23 June 2022 Martin Cheetham

The Dirty Prototypes. While also the name of a low-fidelity way of testing an idea with users, this is the name of my band. We’ve only played publicly a handful of times and recently played at an open mic night for the first time in over 2 years.

So while I was standing there nervously strumming my guitar on a cold June evening, I looked up and saw a group of people smiling and bopping their heads. A sudden calm came over me as I realised this isn’t about me. This is about them. And the joy they can experience. We were simply a delivery mechanism of that joy. And it brought me joy.

And it made me think about purpose. Tenaka went on a journey to uncover our purpose as an organisation a number of years back, and through that process I inadvertently found mine.

Designing human-centred experiences. Connected to a purpose of making life better for people. That has become Tenaka’s reason for being. And it’s become mine as well.

Cos let’s face it, we’re all employees and customers. Even if you run your own business, you are in service of others for remuneration. You are both your customers’ and your employees’ employee.


Be like Ted

There’s a fantastic scene in Ted Lasso where he is meeting with a psychologist and she asks him if he would work for free, to which he responds with an immediate “Absolutely I would”. She then asks him “And do you?”

By the way, if you haven’t seen Ted Lasso, drop what you’re doing immediately and find it. Now that is a show clear on displaying the power of purpose and intent. It’s taken an extremely coveted spot in my top 5 shows of all time! Ok, back to the topic at hand…

Businesses and teams need to generate revenue for their respective stakeholders (man I dislike that term with a white-hot intensity – I’m trying to find a new one that doesn’t make my stomach churn and that people actually understand). BUT they can execute their work for a higher purpose. The money is just a consequence. As soon as you stop chasing Rands and focus on the people that matter most, your employees and your customers, a magical thing happens… you end up making more money anyway!

Living is giving – Tony Robbins

Giving our time. Giving our energy. Giving our love. And by giving, we receive even more.

Focus on creating experiences that give. Unforgettable, engaging experiences that delight both your customers and your employees. Yes, these experiences need to be viable and sustainable for the business, but start with the people you’re serving. Build everything else out from there.

Having an impact on people’s lives. Even if it’s just for a minute, even if it’s something as simple as making somebody bop their head and reminisce about a better time. That’s enough.