Whether you’re an Apple fan or detractor, all can agree the iPod and iPhone technology are extraordinary successes. The stories of how Steve Jobs and Apple accomplished this are legendary.  Organizational guru Simon Sinek summarizes it in one word: “Perspective”.  When planning exit strategies, business owners should embrace Apple’s perspective to maximize their company’s valuation and sustain their legacy.

This Lesson Found comes from a 2016 Sinek presentation** where Sinek’s talks about differences between “finite perspectives” of business versus “infinite perspectives”.  The company with a finite perspective focuses solely on winning the battle against the competition.  With an infinite perspective, the company constantly considers how to improve its product offerings, increase efficiencies and deliver superior customer service; thus ensuring success long into the future. His example is the difference between Microsoft’s and Apple’s perspectives as they first introduced their digital media players.  Sinek met with  Microsoft executives as they were launching the Zune and most could only talk about beating Apple.  At about the same time, he met with their Apple counterparts who just launched the iPod Touch.  The Apple executives were solely focused on how they could improve customers’ lives.  Clearly Microsoft’s finite perspective focused on “winning” the battle with the Zune while Apple’s infinite perspective focused on improving their products such as the iPod.  Which perspective won that war?

You’re probably thinking: “That’s fine for large corporations like Apple.  But my goal is simply to sell my company and retire off the proceeds.”  But this Lesson Found is to maintain an infinite perspective no matter the size of your company.  Think about the alternatives and which results in a higher valuation. The finite business is designed to only maximize returns until it is sold.  On the other hand, the infinite company is built to continually provide returns forever resulting in a higher valuation. In other words, starting with an infinite perspective increases your company’s valuation to yield you a higher payout.  The end result is a more comfortable retirement and a stronger legacy.  Which of these scenarios would you prefer?  Let me know what you decide and what actions you’re taking to make your business an infinite company.

Life brings us lessons every day.  Sometimes from expected sources.  And sometimes from sources and situations we never would have thought possible.  Either way, they are a gift found. I am fortunate to find these types of lessons regularly and wanted to share them with you with this weekly series of “Lessons Found”.
Did you recently receive the gift of a Lesson Found that has helped you with management, marketing or another aspect in business? I would love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an email to let me know.

** The video of this keynote presentation went viral several years ago largely due to Sinek’s discussion on “the Millennial problem”. While how to manage Millennials is not this week’s Lesson Found, Sinek’s comments are insightful and I highly recommend watching the whole video.