Archives For simon sinek

Apple Video

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Apple – Bigger Than Microsoft? How Can That Be?

Apple, $683, Microsoft $338 Billion (Market Cap).  Wow! (Be Sure to watch the video above).

This morning as I read this I was thinking about my Mac 128 – the one I purchased as part of Drexel University’s computer science program – one of the first accredited computer science programs offered in the U.S.  It was a great computer and it was the first Mac.  Today I’m sitting in front of my Macbook Pro. This one actually has a hard drive in it…I’m connected to various cloud apps, made calls to Europe on it this morning, and am sharing documents around the world, monitoring the other Mac’s on my local network, and syncing with my iPhone – the other half of my IT infrastructure.

How did Apple get here?

If you’ve not read Steve Job’s life story, I highly recommend it – if you’re in the IT space. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m saying when I say, “I had no idea.” Back in 1984 I had no idea who Apple really was, who Steve Jobs was, or Bill Gates. But reading about Steve’s life has been eye opening at the least. Regardless of the baggage you’ll read about, he was a genius. It’s amazing story or rags to riches…Blog Subscribe Ad

Now, have you read Simon Sinek’s book, Start with WHY? Interesting, Simon wrote this book in 2009. Apple was growing – but Simon had no idea Apple would be where they are today. Looking back at what he wrote, his wisdom is validated. People buy your WHY before they buy your WHAT. If you haven’t read his book – you should read it now. Apple is the company he’s talking about.

Taking the Risk vs. Following the Trend

Today’s Business Times article explains how Apple got to where they are today.  Read it!  <<  CLICK.

The iPhone – Steve was right. People can do everything they did on iPods, with a phone. And by making the phone bigger, they not only cannibalized  their iPod business, they ate into their tablet business.  “The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But Apple’s was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person’s desk,… But Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket.” (BusinessTimes).

The article goes on the show that “Microsoft has repeatedly tried to diversify, and continues to do so … But “it’s been more of a follower whereas Apple has been more of a trendsetter.”

The Wake Up Call To Resellers

This business is changing. I don’t know how long Apple can hold this leadership position. No one stays in front forever. But the bigger thing on my mind as I read this is the technology reseller business. Years ago Novell led the charge in building a successful channel – many have followed, and  there are some great channel programs out there. But the technology sales business is changing. In the 90s, Unix systems made the firm I was working for very successful. In 2000 it was VoIP. in 2003 I was running my own consulting company, helping resellers convert to Managed Services.

Those who are still hanging onto these offerings are doing the opposite of what Apple is doing. There are two things to focus on right now – helping clients gain a competitive advantage (largely through software), and helping them build in greater levels of security as they transition to cloud, BYOD, and online collaborate tools.  Those who wait will be too late.

© 2015, David Stelzl

P.S. Do You Have Your Copy of The NEW House & The Cloud?  << Get it on Amazon…

tampaHow long does it take to agree on a mission statement that works?  In today’s strategy meeting in Tampa, FL, I worked with a technology reseller on their Managed Services offering.  The first step was to establish a mission and vision statement for this new practice area – the mission should really be an extension of the current company-wide mission…if you have one.  In our case we had to start from scratch…here’s what we did.

I asked the group to take a moment and write down 5 deals they’ve done this year as a company, that exemplify the passion of the company.  I was looking for projects that were sold and delivered to the kinds of companies they like working with – deploying the kinds of solutions they are passionate about…after about five minutes, each person was ready to share theirs.

Going around the room, I was not surprised that many had the same deals listed.  After going around, I had four deals on the board that everyone agreed on…from there I asked the group to start telling me about the deals.  We looked at how the project was sold, who the consultants interfaced with, how it benefited the clients listed, etc.  In about five minutes we had 7 or 8 sentences written down…words like “Innovation”, “Transformation”, and “Advise” stood out.  This company was passionate about one of the four things buyers buy (something I often write about) – in this case, Operational Efficiency.  They had a passion for advising business leaders involved in transformational projects.  They believe they can help business leaders approach their business in a new and unique way, helping them think outside the box, transforming their businesses with technology.  They are inspiring business leaders toward – “Innovation”.  With that said, we drilled down into a few areas to fill out our mission – and in just a few minutes we had one all seven participants agreed on.

Do this – look over the past year, select the projects your company has sold and performed, and see if you can identify the common elements that make these deals your passion.  This is the WHY Simon Sinek is always talking about.  Once we had our mission, it was much easier to talk about the target clients, the solution set needed in their managed services offering, and the right marketing strategy.  It all builds on the WHY.  As Sinek points out, the HOW and the WHAT must align with the WHY.  Tomorrow we’ll wrap up, organizing our thoughts and constructing a road map to take them where they need to go.

