Simon Sinek Why How What

Taking the tube home means I get a rare moment to sit and read a book, a real book, made of paper. I’m currently reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek and it’s a book of real substance – no fluff.

The following is an extract from the chapter “The Emergence of Trust” and it builds upon the entire premise of the book, starting with WHY:

“The reason the human race has been so successful is not because we’re the strongest animals – far from it. Size and might alone do not guarantee success. We’ve succeeded as a species because of our ability to form cultures. Cultures are groups of people who come together around a common set of values and beliefs. When we share values and beliefs with others, we form trust.

Trust of others allows us to rely on others to help protect our children and ensure our personal survival. The ability to leave the den to hunt or explore with confidence that the community will protect your family and your stuff until you return is one of the most important factors in the survival of an individual and the advancement of our species.

That we trust people with common values and beliefs is not, in itself, a profound assertion. There is a reason we’re not friends with everyone we meet. We’re friends with people who see the world the way we see it, who share our views and our belief set. No matter how good a match someone looks on paper, that doesn’t guarantee a friendship. You can think of it on a macro scale also. The world is filled with different cultures.

Being American is not better than being French. They are just different cultures – not better or worse, just different. American culture strongly values ideals of entrepreneurship, independence and self-reliance. We call our WHY – the American Dream”

We’re currently working on some internal projects at Depop about our culture and this book is helping reiterate a lot of the team’s beliefs. The product team is running a mini series of projects and initiatives to see where people are at and where we align, and also, where there is work to be done.

Company culture is an ever evolving thing, as people come and go, the company grows, both in age and size and the product or platform we’re working on grows with us.

One thing I know though, is we’re doing this because we know the WHY.

We’re building a community to make it faster, easier, more fun for people to buy and sell.


Start With Why Website

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk: How Great Leaders inspire Action

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk: Start With Why

I’m a UX Consultant in London – get in touch about your next big idea.