The best startups create a sense of mission that transports customers and investors to a place in the future where the possibilities are wonderful. “Have all the worlds information at your fingertips” was exciting for Google’s investors and customers, and closer to home from our portfolio “Dress well with no hassle” is similarly exciting for Thread.com’s customers and shareholders today.
In a post titled Brand first Arnold Waldstein put it this way:
When you pitch your vision you are sharing a sense of wonder. A sense of personal possibility.
It’s your job to do the same thing for the market when you are launching your product.
Where what you believe becomes a large part of what the market adopts. Where your sense of inspiration around an idea becomes the customers sense of wonderment around how it works for them.
Dwell on some of these words for a minute, particularly ‘wonder’, ‘personal possibility’, and ‘sense of inspiration’. They’re powerful.
What Arnold’s written here can be used to think about the strength of a mission. Is there a sense of wonder? Does it let people dream about possibilities?
It’s easy to think how this test works with exciting consumer companies, but it works for all companies if you allow that the sense of wonder and possibilities need only apply to target customers. For example, I imagine that manufacturers of food packaging companies were inspired by the possibilities for Tetra Pak when they first heard about it.