TED 西蒙·斯涅克:伟大的领袖如何激励行动

当事情的发展出乎意料之外的时候, 你怎么解释? 换句话说,当别人似乎出乎意料地 取得成功的时候, 你怎么解释? 比如说, 为什么苹果公司创新能力这么强? 这么多年来,年复一年, 他们比所有竞争对手都更加具有创新性。 而其实他们只是一家电脑公司。 他们跟其他公司没有任何分别, 有同样的途径,接触到同样的人才, 同样的代理商,顾问,和媒体。那为什么他们 就似乎有那么一点不同寻常呢? 同样的,为什么是由马丁?路德?金 来领导民权运动? 那个时候在美国,民权运动之前, 不仅仅只有他一个人饱受歧视。 他也决不是那个时代唯一的伟大演说家。 为什么会是他? 又为什么怀特兄弟 能够造出动力控制的载人飞机, 跟他们相比,当时的其他团队似乎 更有能力,更有资金, 他们却没能制造出载人飞机, 怀特兄弟打败了他们。 一定还有一些什么别的因素在起作用。

大概三年半之前, 我有了个新发现, 这个发现完全改变了 我对这个世界如何运作的看法。甚至从根本上改变了 我的工作生活方式。 那就是我发现了一种模式, 我发现世界上所有伟大的令人振奋的领袖 和组织, 无论是苹果公司、马丁?路德?金还是怀特兄弟, 他们思考、行动、交流沟通的方式 都完全一样, 但是跟所有其他人的方式 完全相反。 我所做的仅仅是把它整理出来。 这可能是世上 最简单的概念。 我称它为黄金圆环。

为什么?怎么做?是什么? 这小小的模型就解释了 为什么一些组织和领导者 能够在别人不能的地方激发出灵感和潜力。 我来尽快地解释一下这些术语。 地球上的每个人,每个组织都明白自己做的是什么, 百分之百。 其中一些知道该怎么做, 你可以称之为是你的差异价值, 或是你的独特工艺,或是你的独特卖点也好,怎么说都行。 但是非常,非常少的人和组织 明白为什么做。 这里的“为什么”和“为利润” 没有关系, 利润只是一个结果,永远只能是一个结果。 我说的“为什么” 指的是:你的目的是什么? 你这样做的原因是什么?你怀着什么样的信念? 你的机构为什么而存在? 你每天早上是为什么而起床? 为什么别人要在乎你? 结果是,我们思考的方式,行动的方式, 交流的方式都是由外向内的。 很显然的,我们所采用的方式是从清晰开始,然后到模糊的东西。 但是激励型领袖以及 组织机构, 无论他们的规模大小,所在领域, 他们思考,行动和交流的方式 都是从里向外的。

举个例子吧。 我举苹果公司是因为这个例子简单易懂,每个人都能理解。 如果苹果公司跟其他公司一样, 他们的市场营销信息就会是这个样子: “我们做最棒的电脑, 设计精美,使用简单, 界面友好。 你想买一台吗?” 不怎么样吧。 这就是我们大多数人的交流方式, 也是大多数市场推广的方式,大部分销售所采用的方式, 也是我们大部分人互相交流的方式。 我们说我们的职业是干什么的,我们说我们是如何的与众不同,或者我们怎么比其他人更好, 然后我们就期待着一些别人的反应, 比如购买,比如投票,诸如此类。 这是我们新开的的律师事务所, 我们拥有最棒的律师和最大的客户, 我们总是能满足客户的要求。 这是我们的新车型, 非常省油,真皮座椅。买一辆吧。 但是这些推销词一点劲都没有。

这是苹果公司实际上的沟通方式: “我们做的每一件事情, 都是为了突破和创新。 我们坚信应该以不同的方式思考。 我们挑战现状的方式 是通过把我们的产品设计得十分精美, 使用简单,和界面友好。 我们只是在这个过程中做出了最棒的电脑。 想买一台吗?” 感觉完全不一样,对吧?你已经准备从我这里买一台了。 我所做的只是将传递信息的顺序颠倒一下而已。 事实已经向我们证明,人们买的不是你做的产品, 人们买的是你的信念和宗旨。 人们买的不是你做的产品,人们买的是你的信念。

