Discussing the why, and the how, of running my business.
Core motivations are everything. They inform the choices you make subconsciously, which in turn inform your results long-term. (This idea is suuuper important to me.)
With that said, let me introduce Locksmith. On one level, it’s a security app for Shopify (viz. apps.shopify.com/locksmith). It’s a neat piece of engineering and product design both, and factoring in the reach of the merchants who use it, it’s easily touched a few million people.
Which is awesome, and I’m really proud, but this is not the point. Locksmith isn’t a love song to the world about storefront security and segmentation.
Locksmith is bedrock, and bedrock is for building.
When I went independent (having worked at Apple for a few years, with engineering management and platform development before that), I wrote a document called “Why, and How” for me and my two employees. It lays out my core motivation for running Locksmith, and then describes the core methodology for seeing that motivation played out.
I’ll discuss the “How” bit later this week; let’s begin with “Why”, pulled directly from our internal wiki:
This project is bedrock, here defined as something solid and predictable, upon which one can confidently build something interesting, without the ground shifting unexpectedly.
This project is bedrock for:
… our customers and their businesses. By relying on Locksmith’s solidity and predictability, they are freed from a certain set of problems, so that they can better focus on the interesting aspects of their own business.
… us, as a team/group/unit. By operating Locksmith in a solid and predictable manner, we are freed to work on interesting aspects of the project, heading for new and better futures, or to work on interesting new projects.
… you, as an individual human. By having solid and predictable responsibilities to Locksmith, you are freed to devote more of your energies to whatever is interesting in your life.
My goal for this project: to get us each closer to what we are each uniquely built/equipped/excited to handle.
In a sense, this really is security after all — the exciting plot twist is that it’s situational security, the kind that lets you focus because you’re well-rested and have been fed properly and you’re in a safe place, and all of these things mean you can forget about the tedious minutiae of life and get on with the stuff that makes you feel really alive.
This is the why. There are things I want to build — really interesting things — and Locksmith is the bedrock upon which I am building them. And I’m establishing it as bedrock for me, by ensuring my customers can build their worlds safely and securely atop this thing that I’ve made. And I’m keeping that situation stable by ensuring my employees can build worlds of their own, using their employment with me as foundation. (The order here is unimportant: everyone is inextricably tied, and we become more stable together, not less.)
Why: It’s all about building, and being able to trust the bedrock.
Now go read about the why: Trust is first.