Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (2023)

An awesome vision doesn't magically save a broken brand, but it's at the core of every great one.

Last week, we wrote a post about Simon Sinek's Golden Circle, exploring how you should start by selling your vision, and not your products.

Your vision has a fundamental role in shaping your company. It reminds you of what to focus on when you wake up every morning and forms the basis of your pitch when you're sharing your products with your customers.

It goes deeper than that. It affects how you carry yourself, and how you make decisions. It affects the quality of people who want to work for you, which is probably the ultimate game-changer.

So... how do you figure out what yours is?

Here are 10 startups with great visions that we really liked:

1. Asana's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (1)

"Why build Asana? Because it sucks to waste unnecessary time trying to communicate instead of getting work done."

Asana is a teamwork communication manager that provides workspaces, projects, deadlines, and comments that update in real-time, without the use of emails.

Their mission is extremely clear on their webpage, where they stress how “everyone knows what they should be doing...and why” through their program.

Their mission works for a few reasons.

Firstly, it is clear and to the point—reflecting the purpose of their app, which is to make sure everyone’s responsibilities are clear and well-communicated, effortlessly.

Secondly, it is a mission that people want to believe in. Everyone wants a coherent workplace that works together seamlessly.

Workers are inspired to practice what the company preaches, while customers hope to be able to achieve the ideal Asana strives for.

The lesson to learn: Make sure your mission is clear, and something that everyone wants to achieve as well.

2. Uber's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (2)

"Why build Uber? Because it sucks to be stranded without easy access to reliable transportation."

The Uber app connects passengers with either drivers of vehicles for hire or ride-sharing services in several cities around the world.

Their core mission was simple. Provide a crowd-sourced solution to the issue of overpriced, hard-to-find taxis, and revolutionize the unwieldy and monopolized taxi industry.

They have been true to their mission—the app has revolutionized (some say, destroyed) the taxi industry, plugging the huge demand for more transport options, especially in major cities.

(Video) Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound

But perhaps the biggest message from Uber is the idea of choice. The tagline on their website focuses on you - “Get there - your day belongs to you.”

The autonomy that Uber provides, whether from choosing what type of Uber you want to take (UberX, UberExec, UberTaxi..), to even what music to play in your cab (from their collaboration with Spotify) is motivated by their desire to give the power of choice to their customers.

Details like these help make Uber become a brand that stands out.

The lesson to learn: Solve an issue plaguing an industry, and walk the talk - if you're going to put something in your mission, make sure you deliver.

Further reading: Want to explode your sales just as Uber has? If so, check out our case study on Uber here.

3. Bellroy's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (3)

"Why build Bellroy? Because a fat wallet is literally a pain-in-the-a**."

Bellroy makes a diverse range of leather wallets that fit all kinds of requirements and settings.

They started by identifying a problem: wallets that were fat, unwieldy, and generally unpleasant.

The solution? To create wallets that are slim as can be, that also allows “your pocket contents to adapt along with you”.

From innovative solutions like taking out extra leather, to having hidden pockets and tighter pouches, their products are the perfect solution to fixing your fat-wallet woes. They make this particularly attractive by offering a multitude of wallet choices to suit any of your needs.

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (4)

With such a strong vision and compelling solutions, it’s definitely tempting to #slimyourwallet with Bellroy.

The lesson to learn: Even if your problem might be something small, convince people that it matters by providing an easy, sleek solution.

Fun fact? Bellroy has a travel wallet that comes with a micro pen, for filling out those "pesky customs cards":

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (5)

4. Vibease's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (6)

"Why build Vibease? Because people are lonely when they don't have to be."

(Video) Start With 'Why' - TED Talk from Simon Sinek

Vibease is a hands-free, Bluetooth-enabled vibrator with a mobile app that vibrates in sync with their chosen audio fantasies. Vibease met its $15,000 fundraising target within 24 hours, and has now been developed into a full-fledged product!

Vibease started off as a movement to make “every modern woman’s fantasy come to life”.

From this vision, they created a product with female sexuality wellness in mind. By using a mobile app, the user can sync it to an audio fantasy or their partner, and it can be even customized.

It was so successful because it solved the problem of generic vibrators. Most vibrators are designed from a men’s point of view and neglect the fact that women react differently to sensations than men.

The lesson to learn: Your mission should be directly catered to your audience's needs—even better if it's the first of its kind!

5. GoldieBlox's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (7)

"Why build GoldieBlox? Because girls are discouraged from building things, and we need to change that."

GoldieBlox creates toys for girls. Why does that matter? Because these aren’t just ordinary toys—they’re really engineering tools.