这就解释了为什么 这里的每个人 从苹果公司买电脑时都觉得理所当然。 但是我们从苹果公司 买MP3播放器,手机,或者数码摄像机时, 也感觉很舒服。 而其实,我刚才已经说过,苹果公司只是个电脑公司。 没有什么能从结构上将苹果公司 同竞争对手区分开来。 竞争对手和苹果公司有同样的能力制造所有这些产品。 实际上,他们也尝试过。 几年前,捷威(Gateway)公司推出了平板电视。 他们制造平板电视的能力很强, 因为他们做平板显示器已经很多年了。 但是没有人买他们的平板电视。 戴尔公司推出了MP3播放器和掌上电脑,他们产品的质量非常好, 产品的设计也非常不错。 但是也没有人买他们的这些产品。 其实,说到这里,我们无法想象 会从戴尔公司买MP3播放器。 你为什么会从一家电脑公司买MP3播放器呢? 但是每天我们都这么做。 人们买的不是你做的产品,人们买的是你的信念。做公司的目标不是要跟 所有需要你的产品的人做生意, 而是跟 与你有着相同理念的人做生意。 这是最精彩的部分。

我说的这些没有一个是我自己的观点。 这些观点都能从生物学里面找到根源。 不是心理学,是生物学。 当你俯视看大脑的横截面, 你会发现人类大脑实际上分成 三个主要部分, 而这三个主要部分和黄金圆环匹配得非常好。 我们最新的脑部,管辖智力的脑部, 或者说我们的大脑皮层, 对应着“是什么” 这个圆环。 大脑皮层负责我们所有的 理性和逻辑的思考 和语言功能。 中间的两个部分是我们的两个边脑。 边脑负责我们所有的情感, 比如信任和忠诚,也负责所有的行为 和决策, 但这部分没有语言功能。

换句话说,当我们由外向内交流时, 没错,人们可以理解大量的复杂信息, 比如特征,优点,事实和图表。 但不足以激发行动。 当我们由内向外交流时, 我们是在直接同控制行为的 那一部分大脑对话, 然后我们由人们理性地思考 我们所说和做的事情。 这就是那些发自内心的决定的来源。 你知道,有时候你展示给一些人 所有的数据图表, 他们会说“我知道这些数据和图表是什么意思, 但就是感觉不对。” 为什么我们会用这个动词,“感觉” 不对? 因为控制决策的那一部分大脑 并不支配语言, 我们只好说 “我不知道为什么,就是感觉不对。”或者有些时候,你说听从心的召唤, 或者说听从灵魂。 我不想把这些观念分解得太彻底,但心和灵魂都不是 控制行为的部分。 所有这一切都发生在你的边脑, 控制决策行为而非语言的边脑。

如果你自己都不知道你为什么干你所做的事情, 而别人要对你的动机作出反应, 那么你怎么可能赢得大家 对你的支持,从你这里购买东西, 或者,更重要的,对你忠诚 并且想成为你正在做的事情的一分子呢? 再说一次,目标不仅仅是将你有的东西卖给需要它们的人; 而是将东西卖给跟你有共同信念的人。 目标不仅仅是雇佣那些 需要一份工作的人; 目标是雇佣那些同你有共同信念的人。 你知道吗,我总是说, 如果你雇佣某人只是因为他能做这份工作,他们就只是为你开的工资而工作, 但是如果你雇佣跟你有共同信念的人, 他们会为你付出热血,汗水和泪水。 这一点,没有比怀特兄弟的故事 更恰当的例子了。

