Start with Why – Review

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Start with Why – Review

In this review of “start with why”, you will walk away knowing what this book offers to you and if you should buy it or skip it. If you don’t have time to read books then just read this article and you will learn the most important points that this book conveys. But if after reading this article if you are inspired and want to explore more then you should buy and read it.

“Start with why” is written by author Simon Sinek. This book tackles the core concept of why you do something you do.

Why do some organizations have more influence than others? why do they attract more loyal customers and employees than others? Any why are they able to repeat it multiple times over.

Why do some people achieve great things despite all odds and why some don’t, even if all conditions are perfect for them.

Why do people who go after their passion succeed in life?

In this book, Simon introduces the concept of the golden circle to explain the answers to all these questions.

About author

Simon Sinek is a visionary thinker, a great thought leader of our generation, and an optimist. He was born in Wimbledon, United Kingdom.

He is known for his famous ted talk which gathered over 40 million views on different platforms in over 45 different subtitle languages and is the third most-watched ted talk.

He has some great interesting ideas and philosophies and uses them to bring a positive change in the world and to help people and companies find their purpose.

He has devoted his entire career to bring forward the vision of the world that is yet to exist. A world where people wake up inspired and fulfilled to achieve where they set out to achieve

His book “Start with why” is a global bestseller.

General summary

The author uses the concept of the golden circle to explain how visionary leaders and achievers such as Martin Luther King Jr, Steve Jobs, Wright brothers could achieve more than those who were smarter, more capable, and often times better funded than them.

There are very few leaders and companies that inspire loyalty and create movements. A very few of them inspire their followers and employees to stick with them through hard times.

What is it that makes them separate from the rest?

To simply put it, they communicate with their “why”.

Why is the reason people stay loyal to a cause because they believe in that cause.

“why” is the question everyone should ask before doing anything. If you take care of “why” your “how” and “what” will be automatically taken care of. This thus does not just apply to business; it applies to anything you do in life.

He studied many leaders who’ve had a greater influence in the world.

Simon explains why this technique works and how every leader can do the same.

The authors purpose in writing this book

This book was born out of a point in Simon’s life where he was successful on paper, he was living the American dream, he owned his business, his life was fantastic, yet he didn’t want to do it. His life seemed perfect yet here he was hating it. All his energy was exhausted in just pretending he was successful, happy, and more content than he felt at that time. It was weakening him.

It was at this low point in his life he had to figure out a solution to feel something and be passionate about something again. he then discovered that every organization and even us function on the same 3 levels – what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.

He knew what he did, he was great at it. He knew how he did it. But he couldn’t figure out why he did it. This was what missing piece of the puzzle. Most of us are like this. We don’t know why we do something. It was then he became hooked on figuring out his why. If money is the reason, you do that job you hate then there is no point in doing it.

When he found his “why”, he restored his passion which he has never experienced before.

I think most of us can relate to his story. I certainly did.

If you can relate to the fundamental ideas that this book offers, it can change your business or career a long way in a positive direction.


The famous ted talk

The golden circle framework

The golden circle concept gives a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired.

"The Golden Circle" framework from Book "Start with why" by Simon Sinek

Every company can tell what they do and how they do it. But they can’t tell is why do they do what they do, why do their customers buy from them, why do they exist.

Simon says everything should start with a purpose, a belief.

If you don’t know your “why”, you will most likely burn out and give up whatever you are doing even if it is going according to your plan because your beliefs don’t match with what you are doing.

“Companies don’t know why their customers are their customers, odds are good that they don’t know why their employees are their employees either.” – Simon Sinek

The Why

Very few people or companies clearly communicate why they do what they do. It is not about running a profitable company. Money is always an end result.

“Why” is all about the purpose. Why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?

The How

Some people or companies know how they do what they do. They can explain how their products or services differ from the rest of their competition.

The What

Everyone knows what they do.

Outside-in approach

"Outside-in approach" of "The Golden Circle" from book "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek

Sinek says most companies communicate through the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing I.e., from “what” to “why” and that this is the wrong approach.

Inside-out approach

"Inside-out approach" of "The Golden Circle" from book "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek

When we start with our “why”, people who believe the same things as we do, make it their own and goes to the lengths never imagined before to support that belief.

