My motivations when starting gap intelligence nearly 10 years ago were unorthodox and not easy to explain at the time. Friends and colleagues would often stare in disbelief that the answer to their question “Why did you start your own business?” was not “To make lots of money.” From the very beginning, we have strived to create a wonderful place to work. We wanted a company that cherished our peoples’ commitment to be here and to create a culture where people truly had fun, were empowered, and where ideas could flourish. gap intelligence would be a huge umbrella that protected our team from the cold rain outside and that our job was to make the umbrella big enough to invite a few more lucky folks to step in.
Through the years I could never find the words that perfectly matched my motivations for gap intelligence. Business books, seminars, and most colleagues stressed the same two things: cash flow is king and profits, profits, profits. Cash flow and profits are certainly important for a business to survive, but have never driven me – they ring empty.
Recently, I finished Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs and the final chapter largely consists of his subject’s own reflective words while facing the end of his life.
Leave it to Steve Jobs to give me my muse on page 569.
“I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will stand for something a generation or two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what I want Apple to be.”