Special Interview with Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why”

In this Marketing Over Coffee:

A special conversation with Simon Sinek. We talk about his book: Start with Why

Direct Link to File

Show length 27:13

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00:30 The book is more about leadership than business

02:19 Having PR lead with a YouTube Video

03:18 Using the “Why” to drive your copywriting home

04:38 How it works for Apple vs. Dell

06:58 The Golden Circle

08:40 Why people go with their gut

10:00 Return to “Manipulating Your Perceptions” – Manipulation vs. Inspiration

12:05 Why most innovation is really just manipulation

13:28 The Discipline of How, Consistency of What, and why you can’t get more authentic

15:15 The Celery Test – Choosing the tactics that will allow you to scale

18:12 The danger of The Split

20:20 Long Before Crossing the Chasm – Everett Rodgers’ Diffusion of Innovation

23:10 Ben’s story and why you shouldn’t waste time watching the competition, use this link to get your own copy of Start with Why.

Check us out on LinkedIn: John and Chris

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19 thoughts on “Special Interview with Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why””

  1. Sorry, I don’t buy this.
    It’s a very simplistic argument. Apple and DELL both target different segments.
    Also, if Apple is so smart, why can’t it increase its market share in OS and other areas?
    Not all their products are hits.

  2. When I left click on the direct link to the file, I get a page with a black bar with no controls. So it is impossible to play, pause, stop or anything. Can you look into this. Thanks for this segment.

  3. I'm not sure there's ever a single universal truth, but his argument resonated with me. I've been part of marketing teams that are so revenue driven we forget why we are in the business in the first place. Always getting sucked into features/price comparisons and firmly positioning our product as a wee bit better or cheaper because we're obsessed with our competition.

    He mentioned Southwest Airlines in passing, which is a good counterpoint to the ubiquitous Apple example. Southwest is certainly targetting a different segment but there's clarity in why they do things.

    Granted, I've got a triple dose of the idealism gene. But I think the front 2/3 of the curve is looking for a better reason to buy than 5 points off or one more feature.

  4. Wow, very compelling interview about starting with Why and then moving to the How and finally the What.

    I really agree with Simon about the need to return to why we're doing what we're doing, get emotionally fired up about it or go some other direction more in line with our why. Interesting how he concluded talking about that it is not about focusing on your competition and trying to match them or best them, but focusing on competing with yourself/own organzation and bettering yourself/it.

    I'm struggling with this a little bit because it definitely goes somewhat against conventional business wisdom about having a real good pulse on what your competition is doing and identifying those one or two competitors that you're going to measure yourself up against. To some extent I agree with him. I'm a runner and the way I've gotten a whole lot faster is not by trying to win a race or compete with other people, but by focusing on how I can train to get myself faster a little bit one week-at-a-time. However, it does help to have someone to run alongside you and to occasionally get the occasional juices flowing. I'm wondering if there is a balance to be found between being very focused on making yourself better at living out your Why and keeping an eye on those one or two competitors that will challenge you to live out your Why and deliver a better service/product.


  5. This interview made me tilt my head like a dog. I know I don't think enough about “why” and instead focus on the features and benefits. Well done John!

  6. Great show John – I've listened to it twice and going for a third.

    As someone who has been apart of client marketing efforts and working from the Why perspective for a long time – I say think you to Simon, great work. It's amazing how many great campaigns I've seen turned upside down through marketing and advertising by committee. “Keep it safe”. I can't wait to buy the book.

    @Ivan You just keep working on those features and benefits.

  7. As a company that manages and markets associations, the question of Why rings loudly: Every year a lot of members just send in their dues like clockwork but most forget why? We need to get that word out more.

    Thanks for the kick in the boot

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