Apple’s example

We all know how Apple was in trouble after Steve jobs left. Their competitors were eating away their market share. They were about to be bankrupt in 90 days.

When Steve Jobs came back to apple, he knew that Apple has lost its purpose. He knew that he needed to remind everyone of its purpose and why they are in business.

He then led a campaign called “think different” which went down in the history as one of the best marketing campaigns ever made.

After this campaign, their purpose became so clear to every employee that every product release became a success. This is because they start to design their products with their “why”.

If Apple didn’t know its “why”, it would be in a competition to increase the features just like others such as ram, battery size, and camera megapixels.

Since it is so aligned to its “why”, it has designed its iPhone to last an entire day to an average user with its incredible efficiency and not just a mere battery size to impress its customers. It has designed its iPod to have 1000 songs in the pocket. It has designed its laptop to be the thinnest and lightest laptop ever.

With this approach, Apple revolutionized the personal computer industry in the 1970s. It has revolutionized the music industry with the release of the iPod and iTunes. It revolutionized the smartphone industry with the release of iPhones.

Nike’s example

In Nike’s marketing, you won’t see their new product releases or features of those products. What you see is them honoring the athletes.

There are many such real-life examples in this book.


Chapter 1: Assume You Know

In this chapter, the author talks about how the assumptions we make impact our actions.

Chapter 2: Carrots and Sticks

There are 2 ways to attract customers which is inspiration and manipulation. Most businesses use manipulation in their sales tactics and it is a short-term strategy.

Chapter 3: The Golden Circle

Here you will learn about the golden circle with numerous examples and how the inside out approach is better than the outside-in approach.

Chapter 4: This is Not Opinion, this is Biology

Here the author talks about some references to biology. How it’s basic human nature to belong or identify with something we believe and how the golden circle matches with how our brains operate.

Chapter 5: Clarity Discipline, and Consistency

Here the author talks about how the golden circle is important but in the right sequence.

Chapter 6: The Emergency of Trust

Trust begins to happen when people or organizations are driven by a reason.

Chapter 7: How a Tipping Point Tips

Here the author talks about the law of diffusion of innovations. Why do some people stand in line for hours or even days to just buy an iPhone first?

Chapter 8: Start with Why but Know-How

Here the author talks about how the energy motivates but charisma inspires. Knowing why is important but knowing how is also equally important.

Chapter 9: Know Why. Know-How. Then What?

When the company is small the founder has direct contact with the outside world. As the company grows the role of the founder changes. “What” controls the rational thoughts and language. “Why” controls feelings and decision-making.

Chapter 10: Communication is about Listening

Symbols help us convert the intangible to tangible because we give them meaning. A logo can become a symbol only if it inspires people to use it.

Chapter 11: When Why Goes Fuzzy

In this chapter, the author talks about those companies that have lost their original “why”.

Chapter 12: Split Happens

A company is started with one idea and it is fuelled by passion. This is a very compelling emotion that causes us to do irrational things. That is why “How” and “why” need each other.

Chapter 13: The Origin of a Why

Market research is important before starting any business but finding “why” is a process and not an invention.

Chapter 14: The New Competition

When you are against the world competing with everyone else no one wants to help you. But when you start competing with yourself everyone wants to help you. Few organizations start with “why” but very few among them keep their “why”.

Authors achievement through this book

The author has helped many people and businesses find their purpose. He has given a number of speeches around the world and coached many businesses to find their “why”.

Key takeaways from this book

1) If you are an entrepreneur start communicating why you are doing business, the purpose of your existence

2) Why is the reason people stay loyal to a cause, because they believe in that cause

3) When you have identified your purpose, it gets easier to focus on things that really matter.

4) Your why gets you going even when things get tough because you have a clear vision.

5) Your goal should never be money or profit. Your goal should be to provide value. The money and profit are the end result.

6) Start Communicating your why in your marketing campaigns

7)  Leaders inspire rather than manipulate.

What is my why?

My purpose with this site is to suggest the right books to the right individuals. I truly believe every book has a purpose and different individuals need different solutions at different phases in life.


Simon Sinek’s website: Click here

Simon Sinek’s LinkedIn profile: Click here


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