Why “help” is the most powerful four-letter word

Years ago, working for Bill Warner, founder of Avid Technology and Wildfire, I learned a very, very valuable lesson which I have incorporated into my mentoring to this day.

I don’t recall the circumstances exactly, but I believe we were reviewing business plans or presentations and Bill remarked something to the effect that “If I don’t see the word help in the company’s mission or statement of purpose I get concerned.”

My takeaway from that was eye-opening. While Peter Drucker said that the purpose of a business to create customers, from that moment on what I said to myself and those I mentor is that the purpose of a business to help people.

If your product or service significantly helps people – to do something faster, better cheaper, more easily, more enjoyably, more productively, or to do something they never could do before – you will create customers and a business.

For example, the mission of Course Technology, Inc. was to To help teachers to teach and students to learn more effectively by incorporating technology into curriculum materials.

And we did.

So how is your startup or startup idea going to help people?

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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