Startup Life: Success is all in Your Head

Alicia Business July 24, 2016
A company vision helps you navigate the best path forward.

A company vision helps you navigate the best path forward.

In this 3-part series I will discuss some helpful tips we’ve learned along the way. Being a start-up isn’t always easy or smooth sailing.

However, these helpful tips aren’t just for start-ups. Many companies from the 1 man shops to the big-box giants can take heed on these useful tips. Let’s dive into an incredible important first step about company vision.

Kicking off the first of our 3-part series, Startup Life, talks about keeping focused on the company vision. What’s the vision? It’s the crucial concept that keeps you on the right path towards your goals. The vision needs to summarize where the company sees itself in the marketplace and reflect value to the customer. Ask yourself: what is the goal of the company? Where do you want the company to be in 3 years, 10 years, 25 years? It should draw to mind a picture of the success you work for. Something solid that can remain a picture of the company for years to come.

Through very lengthy, Apple’s vision statement from CEO Tim Cook establishes that they are: innovative, in control, do not settle for less and are key drivers in technology. They mention being able to turn down projects to stay focused on those truly important to them. Their vision is very detailed and does establish that they strive to be the best at what they do. You can feel the idea and type of work environment they are striving for and where they aim to be in the marketplace.

“We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”

However, you don’t need a lengthy vision to get the point across. Take a look at a vision statement from Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.” Everything is summed up in one sentence but still provides a focus and a specific company goal. It gives you a clear picture of what they are trying to accomplish. What are they doing? Providing access. Of what? The world’s information. How? With one click.

Both of these vision statements are drastically different but embody the company and the goals they strive to achieve. You can see the picture they create with their set goals in mind. If they think they should pivot or create a new product they can go back on the vision statement and see if it applies to their company vision.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
— Albert Einstein