In today's working world, it's easy to lose sight of why companies exist. Is it simply to make money? To gain power or prestige? Or is there a deeper purpose to their existence?

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These are almost philosophical questions, and I realize that people can have drastically different perspective. On these questions I am a definite optimist. In my view, it all comes down to one thing: improving someone's life. Not necessarily everybody, but somebody needs to gain a benefit out of the company products and services. A company exists to bring value to somebody, to provide a product or service that enhances their lives in some way. It wouldn’t survive otherwise.

Whether it's by making a task faster, more efficient, or more enjoyable, companies should always strive to improve upon something and make a positive impact. Otherwise, they would eventually stagnate and leave space for incumbents. This core purpose often gets clouded amidst the noise of day-to-day operations.

As companies grow larger, they often lose sight of their original mission. Roles, titles, and politics become distractions, taking precedence over the true purpose of the company. Discussions revolve around personal objectives and status games, rather than the value being created. Perhaps it’s human. Perhaps it’s the classic example of something disappearing even though it’s under your nose.

Moreover, companies sometimes fall into the trap of prioritizing processes and frameworks above all else. The need to implement structured systems can become the main focus, overshadowing the actual work and the value being delivered.

I think this becomes clear especially in corporate environments. Decision-making becomes convoluted, with everyone needing a say and the desire to feel important. The focus shifts from creating value to appeasing egos and bureaucratic processes. With a diminishing amount of time directly impacting the customers.

This can also happen in the early stages of a company, where the focus on value creation is even more critical. It lays the foundation for future growth and success. As companies expand, communication and maintaining focus become more challenging.

Don’t get me wrong. It's important to note that roles, titles, politics, and processes do have their place within organizations. They are necessary elements for efficient operation and coordination. However, they should never take precedence over the underlying mission and value creation. They should not become the focus of what you are doing.

Perhaps the real problem lies in the lack of consistent communication and reminders of the company's mission and values. People need to be constantly challenged to question whether their actions align with the company's purpose. The focus should always be on delivering value, not on the accompanying noise.

It helps to have someone in a leadership position who continually questions the why behind the company's actions and cuts through the superfluous. It’s the type of leadership that is impactful. Having a leader talking about why you are doing things instead of championing vague mission statements.

By constantly reiterating the purpose behind their actions, companies can maintain clarity and focus. This is also true for startups. I’ve seen many examples of founders getting caught up in activities like fundraising. Instead of putting all their energy into impressing investors, they should focus on creating a product that truly adds value. Investors will be interested in supporting a startup that delivers tangible results, not just one with a good pitch.

It's crucial to break through the fluffy and often vague language used to describe a company's mission. Instead, it's better to have a clear and concise statement of purpose. For example, rather than saying "empowering people to become the best version of themselves," a company can state its mission as "building durable products that last for decades." The more concrete you are the closer you will be to operational goals. You should be able to trace a clear line in between the mission and your current goals.

Words are often used to add to the fluff. This is a side note. It’s a pet peeve of mine, but I really dislike the current way we speak about these things. Even apparently innocuous concepts such as "product-market fit" can also be seen as the sort of counterproductive fluff I mentioned before. Instead, let's simplify it to the essence of what it means: making something people want. This should be the ultimate goal for any company. Everything else is just noise.

Companies exist to bring value to someone's life. Staying focused on this purpose amidst the distractions of roles, titles, and politics is key. Constantly questioning the actions taken and whether they align with the company's mission ensures that the focus remains on creating value. By prioritizing value creation, companies can truly make a meaningful impact in the world.