Here’s how to easily grip people with “why” from the start
30 Apr, 2020

(Editorial note: I made some settings updates and daily emails stopped sending for a couple days because I didn’t tag my posts correctly on draft! Apologies.)

I trust everyone’s seen Simon Sinek’s world-changing video from years ago. I’ve played it to probably 3,000 students at debate camps.

Recently I was reviewing some marketing materials (landing pages) and recommended to start with why instead of what/how. The entrepreneur reacted that “start with why is abstract!”

I can see why he’d say that. “Start with Why” is one of those easy pieces of feedback to give, and can be relatively meaningless. But it’s not, really…

Subject lines: ask yourself why should the recipient read this email or blog? Write the answer in one sentence. Delete the word because. Ta-da!

  • “Great Products for Everyone” becomes “Women who still want flair in their 30s-60s are choosing these unique styles cultivated from the African Diaspora.”
  • “A new product for evidence gathering” becomes “This less distressful (on victims) approach to evidence gathering is what you’ve needed.”

Home Pages: why should a particular person you’re thinking of care about this? Go ahead and answer that question in your head: “why should they care about Pinwheel?” You’ll surely answer with something they care about. Optimize for being right 😉

When who we are/what we do, us-focused, mission stuff becomes “Digital Experiences Matter—Make 2020 Your Online Business Party,” heads turn. Why? Because you spoke their language, not yours.

Five Whys. Root cause analysis is all about asking why deeply to find the real reasons things happen.

Starting with why is imminently practical. It involves asking why and writing down your answer!

Share with your network:

More to explore

Form following function

When form leads: Re-architected processes with no throughputEndless meetingsDebate about the right “way” is abstracted from what flows through1x results, especially in “agile” over-measured creative production When form leads: Innovation in...

read more

Delegating Genius

I just learned this from one Jared Montz, a genius (and former pro MLS player, YouTube star, franchise owner, CEO). It’s that sometimes coaching/teaching moments with your team work better from an outside voice, even when you have what’s needed. So...

read more

Living through articles, TV, and other voices

I think the temptation is this: the draw to be part of something bigger. It’s not different than becoming superhuman in a video game. Living your own mundane, right in front of you, life is just land grandiose on first blush. But it’s not...

read more


Family tech, neuroscience, communication, product management, growth

A synthesizer of neuroscience, classical rhetoric, philosophy, 5,000+ hours at whiteboards, high stakes presentations, Fortune 10 consulting, and startup growth.

Copyright © 2020 Isaiah McPeak