When you unlock the thing that stands for something more; you can run through brick walls.

  • Courage to have a Point of View
  • Feedback
  • Why

Courage to have a point of view was Tim's way of explaining that they picked a route and stuck with it. They didn't mix messages or missions. They found what they wanted to do, did it well, and trusted that it would make them a success. Sticking to your principles is no mean feat in the face of money.

Feedback is pretty self-explanatory, listen to your customers, adapt, change, remain fluid.

Why. Why is always an interesting point to me. Ever since that one ted talk went viral, it is oft quoted as the most important thing for a business to do. I've always found it noble, though short-sighted. Paying the bills, paying your staff members bills, feeding your children etc is always going to be a prime motivator. The conceptual highs of following your bliss, fulfilling your purpose and achieving your dreams are for the idealistic, and reality is always there to swat you back into place.

The allbirds journey to its why was different though. Tim wanted to make comfortable shoes out of wool. Simple. Then things got messy with Kickstarter and he didn't know what he was doing anymore or why. It seemed right but it wasn't quite there. So Tim met up with a San Franciscan who was looking to change his career, and he wanted to spend some time figuring out the why. A few beers and a nice meal of lamb later and they landed on it. Sustainability. Once that was locked in everything else fell into place. As Tim said,

"When you unlock the thing that stands for something more; you can run through brick walls "

What makes this story different for me, is the why came in much later in the process. They stumbled across it. They found it. And when they did, it felt right. Most organisations think they're on the right track and probably are. But there is nothing wrong with cracking open some beers and talking about why it is you're doing a thing with a friend and making sure you're still doing what it is you set out to achieve.