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If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.

The 99% Network posted a captivating talk by ethnographer Simon Sinek about people, trust and business.

My key takeaways after the video.

1. Commonality is situationally dependent. #

If you’re traveling in the US, finding someone who’s from the same state as you gives you an instant bond. If you’re traveling abroad, finding someone who’s from the same country as you gives you an instant bond – even when it wouldn’t if you were back home.

2. A recommendation from a single, trusted friend can trump hours of research and consumer reviews. #

This is where social meets marketing. Not social as in the technology – social media. Social as in the act of sharing with friends, both online in and real life.

The easier you can make it for people to tell their friends how awesome your product is, the more successful you’ll be.

of course, you need to have an awesome product.

3. You wouldn’t ask your friends, “How should I act so that you’ll like me better?” #

Yet we do that in business all the time. We hold focus groups and do market research. We try to figure out how people want us to speak to them.

Instead, organization’s should say and do the things they actually believe, and they’ll attract people who believe what they believe.

My personal spinoff on this: Great marketing starts with a great product. If you have a great product, your job then becomes connecting with people who would love it rather than convincing people they want it.

4. Your product can be a badge of honor. #

If your company is clear about what it believes, your product can become a symbol of those beliefs for people who use them.

For example, people who own Apple computers love to show them off and talk about them. It’s not just a computer. It’s a symbol of who you are and what you believe.

5. Generosity is undervalued and underutilized. #

Employees only interact with each other when they need something. Businesses only interact with customers when they want a sale.

What if we all started being more generous?

Generosity is enjoyable by design. It benefits us as a species when we do it. Being generous allows you to build trust and loyalty among your peers and customers.

6. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business. #

100% of customers, clients and employees are people.

That’s why social strategies can and do work for business-to-business organizations. It’s still about interacting with people.

What are your favorite moments from Simon’s talk?


🚀 I just relaunched my Vanilla JS Pocket Guides with new code examples and real projects to help tie everything you’ll learn together. Check it out.

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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