How do we stick to our values when the world is telling us differently?
One of the most influential videos you’ll find on marketing is by Steve Jobs back in 1997. What looks like a staff meeting, Jobs explains the transition Apple is about to embark on from floundering to a company with purpose.
“Marketing is about values” is about as succinct as you can get to understand why marketing is so important. Our values are what defines us. What do we believe, and what guides us in a noisy world. Watching that video is a master class for everyone to learn how to sell ideas. You don’t need an MBA. Just watch the video.
The Wrong Push Forward
The challenges lie in where society, investors, managers alike are pulling us in a different direction. As a result, conversations with clients often turn from values to what you can do for me.
Features are touted more than the why behind those features. We often skip alignment and deeper understanding for shallow metrics to show progress. Agile software methodology is rooted in shipping features and measuring velocity, which doesn’t translate into values.
Consultants often pull clients in the wrong direction. Trained by business schools to focus on numbers and antiquated mindset. The number of features shipped isn’t always the best metric. The industry doesn’t make it easy to think about value.
The Long Game
Jobs poses a powerful question in the video is, “What do we want people to remember about us”? How often do we ask ourselves that question?
Throughout my career, I have come to realize we are more concerned about optics than impact. In the end, did we push the human race forward?