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Who do you help to be awesome at what?
I recently read an excellent article by Joel Spolsky on figuring out what your company is all about.
In it Joel recounts some advice about presenting your company mission in the form:
This approach is really great for IT because it so accurately describes the role of IT. The only purpose of IT is to help people do things. To deliver any value you must be able to articulate WHO it helps to do WHAT. If you waffle on about "strategic enablement" or "information is the life blood of the organisation", you have lost the plot.
I also really like the strong word "awesome". We need to up our game from "enabling" to helping people be "awesome".
It sounded like good advice, so I tried it on our own business at Metrici, and particularly on our Metrici Advisor service. It was harder than I thought, but it was a very valuable lesson.
Trying to think of WHO we help was hard. Do we help managers, consultants, businesses, decision-makers? Yes, we do, but that is a bit too broad. They do not catch the essence of who we help.
And WHAT do we help them do? Gather information, evaluate, make decisions? Yes we do, but once again that is too broad.
After a bit of head scratching, we looked at the name of our own product and figured out our mission.
This really works for us, and it sums up neatly everything we do.
We define advice as:
The service helps:
The advice-giving is awesome because it is:
This mission even helps us clarify some misunderstandings.
Clarifying our mission also clarifies which parts of the service need to be given more emphasis in our marketing:
Just playing around with a few words has really helped us sharpen our mission, and given us a powerful tool to explain ourselves to our customers and partners.
Try it yourself, for your business, your services, or your software. Who do you help to be awesome at what?Next: Ubuntu Netbook Remix
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