Notes on Simon Sinek Ted Talk

Why is Apple Innovative, when others are not? All have equal access.

Why did MLK lead civil rights movement, others had a chance too.

Why did the Wright brothers fly, when others who were better qualified funded ect fail? Being a flight instructor, I would also ask, why did the Wright brothers pretty much fade from view after their success.

These are some challenging questions which Simon Sinek addresses in his TED Talk. I think back to the hundreds of companies I’ve either worked at or consulted with over the years, and so much of what Simon presents rings true.

In addition, this is not the first time I’ve heard this. I hired a UPS driver who had gone back to school to become a tech years ago. He had all these fascinating stories which predated Simons approach, but also showed what happens when a company or org changes course mid-stream, both in a positive and negative light. The Wright brothers were not the first to have great initial success only to fade away.

Thus, onto my notes!


All great leaders communicate the same way, ie they are able to inspire when others cant.

Golden circle

why (inner part of circle)
it is beyond why a profit
what is cause
what is purpose

how middle of circle
some know how USP differential

what outer
most all know what they do

We communicate from the outside in by nature

Some examples

typical communication path which sort of works

what we make great puters
how they are beautifully designed
why to make money wanna buy one

Inspirational leaders work from inside out, why, how, what


why everything we do we believe in challenging, thinking differently
how beautiful design, easy to use, user friendly
what we just happen to make great putters manna buy one

People do not buy what you do, but why you buy it!

Apples outer circle is a product mix, you build on one, gain why interest for others, ipad, phone, mp3 puter, etc
Goal of Apple is to do business with people who believe what you believe… not to sell to everyone.

Human brain 3 parts
homosapien brain, neocortex, analytical thought, features/benefits
lymbic brains, feelings, trust,decision making, no ability for language, gut decisions

use for voting, buying, and loyalty

goal is to believe what you believe… the why.

The Wright Bros and Langley

pursuit was like the dot com era, everyone pursued flight
Langley had $50K from govt, held a seat at Harvard, hired the best minds he could find, best market conditions ever
Langley was in pursuit of Riches, employees worked for paycheck
The day Langley found out Wright brothers took flight, he quit

Wrights had no money, dream paid for via bike shop, no press, no college education. Wrights driven by a cause. Wrights would crash 5 times every time they went out. No press was on site.

Attracting folks with like beliefs

Law of the diffusion of innovation

2.5% of population r innovators
13.5% early adopters
34% early majority
34% late majority
16% laggards

mass market acceptance has to be 15-18% to reach tipping point
early majority wont step up until someone else has done so first

people dont buy what you do, but why you do it, what you do, proves what you believe
people will do what they believe

famous failure
single highest quality product on market
well funded
market is idea
we use tivo as a verb
tivo has never made money
IPO at $40, never traded much about $6
we have a product which pauses live tv,skips commercials, rewinds live tv, memorizes your habits without you even responding
majority was scared
should have focused on having control over all aspects of your viewing

famous success
250,000 on mall in DC to hear MLK
no invitations, no website
Dr King was not only great orator
had a gift, he told people what he believed, rather than what needed to change
others grabbed on, and built structures
people showed up for the message, not the messenger beliefs were what brought them there
laws of higher authority,laws of man
MLK believed that both need to be aligned
I have a dream, not I have a plan speech

leaders are those with power

visionary leaders are those we follow because of our beliefs, not because of power

1 thought on “Notes on Simon Sinek Ted Talk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline