I recently wrote a piece for Kinetic Social’s company blog, “Kinetic Conversations.” I thought it was worth highlighting here, especially after having just returned from a conference at the Harvard Business School Rock Center for Entrepreneurship (the “Rock 100” conference). Two intense days at the Rock conference, where we focused on issues of starting and growing companies, certainly underscored this key take away for me:
The Mission Matters. In any setting – military, non-profit, business or otherwise – a group of people forming as a team needs a guiding principle around which they can organize. As Robert S. Kaplan, a professor at Harvard Business School, puts it: “you need a reason to get out of bed and go to work each day.” Something substantial, something that guides you, something you can believe in. Incidentally, making money is a side-effect of building something meaningful in business, but it cannot be the mission … and in those cases where it is, it often doesn’t last long.
At Kinetic Social, we completed our Series A fundraising in May, and we took the summer to take both a deep breath and a step back from our run-like-hell sprint out of the starting gates. Now, we are wrapping up a process of clarifying and codifying our mission. Really, it is more of a vision than a mission (the differences between the two are a subject for another time, but for our purposes here, I will treat them as the same). We are focused at Kinetic on making sense of the world’s social signal. The vision we are developing is larger than that, but that is the essence.
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Don Mathis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kinetic Social, a social data and technology company focused on making sense of the world’s social signal. He also serves in the US Navy on reserve duty, where he is an Expeditionary Combat Logistics & Anti-Terrorism Officer.