© 2013, David Stelzl

Did you see this in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal?  “How Microsoft can become the next Apple. Struggling to regain momentum and capture the imagination of consumers and employees, Microsoft Corp. has pinned its hopes on the Windows 8 operating system, which powers tablets and smartphones in addition to notebooks and desktops. If Windows 8 doesn’t do the trick, its board may very well heed insistent investor calls for CEO Steve Ballmer’s head; if it does so, there may be only one person who can step in with the instant respect of Microsoft’s top lieutenants, and the clout to implement major changes in the company: Bill Gates. Just as Steve Jobs provided a fresh perspective and new singularity of purpose when he returned to lead the company he helped found, if Mr. Gates were to return to Microsoft’s helm, “people would get excited,”…

Simon Sinek provides a simple explanation, and even uses Apple as the example.  I’ve shared this video before, but in light of this quote, it’s worth repeating:

© 2013, David Stelzl

At least one astute reader asked the question…”Why?”  after he read my post on Simon Sinek’s video, Starting with the Why (click to view it) yesterday.   I would hope more people are asking, “Why to I do what I do?” – it makes all the difference.

This reader writes me with the question, “Okay, so why do I sell security solutions?”  From Simon’s point of view, if we don’t ask the question “Why”? we are never going to see real success. He points to companies like Apple, and people like the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King, to show that these people and organizations have more than a product; they are selling what they believe in.  In other words, they are selling their passion.  So how do you answer the question?


What is The Why Question We Should Be Asking?

When I first read the question, “Why do I sell security?” I started thinking of some good answers…but now,  I think it’s the wrong question to be asking.

When Simon kicks off his 18 minute video, he doesn’t ask, why does Apple sell computers.  He talks about doing things differently – that is what Apple believes in. The “WHY?” question answers why you exist, not why do you sell what you sell – it asks “What is your organization’s purpose or passion?” (and the purpose isn’t profit – that is simply the result of doing what you do, according to Simon)?  In his Apple example he states, “In everything we do, we challenge the status-quo, we think differently”. Apple does this by making simple, user-friendly, beautiful products – this is the HOW, the second question that must be answered.  Then comes the WHAT – “We make computers”.  Security is the product…the WHY question has more to do with WHY you exist…not WHAT you make.



So how does this translate into the reseller’s business – how is the reader’s question answered according to Simon?  Well, I am not Simon, but I have listened to his video more than once and have put some serious thought into my own business, as I think through what he is saying.  I have a passion, a belief system, and a people group I am working to serve.  I focus on helping people with entrepreneurial exuberance get somewhere with their business.  I love to see people create something out of nothing, or build a business where others have failed.  The business owner, the sales person, the inventor – these are my people group. Some are students who I encourage to take a new route to business – I encourage them to avoid the status quo route so many people take, landing them in some J.O.B.; one I know they will grow to hate after doing it for 40 years, every day, all day.  I work with the student and the sales person  – I believe they have gifts and talents to give which can be used to do something fantastic.  The business owner is the same. This person has stepped out in faith, believing they can do it – they can be one of the 4% who will actually stay in business over 10 years.  They are risk takers and embrace the freedom and responsibility that comes with owning and running a business, or living on a highly leveraged compensation plan that promises a reward to those who make it.

In Apple’s case, the HOW comes through the simple, easy-to-use product.  Mine comes through developing great messaging, sales and speaking skills, and consulting that can  truly transform a business.  I believe there is a better way than the average sales methodology.  The people my clients serve need help, and my clients have a way to help them – they just need a way to articulate their value clearly.

The WHAT with Apple is the computer – they make and sell computers – great computers I might add.  I have the desktop, a notebook, and the phone…I’m a fan.  My WHAT comes through my coaching, my teaching, and my speaking and writing.  I am a communicator of truth, using whatever skills I have, or can build, to reach my people group with my passion for their success. To equip them to succeed.

So my reader with his security practice, who happens to be an entrepreneur – someone with a passion for his client, has something to give.  He’s passionate  – but security is still his WHAT.  He has a people group, which I have heard him speak about.  It’s the business owners of the SMB market he serves…he should be looking at his people group and asking, “Why do I love serving these people – what am I passionate about that will help them?”  If it’s just about security products, he won’t succeed – but if he has a vision involving their success, then he has something; something he believes in.  Now, how will he do it – he believes they need help keeping their systems up and running, safe from security threats, and performing every day of the year to enable their business.  He believes this can be done better by a central program, that offloads the responsibility of daily maintenance and oversight from those working in that company he serves. My read has put together a unique offering that happens to be security focused.  Why?  Because he saw this as a way to carry out his passion.  It may change one day, but if he really embraces his passion, and his people group, he will likely still be doing something for those he calls on today – just replacing the “WHAT”.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Not a brand new video, but worth taking a look – if you want success in your messaging, Sinek has some points that really are worth embracing.  I often ask, “What people group are you serving?”  It you don’t know and understand your people group, it will be very hard to meet their core needs.