We all have a purpose.
But your purpose might not be what you think it should be.
Entrepreneurs often realize that their company should change course and pivot. We start a company with an idea in mind, and then, later, we realize that we can have a bigger impact than what we had initially envisioned.
How do we know?
If pivoting means changing the narrative about how people do something, for their benefit, well, that’s not a bad thing.
How Slack did it?
Take, for instance, the messaging platform Slack. In a talk that I recorded graphically at the 2019 GeekWire Summit, Cal Henderson, co-founder, and CTO of Slack, told how this product was born.
At first, the company was making a video game. But it didn’t work well. Was it because the name of the game was “Glitch”? Probably just a coincidence. But as Henderson and his team were split between Vancouver and San Francisco while working on this product, they build something revolutionary. They created a communication tool including chat rooms organized by topics, groups, and channels. It was just for them to make their own work easier. But it was a radically new way of communicating.
After they shut down the game business, they wanted to keep working together. That’s when they realized that it should be about helping other software development teams work better. That’s where Slack came from.
Slack is, in fact, the bi-product of a software company that just wanted to collaborate more effectively as they had a completely different purpose.
How you could do it.
In accepting serendipity, the Slack team ended up changing the narrative of millions of professionals. Instead of using email, you now have the opportunity to get a clearer picture of your project with a more transparent method of communication.
Instead of trying to improve email, Slack changed the narrative and created the next one.
Rather than improving the old narrative, you too could focus on creating the next one for you, your team, and your industry.
To do so, listen to your purpose. Don’t try to control it. It will guide you through creating a new narrative that changes people’s lives, just like the Slack leadership team did.
Want more inspiration like this?
Book me for a virtual keynote speech. I focus on helping CEOs, Leadership Teams, and Entrepreneurs create a new strategic narrative.
My talk “The Next Narrative: Why Some Businesses Change Lives, And Others Don’t” shows you how.
This week, I will be speaking at Microsoft. I do all my talks virtually at the moment, in formats that range from 30 to 90 minutes.
See you soon on zoom.