Created by CEO Debbie Sterling, she was motivated by how few women there were in her Mechanical Engineering/Product Design program at Stanford. She became obsessed with the notion of "disrupting the pink aisle" with a toy that would introduce girls to the joy of engineering at a young age.

GoldieBlox successfully raised $150,000 in just 4 days, illustrating the successful pull-off of her vision.

Why was it so successful? It was for a cause many people were passionate about. The Science and Technology industry has a well-known problem of lacking females, which was a problem GoldieBlox wanted to solve.

By providing building toys for girls, and giving them a heroine to look up to apart from Barbie, GoldieBlox wants to empower females and encourage them to become engineers as well.

The lesson to learn: The most powerful visions are sometimes the ones that organically come out from a personal cause.

6. Airbnb's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (8)

"Why build Airbnb? Because traveling could and should be so much more intimate than staying at hotels."

Airbnb provides a platform for individuals to rent out their lodging for travelers to stay.

Their vision is to create a world where everyone gets to mingle, and connect with people of various cultures and backgrounds via travel - whether you are in Kuala Lumpur or Cuba, you will be able to Belong Anywhere.

Airbnb fundamentally solves three problems: 1. having a spare room(s) in your house, 2. having to pay too much for hotel rooms, 3. getting a local and authentic experience

(Video) A QUICK Way to Find Your WHY | Simon Sinek

By creating an online platform where travelers can rent a spare room from an Airbnb host, it allows people to interact in a way they previously couldn’t.

People can rent anything from a couch to a castle in 8000 cities around the world, and while you’re staying in someone else’s home, you are essentially immersed in the local life!

The lesson to learn: Travelers demand authentic and new experiences, which Airbnb has tapped on perfectly. Make sure to tap on what your customers really want, and angle your product and vision to fulfill that need.

Further reading: Growth, Referrals and Getting The Job Done: What Airbnb's Growth Team Learnt

7. Ministry of Supply's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (9)

"Why build Ministry of Supply? Because officewear shouldn't have to be uncomfortable."

Ministry of Supply inspires confidence in every man by creating next-generation performance professional attire.

When people think about office attire, thoughts associated with it are often along the lines of “boring”, “uncomfortable”, “stiff” and “can’t we do casual Fridays every day?”

Ministry of Supply aims to solve this exact problem. Their mission? To use “research and science to create professional essentials that perform”.

By using NASA spacesuit technology to manage heat, moisture, and even odor control, they are able to create truly wearable, yet professional outfits.

The lesson to learn: Quality over quantity is often a good mission to have, as long as you ensure that you can deliver the quality sustainably.

Further reading: How Ministry of Supply Utilized Word-of-Mouth To Raise Over $420,000 on Kickstarter

8. Kurgo's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (10)

"Why build Kurgo? Because dogs and their humans shouldn't be limited by their accessories."

Kurgo sells a variety of dog travel accessories, such as leashes, carriers, beds, etc.

Kurgo focuses on creating dog travel accessories that are affordable and have the customer and dog at heart. They believe in earning lifetime customers and thus provide lifetime guarantees. They also ensure that their products are rigorously tested to be safe in their respective functions.

In contrast to brands that seem more interested in earning money from dog owners, Kurgo’s love for dogs is evident all over their site. Kurgo works hand in hand with the Kurgo Foundation, which supports “non-profits assisting animals in the wake of disaster”. Kurgo also collaborates with many local and national non-profit organizations that are “working hard to give humans a positive chance at life”.

This vision of caring for the Dog first helps Kurgo to differentiate themselves from other companies and maintain loyal fans.

(Video) Find Your WHY | Simon Sinek

The lesson to learn: Whether you're dealing with humans or even dogs, make sure that the customer's safety and wants are an inherent part of your mission.

Fun fact: Founded by two brothers, Gordie and Kitter Spater, Kurgo's story began with their 70lb hyperactive Plot Hound mix, Zelda. It was always jumping from its car seat, so they began to design a backseat barrier, which eventually leads to the founding of Kurgo.

10. Warby Parker's mission statement

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (11)

"Why build Warby Parker? Because stylish eyewear shouldn't have to cost an arm and leg."

Warby Parker sells affordable and stylish eyewear designed in-house in their online store.

Warby Parker was founded as "an alternative to the overpriced and bland eyewear available today". The eyewear industry was dominated by a few large corporations that forced consumers to pay high prices.

Warby Parker decided to compete by cutting out the middlemen, using in-house designers, and selling everything online. This leaner model allows them to sell quality eyewear for less than half the price of other brands.

