find new paths to your goal. It’s your secret weapon against the relentless bullets of failure and frustration.

In the startup world, we praise agility and resilience, but these are just buzzwords unless rooted in a deep understanding of purpose. When your product hits a snag, when your market strategy doesn’t pan out, or when your pitch falls flat – it’s the ‘why’ that will pull you through. It’s what transforms a setback into a setup for a comeback.

Remember, innovation is not just about creating something new; it’s about making something meaningful. Your ‘why’ is the soul of your venture. It’s what resonates with your customers, what ignites passion in your team, and what gives you the grit to keep going when everything else says stop.

So, my fellow Heretics, as you embark on your next venture, take a leaf out of Paddy Mayne’s book. Don’t just build for the sake of building. Ask why. Dig deep into the purpose behind your actions. It might just be the difference between a fleeting idea and a lasting impact. Stay radical, stay curious, and never forget to ask the most important question of all – why?

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