Guest Post: Gege Gatt Explains That Start-ups Should Start With “Why?”


Words by Dr. Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO

Very few start-ups clearly articulate why they do what they do. The clear purpose, cause or mission of the start-up is the key motivator for investors and customers. It answers the question: “Why should I care about this?”.

Focus on who you serve

Many start-ups I meet are focused on the technical method of how to deliver their solution to the market. While this is a natural requirement, it is not where the entity should start. The ‘how’ process outlines specific actions which can be taken to realise the ‘why’ and therefore without a clear ‘why’, the ‘how’ is misplaced.

Starting with “why” means that a start-up can focus on the person it serves (the ‘who’) and develop a vision that sells. Indeed, it is correct to say that it is a start-up’s vision (not its products) that draws in investors. In turn, this vision shapes the start-up and reminds its core team what it needs to prioritise over time. As the author Simon Sinek put it: “All organizations (should) start with why, but only the great ones keep their why clear year after year.”  Indeed, it takes discipline and good communication skills to reinforce the ‘why’ over time.

When we stated EBO, and still today, our ‘why’ was motivated by a strong moral sense that AI should be democratised: that is, that the benefits of Artificial Intelligence should be available to companies of all sizes, whether big or small. We were (and are) equally focused on the idea that companies should connect in a more meaningful way with their customers, thus freeing up staff to add value where it matters most.

It’s hard, but it’s worth the effort

This ‘why’ has allowed us the single-minded purpose to transform the customer engagement industry by providing the right tools (our ‘how’) to improve efficiency and drive down operational costs (our ‘what’).

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Knowing your “why” is the start-up’s first step. From then on, it’s hard work. And it’s supposed to be hard work. First attempts rarely work and it takes a lot out of the founding team to ratchet the company forward … but energy is an asset we can always find more of. It’s an excellent renewable resource!

Dr Gege Gatt is the CEO of London-based company EBO.AI, an Artificial Intelligence enterprise that enables the automation and personalisation of engagement. He is a digital entrepreneur and IT-Law specialist. He serves as the Vice President of the Malta IT Law Association and a specialist examiner at the University of Malta. He’s a Board Member of Humanity 2.0 developed by the Holy See in Rome and a consortium of thought-leaders to identify impediments to human flourishing and then work cross-sector to remove them.

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