Simon Sinek has a famous theory about “the golden circle,” why Apple has something different than other IT companies, why M.L. King Junior led the civil rights movement.
Sinek’s motivation and charisma almost got me convinced, but unfortunately, I disagree. First of all, his model is a too simplistic way to model a huge complicated company like Apple. Sinek states that Apple’s marketing strategy starts with “why” though Apple’s website is product centered.
Though it is possible to divide our brain into the three circles he draws, the words do not match the parts, the further you go to the middle of your brain, the closer you get to your most primal instincts to survival and the parts of the brain we have common to other primates. Though the outer layer of our brain, the cerebral cortex, is our most developed part of our brain that makes us human. “Why” is not a primal instinct but it is a important part that makes us human, we can consider politics, circumstances and other elements in our decisions, something that is far less seen with primates.
I think there is some truth in Sinek’s theory in other situations, though. I think it covers the simple core of LEAN problem solving (start with why, defining the problem, then finding the solution and make it more concrete). I think it also shows the essence of developing software or new features: find out why the customer wants this, then how to implement it and finally what code you need to write. However, in all situations the theory is too simplistic to be of any actual use.
So, to conclude, Sinek’s theory is a too simplistic way of modelling the world and organisations, it does not explain why Apple is so successful and it is not embedded in our brain. Even tough he makes a very convincing speech about it.