Recently, I started a company in the renewable space called SolarTown and we recently won ( from among 450 other companies ) in this really awesome Pan-India Business competition called Conquest 2012.
Following that, much to my pleasant surprise, we started courting widespread investment attention from a score of firms placed all over India. In my discussions with them, one thing stood out. They liked the Vision and the Team more than the current product of the company or the market, which by itself was quite huge.
So this led me to question of “Why?” Why are humans inclined to hear out the”why” rather than the “What” or the “How” ?
A vision for a company is something very similar to what high performing individuals call “purpose”. A man with a “purpose” is more inclined to withstand adversity than one without. A man who knows his “whys” all too well is like a well-lit road. He knows where he is, where he wants to go and most importantly , why he wants to go there. This is explained in excruciatingly delightful detail in Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl.
That purpose is what “vision” is to a company. Knowing that, no matter how great or built-to-last a company is , what you create will cease to exist probably within the next 1000 years, either through technological disruption or the plain vagaries of natural microeconomics of the market, why would you still go about doing what you want to do?
There is no 1-size-fits-all answer to this one. It’s a personal and sometimes deeply philosophical journey that each one has to take to reach the answer to that. But when you do come out of that philosophical tunnel at the other end with an answer, the world feels different. It’s like a veil has been removed and you know what matters and what doesn’t. What to focus on and what not to. It’s, to say the least, …….freeing.