A mission statement is a very nice thing. It gives a company a purpose beyond money and a framework for strategic and long-term decisions.
Every successful company usually has an abundance in opportunities how to expand. The trick is, to focus on the right ones. A mission statement is a guiding pole in those selections.
Furthermore, in larger organizations it is desirable to distribute decision making. Assuming your people are good, you want them to make as many decisions as possible. The simple assumption is, that good people usually take good decisions, i.e. such, that create value. If you believe in that premise (and really trust your people and not only say so , you want them to take as many decisions as possible. But ultimately all the decisions should re-inforce each other and be coherent. A mission statement helps to empower people at all levels of your organization to take decisions.
And last but not least a mission statement helps to convey to the public and to the market, what your company is about. That’s a quite useful thing – it empowers various market participants to approach you with the right ideas and business opportunities. Also, it helps you to attract talent which shares your vision. And in case of either very large organizations or such with an impact on society, it helps you to communicate with the general public.
I don’t know a lot about mission statements. But I remember Google’s – I think it’s “To organize and make more accessible the worlds information” (just looked it up, it is “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”).
That’s a nice mission statement and a very large play. It encompasses search, map, gmail, goggles etc. Everything what Google does, fits in. Even information about availability of coupon codes (Google’s Daily Deal acquisition) fits here.
(and if you look for more funny statements, check “the spoof“)
I also really like – and am really proud of – Team Europe’s mission statement:
“TO MAKE THE WORLD A MORE ENTREPRENEURIAL PLACE”
This is also a very large vision and a very large play. It is a large business opportunity, since a lot of value can be created around this mission. And I’m deeply convinced it helps to make the world a better and more interesting place.
I love entrepreneurship for a lot of reasons.
Hmmm, where to start? I think it’s a fair mechanism of value or wealth distribution. It is very meritocratic, the market “votes” on what provides value – i.e. is successful or not. It’s not about where you are born and what you inherit. It is not based on seniority, as lots of political or bureaucratic organizations and large corporations are. So, meritocracy is a great thing, and entrepreneurship is one of its purest embodiments.
Also, entrepreneurship creates new products and services and generally provides progress to a society. Entrepreneurs brought us cars, phones, search engines, social networks, HARIBO sweets… etc.
Ultimately a large portion of economic growth can be attributed to technology and entrepreneurs. And it also drives scientific progress per se.
Next thing I love, is that entrepreneurship does mean “freedom” and “independence”. A very successful entrepreneur does not need to work. Interestingly, most of the people still do. But their selection criteria of WHAT they do become somewhat different. They have the freedom to work on their visions and ultimately self-fulfillmet.
And from a work perspective, entrepreneurship is incredibly fun. There are a lot of reasons why it is fun, I’ll pick two: usually you can see & experience the results of your work quite quickly. You see the effects, the impacts of what you do. The results are pretty immediate in the startup world, which is very gratifying.
The second reason it being fun is that it attracts the best talent. And it’s just more fun to work with smart and positive people then with grumpy idiots
So, me and my fellow Team Europeans love entrepreneurship, but what do we do to make the world a more entrepreneurial place?
First and foremost, by walking our talk and creating successful startups!
At this point, we launch about four new companies every year. They broadly fall into two categories – one of them is “scalable companies” – those are usually companies which mean to grow very fast and require quite some capital. Our rule of thumb is that a scalable company should create around 100 Jobs within 2-3 years and be valued in the high double digit millions of Euros (in terms of enterprise value). Examples here are deliveryhero.com, sponsorpay.com or cc-club.de.
The other category is what we call “ecosystem” or “community” companies. Those are not meant to grow very fast and typically do not require a lot of investment. Rather, they create some value around the entrepreneurial ecosystem – and therefore support us and others. Those companies typically are very valuable themselves, but grow more slowly and steadily. Examples here are vertical media (publishes gruenderszene.de and venturevillage.eu), i-potentials.com (HR services focussed on startups), CEO Events (highly exclusive networking events) or Point Nine Capital (an early stage investment fund).
So, everything we do falls neatly into our mission statement. And in future it will guide more decisions, which I’m very excited about.
I always say “our product is entrepreneurship” – I think this is one of the best products in the world, and worth the effort to dedicate a large part of my life to