Starting with the “Why”
How do you illuminate your vision to your startup employees? After all, the
vision is what drives the attractiveness and the energy in your startup.
Especially in the beginning, it's probably the only thing that can help you
attract employees because you can not yet offer great salaries or major
responsibilities. But what you can offer is being part of the startup’s vision.
Particularly for younger people who are in the early stages of their career, it
can be enticing to be part of something bigger than themselves. That’s why many
founders agree that having a vision and understanding why the startup will have
such a big impact in the world is a key part of finding and sustaining success.
A community, not just a product
Likewise, it’s not always about the product but rather envisioning a community.
It’s about what you bring to the world and how you help people. Apex Trading is
a great example of this. This is a startup that offers a wholesale cannabis
platform. That’s why CEO and founder John Manlove’s vision involves the
community of people who grow plants and are fond of growing cannabis, referring
to it as a plant-first approach.
For Pedro Goes of InEvent, the vision involves staying focused on customers and
creating happy customers. For him, it’s less about revenue and more about making
a difference and being able to improve people’s lives. In fact, Pedro has a big,
audacious goal of impacting one billion people with InEvent.
Tracks for Trucks founder Jakob Muus also has a vision that has nothing to do
with generating revenue. Instead, he wants his startup to help people understand
the impact of CO2. He wants Tracks for Trucks to be a catalyst for change within
the trucking industry, helping in the push for more electric trucks on the road.
Focus on the customer
Having a clear vision and being able to convey it to your employees can make it
easier for founders to stay focused and avoid distractions. Sebastiano Bertani
of Italy-based startup Tanaza believes that rather than looking at the next big
thing or a shiny object, a startup’s vision helps founders to pay attention to
the roadblocks and problems that stand in the way of achieving that vision. This
is why Sebastiano is always asking himself what needs to be done to achieve
Disciplining yourself as a founder
Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why founders need to have
discipline. But having a clear vision and sharing it with employees can help to
give founders discipline. When founders have communicated their vision with
employees, they can help hold the founder accountable, forcing them to stick to
their original vision. This is why it’s critical for founders to always write
down their vision and goals in an official document. Doing this makes the vision
of the startup clear and known to everyone, helping keep their eyes on the
prize. This is just like a mountain climber who looks up and sees the peak,
never forgetting that the top of the mountain is the ultimate destination.
Roland Siebelink talks all things tech startup and bring you interviews with tech cofounders across the