大多数人都没听说过塞缪尔·兰利这个人。 20世纪初期, 投入机动飞行器的热情就像当今的网站热, 每个人都在做尝试。 塞缪尔·兰利拥有所有大家认为是 成功的要素。 我的意思是,即便是现在,你问别人 “为什么你的产品或者公司失败了呢?” 人们总是用同样的 三个东西以同样的排列顺序来回答你, 缺乏资金,用人不善,形势不好。 总是那三种理由,所以让我们来逐个分析一下。 国防部给了塞缪尔·兰利 5万美金 作为研制飞行器的资金。 所以说,资金不是问题。 他在哈佛大学工作过, 也在史密森尼学会工作过,人脉极其广泛。 他认识当时最优秀的人才。 因此,他雇佣了 用资金能吸引到的最优秀的人才。 当时的市场形势相当有利。 纽约时报对他做跟踪报道, 每个人都支持他。 但是为什么你们连听都没听说过他呢?

与此同时,几百公里之外的俄亥俄州代顿市 有一对兄弟,奥维尔?莱特和维尔伯?莱特, 他们俩没有任何我们认为的 成功的要素。 他们没有钱。 他们用自行车店的收入来追求他们的梦想。 莱特兄弟的团队中没有一个人 上过大学, 就连奥维尔和维尔伯也没有。 纽约时报更是不沾边的。 不同的是, 奥维尔和维尔伯追求的是一个事业, 一个目标,一种信念。 他们相信如果他们 能研制出飞行器, 将会改变全世界的发展进程。 塞缪尔·兰利就不同了, 他想要发财,他想要成名。 他追求的是最终结果, 是变得富有。 看吧,看接下来怎么样了。 那些怀有和怀特兄弟一样梦想的人 跟他们一起热血朝天地奋斗着。 另一边的人则是为了工资而工作。 后来流传的故事说,每次怀特兄弟出去实验时, 都必须带着五组零件, 因为那是在他们回来吃晚饭之前 将要坠毁的次数。

最后,在1903年12月17日, 怀特兄弟成功起飞, 但是当时没有任何其他人在场目睹。 我们是在几天后才知道的。 后来的事情进一步证实了 兰利动机不纯, 他在怀特兄弟成功的当天就辞职了。 他本来应该可以说: “伙计们,这真是一项伟大的发明, 我可以改进你们的技术。” 但是他没有, 因为他不是第一个制造出飞机的人,他就不会变得富有, 他也不会变得有名,所以他辞职了。

人们买的不是你的产品;而是你的信念。 如果你讲述你的信念, 你将吸引那些跟你拥有同样信念的人。 但是为什么吸引那些跟你拥有同样信念的人非常重要呢? 创新的传播有一个规律, 如果你不知道这个规律,你一定了解这个概念。 我们的社会中,有2.5%的人 是革新者。 13.5%的人 是早期的少部分采纳者。 接下来的34%是早期接受的大多数, 然后是比较晚接受的大多数和最后行动的。 这部分最后行动的人买按键电话的唯一原因是 因为他们再也买不到转盘电话了。

(笑声)

虽然我们在不同的时候会处在这个曲线上不同的位置, 但是创新的传播规律告诉我们 如果你想在大众市场上 获得成功,或者要大众接纳一个点子, 你得等到 获得15%-18%的市场接受度 这个转折点之后才行。 那时之后市场才真正打开。 我喜欢问公司:“你的新生意怎么样呀?” 他们会很自豪地告诉你 “哦,大概有10%吧。” 是呀,你有可能就在10%的顾客群这里过不去了。 我们都能让10%的人“意会”, 对,我们一般这样形容他们。 就好比描述那种感觉: “哦,他们有点心领神会了”。 问题是:你怎么在他们还没有成为你的顾客之前 就发现那些能意会的人,和那些不能意会的人? 这就是问题的所在,就是这点间隙, 你得把这个间隙给填上, 正如杰弗里穆尔所说的,“跨越鸿沟”。 因为早期的大多数 不会尝试新事物, 除非有些人已经先尝试过了。 而这些人,创新者和早期的少数人, 他们喜欢大胆的尝试。 他们更自然地凭直觉做事情, 发自于他们的世界观的直觉, 而不仅仅是因为市场上有什么样的产品。