Take a look at the price comparison graph and observe how Warby Parker has shaken up the entire eyewear industry:

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (12)

In addition to battling the eyewear giants, Warby Parker is also passionate about helping the less fortunate see. One billion people worldwide do not have access to glasses, and Warby Parker is determined to change that. They partner with non-profit organizations like VisionSpring, distributing one pair of glasses for every pair sold.

Learn more about Warby Parker's marketing chops here: How Warby Parker Rose To Prominence Using Storytelling And Remarkable Experiences (8+ Examples).

The lesson to learn: An underdog story and a social cause often tell very powerful stories and create very meaningful visions.

Fun fact? They crafted their own monocle, called the "Colonel Monocle". Warby Parker states that it's the "perfect accessory for budding robber barons, post-colonial tyrants, and super villains".

Start With Why: Mission Statements Simon Sinek Would Approve (13)

How do you apply these examples to your brand, then?

After looking through the examples, you might want to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What problem am I trying to solve with my product?
  2. Is it a problem people care about? If not, how do I make them care about it?
  3. How can I show that my product is the best solution to this problem?

Ultimately, why should people care about your product?

Using those questions as guides, craft a strong and meaningful vision that you, your workers, and your customers will believe in.

Make sure that vision is consistently communicated and apparent in every aspect of the design of your product.

(Video) Is a WHY or a Vision More Important? | Simon Sinek

As Sinek puts it,

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Here are a couple of articles we think you might enjoy:

  • 6 Ways Brands Are Driving WOM in the Beauty Industry
  • 40 Best Shopify Apps to Grow Your Ecommerce Store in 2022
  • How to Amplify Word-of-Mouth By Leveraging Customer Reviews
  • How to Collaborate With Influencers Besides Sponsoring Posts

FAQs

What is Simon Sinek mission statement? ›

We study and work to create something valuable. We can't expect they will be useful soon, but we need to believe someday they will be. Such works sometimes don't give us benefits but someday they give benefits to many people.

What are the 3 key points of the mission statement? ›

The three components of a mission statement include the purpose, values, and goals of the company.

What are the four 4 main questions the mission statement asks? ›

Here are four essential questions your company's mission statement must answer:
  • What do we do?
  • How do we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?
10 Jan 2013

What are the 5 components that make a good mission statement? ›

Here are 5 essential elements of a good mission statement:
  • Element #1 Simplicity. Keep it simple. ...
  • Element #2 Captivating. Don't be boring. ...
  • Element #3 Measurable. You'll know if you're succeeding in your mission if you craft it in a way that allows you to measure the results. ...
  • Element #4 Relevancy. ...
  • Element #5 Longevity.
6 Oct 2021

What are some examples of a mission statement? ›

12 Examples of the Best Mission Statements
  • “To inspire humanity — both in the air and on the ground.”
  • “To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.”
  • “Spread ideas.”
  • “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
13 Feb 2020

What are examples of why statements? ›

Examples of personal "Why" statements in life
  • "My why is to share the power of therapeutic humor with others." ...
  • "My why is to help people be more connected in their life, career, and business." ...
  • "To push myself to be the best version of myself so that I know my mom is smiling down on me."
4 Aug 2022

What makes a strong mission statement? ›

A good mission statement embraces the expectations of a target audience for something they truly crave. For example, Zappos' mission statement is “To provide the best customer service possible.” That creates the expectation in Zappos' customers that they will deliver superior customer service each and every time.

How do you start a mission statement? ›

How to write a mission statement in 5 steps
  1. Free write about starting your company. ...
  2. Explain what your company does. ...
  3. Describe your ideal customer. ...
  4. Define your core values. ...
  5. Revise and condense your mission statement.
11 Sept 2020

What is the meaning of a mission statement? ›

A mission statement is a concise explanation of the organization's reason for existence. It describes the organization's purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.

What is Simon Sinek's why? ›

So what is a 'why statement'? According to Sinek, it is: “The compelling higher purpose that inspires us and acts as the source of all we do.” In Sinek's opinion, the reason Apple was so successful was it started with 'Why'.

What is the mission statement for Apple? ›

Mission – Bringing the best user experience to its customers through innovative hardware, software and services. Apple's vision statement is clear, concise, and to the point. They are evidently determined to deliver quality products for their clients.

What is the golden circle model of leadership? ›

The Golden Circle theory explains how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change in a business based on his research into how the most successful organizations think, act and communicate if they start with why.

Videos

1. Simon Sinek: How to discover your "why" in difficult times | TED
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2. How great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek
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3. Keep Your Vision BIG | Simon Sinek
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4. Start with Why by Simon Simek - Audio Summary
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