A Startup’s Purpose

In the book Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us by Daniel Pink he talks about the three most important areas necessary to maximize success with knowledge workers: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Autonomy and mastery are straightforward to promote in a startup whereas purpose is more complicated. Sure, the purpose might be to create great XZY software but I don’t think that’s inspiring to team members outside engineering.

A startup’s purpose is much more powerful when it involves improving society or making an impact beyond a profit. Here’s Starbuck’s purpose:

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

A startup’s purpose doesn’t have to be as grandiose. For us we have a simple one: provide a platform for good work, good people, and good pay. Our purpose is centered more around being a great place to work and a great place to be a customer with corporate culture as the driving force.

Spend time on your startup’s purpose and make it relevant and motivating.

What else? What are your thoughts on a startup’s purpose?

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