Who Before Why

Me and 31 million other viewers are fans of Sinek’s Golden Circle TED talk. I watch it every few months when I feel stuck on What-ness and need some perspective. Dude talks fast and when you slow him down some of what he says makes more emotional sense than actual logical sense, but I do find his focus on understanding the “why am I making this thing?” a great clarifying exercise.

I recently came across Lex Sisney’s comments on the Golden Circle and I think I agree with him — that there’s a hidden Who in the middle of Sinek’s Golden Circle that makes it more useful to me, especially for the purposes of thinking through product design.

And from a writing perspective — communicating in general — I know the first question is really “who is your audience?”

Generally I think the Who question for most applications helps me avoid some of the navel-gazing that comes with spending too long on the Why. And I guess when you think about it, the What question gets opened up by How. And How gets loosened up by the Why. And with Sisney’s improvement the Who unfolds the model one layer deeper. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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