这是一批在 iPhone上市的头几天 去排队等六个小时来购买的人, 而其实只要等一个星期你就可以随便走进店里 从货架上买到。 这是一批在平板电视刚推出时 会花4万美金买一台的人, 尽管当时的技术还不成熟。 补充说一下,他们并不是因为技术的先进 而买那些产品,而是为了他们自己。 因为他们想成为第一个体验新产品的人。 人们买的不是你的产品;人们买的是你的信念。 你的行动只是证明了 你的信念。 实际上,人们会去做能够体现 他们的信念的事情。 那些为了抢先 在头六个小时内买到iPhone 而 排六个小时的队的人, 是出于他们的世界观, 出于他们想别人怎么看自己。 他们是第一批体验者。 人们买的不是你的产品;他们买的是你的信念。

我再举些著名的例子吧, 证实创新传播规律的一个失败的例子 和一个成功的例子。 首先我们讲这个失败的例子。 还是商业上的。 就如我们一秒钟前刚刚说过的, 成功的要素是充足的资金,优秀的人才和良好的市场形势。 那么,是不是如果有这些你就应该获得成功。 看看蒂沃(TiVo)数字视频公司吧。 自从推出蒂沃机顶盒以来,大概是八、九年前, 直到今天,它们一直是市场上唯一的最高品质的产品, 这没有任何异议。 它们绝对是资金充足, 市场形势也大好。 其实,“蒂沃” 都变成了一个日常用的动词。 比如:我经常把东西蒂沃到我那台华纳数码视频录像机里面。

但是蒂沃是个商业上的失败案例, 他们没有赚到一分钱。 他们上市时, 股票价格大约在30到40美元, 然后就直线下跌,而成交价格从没超过10美元。 实际上,我印象中它的交易价格从来没有超过 6美元, 除了几次小的震荡之外。 因为你会发现,蒂沃公司新推出他们的产品时, 他们只是告诉我们他们产品是什么, 他们说 “我们的产品可以把电视节目暂停, 跳过广告,回放电视节目, 还能记住你的观看习惯, 你甚至都不用刻意设置它。” 挑剔的人们说:“我们不相信你, 我们不需要这样的东西,我们也不喜欢这样的东西。 你在唬人。” 假如他们这么说: “如果你 想掌控 生活的方方面面, 朋友,那么就试试我们的产品吧。 它可以暂停直播节目,跳过广告, 回放直播节目,还能记下你的观看习惯,等等。 人们买的不是你的产品;人们买的是你的信念。 你所做的仅仅只是 你的信念的证明而已。

下面我给大家介绍一个 成功的例子。 1963年的夏天, 25万人 聚集在华盛顿特区 聆听马丁?路德?金博士的演讲。 那时,既没有发请帖, 也没有可能在网上查看日期。 怎么会有 25万人参加呢? 而且,金博士不是美国唯一 的伟大演说家, 也不是美国唯一一位在民权法案实施前 遭受歧视的人。 实际上,他的一些想法甚至不正确。 但是他有个天赋。 他没有到处宣扬美国需要改变什么方面, 他只是到处告诉别人他所相信的。 ”我相信。我相信。我相信。“ 他总是这么跟别人说。 而那些和他怀有同样信念的人 受了他的启发,他们也开始 将自己的信念告诉别人。 有些人建立起一些组织机构 将这些话传给更多的人。 你看,就这样, 25万人在那天,那个时候, 聚集在一起听他演讲。

