Why do we build Sparkeo and invest so much time and passion to create a company despite all the adversity behind such a venture.
More generally, why people do what they do and what is one of the secrets of one’s success.
I believe that successful companies succeed because they have a clear vision about what they do it. Not only do they have such a vision within themselves; they succeed to convey it to their partners, employees, products and users.
Shay Michel, our VP BizDev give a great lecture on the golden circle. I don’t know if you know what it is. Here is a link to a TED lecture that explains the principle this concept. Take a look. It is worth your time!
Going back to Shay, he emphasized the fact that people do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
It can be arguable since in the end of the day, users buy a product and they won’t use a weak product no matter how strong the vision of its founders. (Yet, the paradox is a false one as strong products or products perceived as being strong not only deliver features but convey the reason why they were built.)
37 signal’s product convey their staunch commitment to simplicity while facebook its stance on the open web and the importance of sharing, as an example.
Big companies have in most cases a powerful vision that supports their growth. It is the case of Apple and the digital hub as well as transforming technology to a object of lust (hence the bitten Apple). Google, on the other hand, wants to organize all the information on the world from mapping your streets to scanning your books, from organizing all the web through their search engine to mapping the earth, from digitalizing all the museums in the world to powering blog creation. They are massively successful in implementing their vision (and much less in delivering a product in aspects of the business that are not aligned with such a vision as the social web!)
At Sparkeo we have such a vision: we want to enable powerful knowledge to flow to the web. We are the amazed witnesses of a fantastic change with initiatives such as TED or the Khan Academy, Academic Earth, iTunes U and so on. Great content is coming to the web. But still, in a huge amount of cases, it is prevented to do so because the advertising model is just not making the cut.
We conceived Sparkeo not as a provider of a technology but as a solution that provides the business models that enable this massive amount of premium content to go live and be accessible for the masses. Because we believe that in the world of today, the web should embrace its full potential and enable any users to learn from the best, be inspired. We believe it as we think that, with access to the corresponding powerful knowledge from the greatest experts worldwide (may it be expert in guitar, economics, magic or dental surgery), people can discover and fulfill themselves more powerfully. On the other side of the spectrum, we want those passionate experts that have so much to give to the world build a powerful business and feel the feeling of being rewarded for their expertise.
Times will tell if we succeed. But it is a fact that this is what magnetizes everyone on the team to get up every morning and get the job done. We have this common belief, this common passion or spark in the eyes. And this is worth fighting for.
By Frederic Aknin, Sparkeo Co-Founder & CEO