Consider Apple, for instance. Individuals could buy Apple products because it demonstrates that they”Think different,” to mention Apple’s famous ad campaign. Then they could be amazed by how Apple works — amazing design, high prices. Then comes the what: a computer or a telephone.
I have struggled with this concept since launch FringeSport in 2010. I am interested in how other businesses determine their whys. My buddy Eric Bandholz, the creator of Beardbrand, has a sincere and even trendy why — helping men improve their appearance and confidence. The why for different businesses, however, often appears insincere — just to create more sales.
Thus I am conflicted about Sinek’s thoughts. Why have a “why?”
But here is the story of FringeSport’s why and how it has evolved.
When I began Fringe, my why was focused on me. I desired to help clients, but, actually, I desired something. I wanted to start a company so that I could be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be self explanatory. I wanted to have the fruits of my own labor.
I had examined the market and identified a market, fitness equipment. I had the thought, from the beginning, to offer fantastic products at affordable prices and rear them with world-class support. At the moment, that was my why — great products at good prices with world-class client support. But that does not include the words”gym equipment.” It does not say we make people stronger and fitter. It’s generic, though I still think it.
Fast-forward about two years to approximately 2012. I evolved. I believed our why was to assist CrossFit gyms obtain better equipment at very affordable prices. I still believed in the first mantra: excellent products at good prices with world-class client support. However, I thought that our main customers should be crossfitters and CrossFit gyms. We had to serve them.
This went well for some time. However, it was not satisfying. I knew there was something else. I began talking to a lot of our clients, which brings me to where we had been about five years in the FringeSport journey.
About five years in, I realized suddenly that many of our clients were purchasing our goods and building garage doors. This was a gorgeous thing. I had constructed a garage gym early in my strength and conditioning career. I dismantled that gym to found Fringe. I adored garage gyms and the folks who use them. I knew how to assist those consumers better than anybody.
Thus why became to help individuals build amazing garage doors. And based on Simon Sinek, it is much closer to a real why. Initially, my why concentrated on me. Then why concentrated on what: excellent barbells at a excellent price with world-class support. I did somewhat concentrate on the how: making it easy and convenient for our clients to find these products. But I wasn’t in any way focused on the why.
With the revelation about garage doors, we can focus on the why and then worry about the how and the what.
- Why is FringeSport here? To help our customers build amazing garage doors.
- How? By offering excellent products at great prices with world-class support.
- What? An wonderful barbell, terrific bumper plates, a wonderful kettlebell.
We continued with this why for several years — generating resources, content, and seeking to help people build garage doors. But now we have been pivoting, again. We have identified a problem with the entire garage gym idea. Individuals that are building garage doors are just a small majority of our clients. We have a number of different clients who do not have garage gyms. We risk ignoring those other customers.
The new ‘why’
Now we’re again looking for our why. We are working on it, finding something which fits. In the first days, the why was self-centered about what I wanted. It didn’t scale. As we climbed, the why moved out of me, but it was not refined. We got nearer when we moved to the garage gyms.
We now understand that everything we have done since the first days has been about strength and been making people better through strength. That’s our focus today. We are still in the first days of the new pivot — our brand new why. It will end up revolving around making people more powerful so they can live better, healthier lives. That will be our brand new why.
Our how will continue to be producing great products at great prices with world-class service. Our what will stay similar: world-class strength conditioning equipment.
As we get closer, I will offer an update.