We’re podcasting the audio bits of our new book “A Guide to Startups for Dreamers“.

If you’ve decided to go forward with an idea that will make the world a better place, great! That should be easy enough :-).  Having a solid philosophical foundation as a guide will make the way forward a lot easier. Whenever you need a gut check on a business decision you can always weigh it against your vision, core values and a set of guiding principles.

In his book Getting Things Done , David Allen defines a system for evaluating work using an altitude analogy. At the top, the 50,000+ foot view. He explains:

“This is the “big picture” view. Why does your company exist? Why do you exist? The primary purpose for anything provides the core definition of what its “work” really is. It is the ultimate job description. All the goals, visions, objectives, projects, and actions derive from this, and lead toward it.”

It’s a really simple technique that, with a little investment up front, pays off at whatever stage your business is at.
There is a great deal we could write about developing your brand, but that’s for another book. What’s important to understand now is that how you present yourself to the world is critical from the early days. Defining your brand is a lot more than the color of your logo. It’s an extension of your mission, values and principles. As part of your foundation you will want to define what your brand aspires to stand for in the hearts and minds of consumers and its communities.


  • Jeff Tidwell

    Jeff Tidwell

    Next For Me

    Jeff Tidwell is the founder of 'Next For Me', a catalyst for change. He has worked for over 30 years in Silicon Valley and New York overseeing online communities and user experience for E*TRADE, WebMD, Oncology.com and many, many startups.