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Have A Great Idea? Want To Start Something? Make It A Success? Follow this RULE



Apple is essentially a computer company. Then, why are you comfortable buying an MP3 player (iPod) or a Smartphone, or a tablet from them?

Microsoft is also a computer company, why not buy Microsoft’s Mp3 player (yes they have one), or a Dell Streak Smartphone? It’s not that Dell is anyway less qualified than Apple to produce all these products, then why not Dell?


The same holds true for spheres of life other than business. Mahatma Gandhi, the champion of Indian independence, was not the only one who suffered from Apartheid, and he certainly was not the only great orator of his time, then why did people of a country, which was not even his own, join him in his struggle.

Or why was Aamir Khan successful in pulling off a reality show on a sensitive issue, when there were better-looking actors, with more movies under their belts, extensive fan following failing in this sphere.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.


I like to think of it as the golden circle. The outermost being, ‘WHAT?’, the middle one being ‘HOW?’, and the innermost being ‘WHY?’

Now, most of us are the clearest about what we want to do. We all know, what we want to achieve through our actions, hence, this is the clearest sphere. Moving on, how we do it.

That can be a little bit foggy at times, but most of us are clear about how we want to achieve the desired results. It’s the innermost circle that is the fudgiest. So, as a response to our existing knowledge, we tend to move outside in. Makes sense. Start with what you are clearest about, and progress gradually.


But, what people with impactful communication skills do is, move inside out. They start with why are they there, why does this idea exist in their minds, why do they want to do it. Then they move to how they are going to do that. And eventually, it becomes about what they do.

Apple (my favourite example), have always marketed their products inside out.

‘Because the human hand goes from here to…here, and we believe in efficiency and full utilization’ This is the WHY part.

‘Then why not have a screen that goes from here to…’ This is the HOW part.

‘We just happened to make a bigger screen with great specs ‘ The WHAT part.

Want to buy one?

Martin Luther King was not the only great black orator of his time. Yet in a time when there was no TV, Internet, Social networking, more than a 100,000 people turned up for his ‘I have a Dream’ speech. Notice, how he gave ‘ I have a Dream’ speech and not ‘I have a Vision’ speech. He hits directly at the WHY.

Read More: 8 Celebrity Entrepreneurs Who Have Made It Big In The Business World

Now here comes the fun part. The key to this theory lies in Biology. Not Psychology, but Biology.

how to be successful

When we look at the cross-section of our brain top down, our brain is divided into three components in direct cohesion and synchronization, with this golden circle.

Our Homosapien brain, the neo-cortex, corresponds with the WHAT level. This is responsible for all our rational decisions, helps to process vast information. So, this helps in understanding and comparing the specifications and the features.

And the Limbic brain with no language capabilities, which lies after the Neo-Cortex, corresponds to the HOW and WHY levels.

So when we move outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, like what you have to offer and how does it stand with respect to competitors, but does not drive our behaviour.

How many times has this happened, that you have not done or given up something because of some unexplainable reason, or said, ‘This doesn’t feel right?’. That’s because the Limbic Brain, which controls the decision making, is not convinced.


On the other hand, people who begin with WHY and HOW hit directly at the part of the brain responsible for impulsive, gut decisions. Decisions which may not appeal rationally, but ideologically.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

The aim is to work with people who believe in what you believe because when people believe in something, they would put their sweat and tears into it.

When people believed, both Blacks and Whites, believed that Apartheid was wrong, they joined hands with Nelson Mandela, to form the Republic Of South Africa. When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack believed they wanted to change the status quo, Apple Inc. was born.

So, the next time you have a great idea, tell people why you want to do it first rather than what you want to do.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

(Notice how I moved inside out)

Image Credits: Google Images

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