有多少人是为了听 ”他“ 演说而去的呢? 没有人。 他们是为了他们自己而去的。 那是他们对于美国的信念 支持着他们坐 8个小时的公车, 站在华盛顿八月中旬的烈日下。 是他们所相信的信念,而不是黑人跟白人之间的斗争。 25%的听众是白人。 金博士相信 世界上有两种律法, 一种是上天制定的, 一种是世人制定的。 直到世人制定的法律 和上天制定的律法相符合, 我们才真正生活在公正的世界里。 民权运动只是碰巧 帮他将信念 付诸于现实的一件事情。 我们跟随他,不是为了他,而是为了我们自己。 顺便说一下,他的演讲是 ”我有一个梦想“, 而不是 ”我有一个方案“。

(笑声)

听听现在的政治家们提出的 12点的大杂烩计划, 没一点劲。 一些人是当官的,而另一些人是领袖。 当官的只是占据在有权力 和威严的位置上, 但是只有具有领袖素质的人才能激励我们。 无论他们是个人还是组织, 我们都追隨领袖, 不是因为我们必须这样做, 而是因为我们愿意。 我们跟随具有领袖能力的人,不是为他们, 而是为我们自己。 也只有那些从 ”为什么“这个圆圈出发的人 才有能力 激励周围的人, 或者找到能够激励他们的人。

(非常谢谢大家)

(鼓掌)

【附:英文原文】

How do you explain when things don’t go as we assume? Or better, how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions? For example: Why is Apple so innovative? Year after year, after year, after year, they’re more innovative than all their competition. And yet, they’re just a computer company. They’re just like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media. Then why is it that they seem to have something different? Why is it that Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement? He wasn’t the only man who suffered in a pre-civil rights America, and he certainly wasn’t the only great orator of the day. Why him? And why is it that the Wright brothers were able to figure out controlled, powered man flight when there were certainly other teams who were better qualified, better funded … and they didn’t achieve powered man flight, and the Wright brothers beat them to it. There’s something else at play here.

About three and a half years ago I made a discovery. And this discovery profoundly changed my view on how I thought the world worked, and it even profoundly changed the way in which I operate in it. As it turns out, there’s a pattern. As it turns out, all the great and inspiring leaders and organizations in the world — whether it’s Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers — they all think, act and communicate the exact same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else. All I did was codify it, and it’s probably the world’s simplest idea. I call it the golden circle.

Why? How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t. Let me define the terms really quickly. Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit.” That’s a result. It’s always a result. By “why,” I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? Well, as a result, the way we think, the way we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. It’s obvious. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations — regardless of their size, regardless of their industry — all think, act and communicate from the inside out.

Let me give you an example. I use Apple because they’re easy to understand and everybody gets it. If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this: “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?” “Meh.” And that’s how most of us communicate. That’s how most marketing is done, that’s how most sales is done and that’s how most of us communicate interpersonally. We say what we do, we say how we’re different or how we’re better and we expect some sort of a behavior, a purchase, a vote, something like that. Here’s our new law firm: We have the best lawyers with the biggest clients, we always perform for our clients who do business with us. Here’s our new car: It gets great gas mileage, it has leather seats, buy our car. But it’s uninspiring.

Here’s how Apple actually communicates. “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?” Totally different right? You’re ready to buy a computer from me. All I did was reverse the order of the information. What it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

This explains why every single person in this room is perfectly comfortable buying a computer from Apple. But we’re also perfectly comfortable buying an MP3 player from Apple, or a phone from Apple, or a DVR from Apple. But, as I said before, Apple’s just a computer company. There’s nothing that distinguishes them structurally from any of their competitors. Their competitors are all equally qualified to make all of these products. In fact, they tried. A few years ago, Gateway came out with flat screen TVs. They’re eminently qualified to make flat screen TVs. They’ve been making flat screen monitors for years. Nobody bought one. Dell came out with MP3 players and PDAs, and they make great quality products, and they can make perfectly well-designed products — and nobody bought one. In fact, talking about it now, we can’t even imagine buying an MP3 player from Dell. Why would you buy an MP3 player from a computer company? But we do it every day. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. Here’s the best part:

None of what I’m telling you is my opinion. It’s all grounded in the tenets of biology. Not psychology, biology. If you look at a cross-section of the human brain, looking from the top down, what you see is the human brain is actually broken into three major components that correlate perfectly with the golden circle. Our newest brain, our Homo sapien brain, our neocortex, corresponds with the “what” level. The neocortex is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains, and our limbic brains are responsible for all of our feelings, like trust and loyalty. It’s also responsible for all human behavior, all decision-making, and it has no capacity for language.

