Make Your Mark | Jocelyn K. Glei

Summary of: Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business With Impact
By: Jocelyn K. Glei


Unleash your creative spirit and make a positive impact on the world with ‘Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business With Impact’ by Jocelyn K. Glei. This book summary explores the importance of defining your business purpose, developing a flexible operating system, and embracing innovation. You’ll discover how to captivate your audience with just one great idea and effectively involve them in your product’s development. Learn the power of storytelling, the benefits of transparency, and leadership as a form of service to help your team reach its full potential.

The Importance of Purpose for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Successful businesses have a clear purpose that aims to make society better. To ensure your business venture’s success, you need to figure out your purpose beforehand and ensure that your actions align with it. You should always ask why whenever you want to add something to your product or service, and if the answer doesn’t relate to your purpose, it’s unacceptable. The purpose outlines how your product or service aims to benefit the world. For example, Nike’s purpose is to help people reach their athletic potential. Features don’t matter if they don’t solve someone’s problem.

Flexible Operating System for Business Development

While having a clear purpose is essential to business success, companies need to develop a flexible operating system (OS) to achieve that purpose. Responsive OS companies like Facebook, Airbnb, and Dropbox have adapted to the changing market by constantly taking risks and learning from their mistakes. These companies utilize a leaner and more reactive structure that allows them to adapt quickly and make changes when required. In contrast, traditional companies tend to be sluggish and resistant to change due to their acquisition of large amounts of assets and resources over time. Responsive OS enterprises focus on being as lean as possible while following the “two pizza rule” for meetings and projects, which keeps teams small enough to make quick decisions. By leveraging this strategy, such companies can take advantage of opportunities and innovate faster.

Focus on One Great Idea

Success in business does not require a large number of novel products or ideas. The key is to focus on one great idea and develop it to its fullest potential. This approach was taken by Bonobos, a successful men’s clothing company. They began by creating one type of pants that fitted well in various colors and sold them online, generating $1 million in six months. To get noticed, make your product stand out and easy to understand. You have less than 15 seconds to convince a potential customer to buy, so make the purchase process as fast, simple, and streamlined as possible.

The Process of Perfecting a Product

Creating a product is a process of experimentation and failure. Sebastian Thrun compares it to climbing a mountain where the only way is to find your path and test its suitability. All great products are the result of tweaking and development, not a stroke of genius. Your initial product will often be less than perfect, and you can use experimentation to improve it. It’s best to give customers access to your product in the early stages of development to get accurate information about what works, what doesn’t, and what you could do instead.

Building a Fan Base For Your Business

Companies that aspire to reach massive audiences such as TED and Airbnb did not achieve success through luck but through strategic efforts to gain followers and supporters. Entrepreneur and author Chris Guillebeau suggests that one way to gain followers is to provide them with something of value that they want, whether through free access to paid content or by offering limited-time paid services for free. Additionally, every army starts small, so going the extra mile for your first customers can help you recruit the early adopters who become your first loyal fans. Airbnb’s founders went out of their way to attract their first users with meet-ups and by listening intently to their concerns, spurring the creation of a community that continues to thrives today.

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