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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Greater Purposes

In my inbox this morning was the latest newsletter from Hiten Shah, which is part of a series of newsletters (if it can be called that) in which Hiten is sharing his experiences as an entrepreneur. This morning's topic was how brands need a greater purpose to really be successful and as his thoughts got stuck in my head, I've been trying to figure out what I'd say WooThemes' greater purpose is.

When we started WooThemes, we were designers / developers and totally inexperienced in all of the other things that come along once you create a new business (admin, marketing, branding etc.). Suffice to say, something like a "greater purpose" is not something that ever came up in our discussions and we were more than happy to simply tackle the challenges that we could actually see ahead of us in growing the company as organically & quickly as possible.

So when I now try - in hindsight - to attach a greater purpose to our business, I can see it taking on a variety of shapes & directions, which has changed over time and also differs if I compare my personal aims versus the company's aims in terms of the purpose.

In the beginning, I think our purpose was quite simple: personally, we wanted to create a company that could be an extension of our web development skills and at the same time would result in a passive income. From a business perspective, I guess our purpose was to innovate and create beautiful WordPress themes, unlike those that were available at the time. And I think that this purpose has probably stuck ever since, even though our marketplace today is filled with many more competitors (compared to 3.5 years ago when we started out) and innovation itself has become a lot more complicated in general.

This does however leave me questioning the validity of this purpose given the maturity and size of our business at present. Should we not be aiming a little higher? We could possibly make it our purpose to "beautify the web" or "democratize great design", but whilst those definitely resonates with our core values & passions, they almost seem fluffy and a bit like a "double rainbow". I don't know.

I'm sure that Woo has a greater purpose at the core, but I'm just not sure that we've ever verbalized that in its entirety. We obviously have something incredible at the core which is driving our company forward at full steam, but pinpointing those exact details is a tad harder.

Does your company have a greater purpose? What are your thoughts on having a greater purpose?

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