By Nicholas Theroet
“Surround yourself with successful people, and you will be successful”
I came to the Lean Startup Conference with the same mindset that many young college entrepreneurs have — an overconfidence about an idea. Now that the conference is over, I am humbled.
One of the most remarkable experiences of the conference was lunch with the ambassadors. The topic of the week’s lunch sessions: startups and social good. Instead of separating social good and profitability, can we build a business that uses them in harmony — and can you measure the good.
Ambassadors from the lunch session discussed how company purpose — going beyond the products or services — is becoming a factor in driving customers growth.
So why is that?
Fact: people don’t buy products or services; they buy experiences, feelings, and emotions. One of the conference buzzwords was: design for user experience as key to product success. Essentially, by having social good as part of your company, your product can provide a unique and unmatched experience for your customer that goes beyond the product. In fact, this is so important that almost all successful products on the market are designed for a user experience. GoPro doesn’t sell cameras, it captures action.
User experience must be at the heart of your business and at the core of your value proposition. The trick is to also combine this with a cause for social good. All humans strive for significance — so have it be a part of your business model! Patagonia is a great example. Their mission states: build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire, and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Their mission goes beyond profits; selling quality products is their means to accomplish what really matters to them and their customers. This draws not only people looking for quality clothing, (who doesn’t want high quality?) but also the customers closely attached to nature and willing to preserve it.
It’s important to note that companies will sometimes use social good in an unethical way, such as donating less to a cause than they are claiming. To those fake business owners, I ask: how can you sleep at night?
“People don’t buy products or services; they buy experiences, feelings, and emotions.”
How can my company, Jacket360, build social good into its business from an early stage? That is the question I ask myself every day. How can our product save the lives of cyclists and drive our company’s mission to new heights? A device that improves safety is good — a world where cyclists and motorists share the roads in harmony is great — a growing sustainable world of healthy commuting cyclists is best. That’s our mission at Jacket360 and it’s a relentless search to understand how we can make the greatest impact.