In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information like features and benefits and facts and figures. It just doesn’t drive behavior. When we can communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do. This is where gut decisions come from. You know, sometimes you can give somebody all the facts and figures, and they say, “I know what all the facts and details say, but it just doesn’t feel right.” Why would we use that verb, it doesn’t “feel” right? Because the part of the brain that controls decision-making doesn’t control language. And the best we can muster up is, “I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right.” Or sometimes you say you’re leading with your heart, or you’re leading with your soul. Well, I hate to break it to you, those aren’t other body parts controlling your behavior. It’s all happening here in your limbic brain, the part of the brain that controls decision-making and not language.

But if you don’t know why you do what you do, and people respond to why you do what you do, then how will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what it is that you do. Again, the goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe. The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe. I always say that, you know, if you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. And nowhere else is there a better example of this than with the Wright brothers.

Most people don’t know about Samuel Pierpont Langley. And back in the early 20th century, the pursuit of powered man flight was like the dot com of the day. Everybody was trying it. And Samuel Pierpont Langley had, what we assume, to be the recipe for success. I mean, even now, you ask people, “Why did your product or why did your company fail?” and people always give you the same permutation of the same three things: under-capitalized, the wrong people, bad market conditions. It’s always the same three things, so let’s explore that. Samuel Pierpont Langley was given 50,000 dollars by the War Department to figure out this flying machine. Money was no problem. He held a seat at Harvard and worked at the Smithsonian and was extremely well-connected; he knew all the big minds of the day. He hired the best minds money could find and the market conditions were fantastic. The New York Times followed him around everywhere, and everyone was rooting for Langley. Then how come we’ve never heard of Samuel Pierpont Langley?

A few hundred miles away in Dayton Ohio, Orville and Wilbur Wright, they had none of what we consider to be the recipe for success. They had no money; they paid for their dream with the proceeds from their bicycle shop; not a single person on the Wright brothers’ team had a college education, not even Orville or Wilbur; and The New York Times followed them around nowhere. The difference was, Orville and Wilbur were driven by a cause, by a purpose, by a belief. They believed that if they could figure out this flying machine, it’ll change the course of the world. Samuel Pierpont Langley was different. He wanted to be rich, and he wanted to be famous. He was in pursuit of the result. He was in pursuit of the riches. And lo and behold, look what happened. The people who believed in the Wright brothers’ dream worked with them with blood and sweat and tears. The others just worked for the paycheck. And they tell stories of how every time the Wright brothers went out, they would have to take five sets of parts, because that’s how many times they would crash before they came in for supper.

And, eventually, on December 17th, 1903, the Wright brothers took flight, and no one was there to even experience it. We found out about it a few days later. And further proof that Langley was motivated by the wrong thing: The day the Wright brothers took flight, he quit. He could have said, “That’s an amazing discovery, guys, and I will improve upon your technology,” but he didn’t. He wasn’t first, he didn’t get rich, he didn’t get famous so he quit.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe. But why is it important to attract those who believe what you believe? Something called the law of diffusion of innovation, and if you don’t know the law, you definitely know the terminology. The first two and a half percent of our population are our innovators. The next 13 and a half percent of our population are our early adopters. The next 34 percent are your early majority, your late majority and your laggards. The only reason these people buy touch tone phones is because you can’t buy rotary phones anymore.

