Start with why is not just a book but rather a viral phenomenon. The book became wildly famous after Simon Sinek’s(authors) famous Ted Talk How Great leaders inspire action. The 18-minute video is Ted talks most famous videos and goes through some of the most important aspects of getting started.

Here Simon explains why some company succeeds and some fail. Why some are so much driven by passion and some are just here for existence. In this Book, Simon goes through the example of companies from various fields and explains how one company is winning and what makes it different from the crowd.

Simon in the book Start with why explains how leaders inspire others by putting the Why (the vision or purpose) before the How (the process), or the What (the product).

Simon takes the example of the biggest companies like Apple. How apple started the phenomena of taking up with the big guys. Successful companies like Apple, Nike never advertise what they do or how they do, they just advertise why they do.

An Apple pitch that leads with Why: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?

It is not logic or facts but our hopes and dreams, our hearts and our guts, that drives us to try new things. Humans don’t understand specifications, they understand emotions. Theirs a difference between marketing a music device as a 1GB storage device and a 1000 songs capacity device.

Simon takes you through the journey of Starting With Why. This book is best enjoyed in the Audio form. I listened to this book through Audible.  If you are a first-time audiobooks user you can get 3 books for free(prime members). I had bought Atomic Habits, Start with Why, and Hyperfocus using the three-month trial.

Start with Why Quick Summary

Start with why is a book written by Simon Sinek. Simon elaborates on the idea of why some companies are successful while some even while having a great product or services are not able to compete. Why some leaders are able to inspire and some not?

The book Start with Why is written on the basic idea of asking the question of why we do things rather than what things we do. 

Simon explains that people don’t follow what you do, they follow why you do it. It’s not the product or the idea that succeeds but rather the why behind idea that ignites the mind and inspires people to follow.

Start with Why chapters

Start with Why by Simon Sinek has a total of 14 chapters as listed below. 

  • Chapter 1: Assume You Know
  • Chapter 2: Carrots and Sticks
  • Chapter 3: The Golden Circle
  • Chapter 4: This is Not Opinion, This is Biology
  • Chapter 5: Clarity Discipline, and Consistency
  • Chapter 6: The Emergency of Trust
  • Chapter 7: How a Tipping Point Tips
  • Chapter 8: Start With Why but Know-How
  • Chapter 9: Know Why. Know-How. Then What?
  • Chapter 10: Communication is about Listening
  • Chapter 11: When Why Goes Fuzzy
  • Chapter 12: Split Happens
  • Chapter 13: The Origin of a Why
  • Chapter 14: The New Competition

Start with why is not like any other book which takes you through any earthly wisdom. But the concepts explained in start with why are really very new. Like the two topics mentioned below. I will not explain all the topics in the book but will go through the two topics The Golden Circle and The tipping point.

These topics according to me are something that really caught my attention and aroused my curiosity. I dug deeper into these topics and wrote my thoughts about the same.


Start with Why by Simon Sinek has some really amazing ideas and theories. But these two are something that will directly reflect on your company or startup.

The Golden Circle

start with why book summary

 Few leaders choose to inspire rather than manipulate. It helps us understand why we do what we do. Leaders who lead are more likely to have loyal followers and customers.

The core idea of the book is understanding the “Why“. The golden circle is in the center of this idea. Simon uses the golden circle to explain why some company with not the best product or service do better then the one with better technology or product.

The golden circle consists of 3 circles. The innermost circle is the why then how and the outermost what. Let’s understand each of them.

start with why book summary

Why: why does your product exist? Why you get out of bed and go to work? Why should anyone buy the product or service? Then why is the purpose of the company or individual? The cause and the belief which the people in the company believe. 

How – The how is basically the process. Or you can say the USP, DVP. The unique selling proposition differentiates your brand or product from others. If they understand you’re why then how you differentiate yourself that’s the question. 

What: The last one is one the one everyone knows. What you sell. Your product and service. However big or small a company be what is easily understood by any company. And all of them can easily describe the product.

The chapter explains why even when all the companies know all of the three that is there why, how, and what. They still fail to sell their product. That is because they try to sell starting by telling people what they sell then how they sell and in the end why. 

But that should be the other way around. The golden circle should be used inside out. From why to how and then what. Simon uses apples example and tells how they lead their pitch with a why. 

An Apple pitch that leads with Why: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?

 It does not matter what you do but why you do it that helps connect with people.

How a Tipping Point tips

start with why book summary

In this chapter of Start with Why, Simon Sinek uses the famous Diffusion of Innovation Theory by Everett Rogers. Here the theory explains the rate at which an idea spreads and why it spreads. Rogers uses a bell curve, where he categories the consumers into different categories. 

Innovators (2.5%), followed by Early Adopters (13.5%), Early Majority (34%), Late Majority (34%), and Laggards (16%). Simon here explains why and how people fall into different segments of this bell curve.

start with why book summary

Innovators are the ones who innovate and are often the ones creating new technology. They are the ones responsible to imagine new ideas and implement these new ideas.

Then comes the early adopters, the loyal consumers who understand what you do and why you do and believe in your why.

The early adopters are the ones spreading the word about the product or service. These are the one’s standing in the line to buy an iPhone, they are ready to pay the premium and cut a little Slag.

The early majority is the one who follows early adopters and depends on the review and suggestion from the early adopters to buy the product. The early majority will not try unless some else has tested it

The late majority and laggards are the least loyal to your brand and will switch if given a better deal.

The innovators pursue new ideas and Being first is a central part of their life. Early adopters are similar to innovators theory are early to recognize new ideas. But rely heavily on intuition

Find the people who believe what you believe. They are the ones who will tell others about you. And wants to incorporate your service or products into their life.

Marketers are always trying to influence the influencers, but few really know-how. Influencers have become a central part of the marketing chain.

But which influencers? 

You need to find the cluster of early adopters and not worry about the majority. Because they will follow. Try to find the people who will spread your word and understand you’re why. 

Its not the technology that fails, but how the companies try to sell it fails and to whom they try to sell it.

These were 2 of the most interesting topics from the book that I liked to share. Though the storytelling is really great and all the chapters are worth the attention but these 2 stood out.

I listened to this book on Audible. You can get your first book for free from audible from the link below. 

If you wish to buy the book hardcopy you can do that from the link here

Start with why is an amazing book by Simon Sinek and deserves your attention. The book explains the why of an idea or a product.

That’s it with my article, I hope you found what you were searching for.


Hey, I am Chetan Poojari the founder of Geeksla. I work as a Product Manager and also an Online Content Creator. A travel and tech junkie who writes articles to simplify complex things.

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