(Laughter)

We all sit at various places at various times on this scale, but what the law of diffusion of innovation tells us is that if you want mass-market success or mass-market acceptance of an idea, you cannot have it until you achieve this tipping point between 15 and 18 percent market penetration, and then the system tips. And I love asking businesses, “What’s your conversion on new business?” And they love to tell you, “Oh, it’s about 10 percent,” proudly. Well, you can trip over 10 percent of the customers. We all have about 10 percent who just “get it.” That’s how we describe them, right? That’s like that gut feeling, “Oh, they just get it.” The problem is: How do you find the ones that get it before you’re doing business with them versus the ones who don’t get it? So it’s this here, this little gap that you have to close, as Jeffrey Moore calls it, “Crossing the Chasm” — because, you see, the early majority will not try something until someone else has tried it first. And these guys, the innovators and the early adopters, they’re comfortable making those gut decisions. They’re more comfortable making those intuitive decisions that are driven by what they believe about the world and not just what product is available.

These are the people who stood in line for six hours to buy an iPhone when they first came out, when you could have just walked into the store the next week and bought one off the shelf. These are the people who spent 40,000 dollars on flat screen TVs when they first came out, even though the technology was substandard. And, by the way, they didn’t do it because the technology was so great; they did it for themselves. It’s because they wanted to be first. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it and what you do simply proves what you believe. In fact, people will do the things that prove what they believe. The reason that person bought the iPhone in the first six hours, stood in line for six hours, was because of what they believed about the world, and how they wanted everybody to see them: They were first. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

So let me give you a famous example, a famous failure and a famous success of the law of diffusion of innovation. First, the famous failure. It’s a commercial example. As we said before, a second ago, the recipe for success is money and the right people and the right market conditions, right? You should have success then. Look at TiVo. From the time TiVo came out about eight or nine years ago to this current day, they are the single highest-quality product on the market, hands down, there is no dispute. They were extremely well-funded. Market conditions were fantastic. I mean, we use TiVo as verb. I TiVo stuff on my piece of junk Time Warner DVR all the time.

But TiVo’s a commercial failure. They’ve never made money. And when they went IPO, their stock was at about 30 or 40 dollars and then plummeted, and it’s never traded above 10. In fact, I don’t think it’s even traded above six, except for a couple of little spikes. Because you see, when TiVo launched their product they told us all what they had. They said, “We have a product that pauses live TV, skips commercials, rewinds live TV and memorizes your viewing habits without you even asking.” And the cynical majority said, “We don’t believe you. We don’t need it. We don’t like it. You’re scaring us.” What if they had said, “If you’re the kind of person who likes to have total control over every aspect of your life, boy, do we have a product for you. It pauses live TV, skips commercials, memorizes your viewing habits, etc., etc.” People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it, and what you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe.

Now let me give you a successful example of the law of diffusion of innovation. In the summer of 1963, 250,000 people showed up on the mall in Washington to hear Dr. King speak. They sent out no invitations, and there was no website to check the date. How do you do that? Well, Dr. King wasn’t the only man in America who was a great orator. He wasn’t the only man in America who suffered in a pre-civil rights America. In fact, some of his ideas were bad. But he had a gift. He didn’t go around telling people what needed to change in America. He went around and told people what he believed. “I believe, I believe, I believe,” he told people. And people who believed what he believed took his cause, and they made it their own, and they told people. And some of those people created structures to get the word out to even more people. And lo and behold, 250,000 people showed up on the right day at the right time to hear him speak.

How many of them showed up for him? Zero. They showed up for themselves. It’s what they believed about America that got them to travel in a bus for eight hours to stand in the sun in Washington in the middle of August. It’s what they believed, and it wasn’t about black versus white: 25 percent of the audience was white. Dr. King believed that there are two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by man. And not until all the laws that are made by man are consistent with the laws that are made by the higher authority will we live in a just world. It just so happened that the Civil Rights Movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We followed, not for him, but for ourselves. And, by the way, he gave the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech.

(Laughter)

Listen to politicians now, with their comprehensive 12-point plans. They’re not inspiring anybody. Because there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.

Thank you very much.

(Applause)

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