How we defined our vision
Tony E. Kula (CEO) / January 2020 / Digital Events
What will your industry look like in 10 years? How far forward can you see? The best companies have one thing in common: A long-term vision of what their future looks like.
A vision is something you never reach. It’s aspirational. Nike’s vision is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” The Make-A-Wish Foundation is “being dedicated to making every eligible child’s wish come true.” These statements drive the company to continue reaching its potential, fulfilling clients and team members alike.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what my company means. MEETYOO is proud of its 4 core values:
1) We lay down the red carpet for our customers
2) We keep it simple & make it simple
3) We’re there for one another
4) We play to win.
Our fantastic team lives them every day. But what if those values were applied not just daily, but for years? What could we become? What does that vision look like for the MEETYOO team, our event attendees, and (most importantly) our clients?
When I started in telecommunications over 20 years ago, I always had the vision of bringing people together through communication. Originally, I set my sights on becoming the #1 teleconferencing service provider in Germany. But as time went on, I realized we’d outgrown that vision. Realizing the power of Digital Events would be our new focus.
I learned that as the company evolves, its underlying vision evolves too. The MEETYOO vision is no different. Today, I’d like to share that evolution with you, and how we defined MEETYOO's vision into what it is today.
It is my hope that after reading, you understand more of the world MEETYOO is trying to create, and perhaps get some inspiration on how to define your own vision, whether for yourself or your company.
Step 1: Reflection
To begin defining MEETYOO's vision, our team implemented the Scaling Up framework. Scaling Up’s Author Verne Harnish says “A vision is a dream with a plan.” He uses the 4D Framework to transform businesses: Drivers of positive habitual change, balancing the Demands of people vs. processes, building Disciplines that support effective execution, and making better Decisions across 4 key areas: people, strategy, execution and cash.
The Scaling Up process did not (and could not!) happen overnight. Our team has been using this process to aid our transformation for over 2 years. Remember: Business success is a slow evolution, not a quick pivot.
But before stating the first draft of our vision, I had to reflect. While the company vision might change, the foundation it’s built on rarely does. It’s like trying on new clothes: Your outfits are different, but the person underneath remains the same.
A company’s foundations are never negotiated. Before getting the help of anyone else, I had to be sure what MEETYOO stood for. I asked myself: “Does this vision really come from the heart? Is this the Founder’s vision, or are we following another textbook method?”
Once I was finally happy, I knew what the company stood for. We identified 6 key factors that makes MEETYOO's Digital Events unique. These would form the foundation of our vision. If you’re trying to create your own vision, you can ask yourself the same question: Which factors make my brand unique? After considering this question carefully we were able to pinpoint MEETYOO's 6 Unique Factors:
1. Ultimate convenience. At best, live events make you commute to the venue to participate. At worst, you’ll need a plane ticket (plus a few days travel). MEETYOO removes this hassle. Our Digital Events can be accessed from any device, anywhere in the world.No more queues, no more waiting. That’s something live events can’t compete with.
2. MEETYOO's audience: Global communities. Our clients share a common goal: reaching new audiences outside their local market. Unlike local live events, MEETYOO's events are making the world more connected.
3. Best-in-class user experience A football fan can watch the goal scored live in the stadium. But what if they wanted to see the goal from 10 angles, AND control the camera from their home? We offer this same freedom for our Digital Events: The MEETYOO experience lets event attendees participate exactly how they’d like to, catering to their unique preferences.
4. Practical information. Due to our digital format, event attendees aren’t there for speaker selfies or snacks. They are there to learn. Our flexible environment makes that easier than ever.
5. Simple, effective connections. Our Digital Events prioritise building REAL relationships. Instead of collecting hundreds of physical business cards, networking is only focused on finding the quality connections that will make your event a success.
6. Conscious Sustainability. MEETYOO doesn’t just remove the hassle of a live event, it saves on other valuable resources, such as saving flight miles. We’re conscious of our impact on the planet, and are committed to using our Digital Events to build a better, more sustainable future.
Step 2: Alignment
The above 6 factors make MEETYOO uniquely great. There’s no single thing that stands out; it’s the diverse mix that matters. The same is true for our stakeholders. A company vision isn’t based around one point of view. It takes into account the goals of all relevant parties.
I first had to align with my business partner. Without him, MEETYOO couldn’t be half of what it is today. I needed to respect his goals: If my Co-Founder & CTO was aiming to build MEETYOO into a scalable self-service platform, that had to be part of our vision.
Once my partner and I were all aligned, we shared our thoughts with our senior management to get their feedback. Finally, we delivered our feedback to the rest of the company. The MEETYOO team want to be proud of the company they work for, and have a product they care about building. Of course, their goals had to factor in too. Change starts from the top. This “trickle-down” process meant leadership were all aligned before we rolled out any big changes.
After being aligned internally, we looked at our other two key stakeholders: our clients, and the event attendees. Our clients want to improve their message’s reach, accessing previously unavailable markets. Their event attendees want practical information that will support their careers, along with powerful connections.
Once we had considered all our stakeholders, our vision now looked like this:
This might seem like a long process, but I believe it was totally necessary. If any one of our stakeholders didn’t feel like the vision reflected their objectives, we would have ultimately failed.
Step 3: Refining
Now we had defined our vision, it was time to refine.
Having stakeholder alignment allows you to review whether your company should stick to your vision, or start going in a different direction.
Using the Scaling Up framework made me realise the way we actually reached our final vision might change too. MEETYOO knew what we wanted, but our process might be slightly different than expected after all.
I shared our vision with Ben Bradbury, a talented writer. I’ve worked with Ben before to give my LinkedIn profile a welcome revamp, and I knew he had a firm grasp on the MEETYOO brand. Ben identified 3 valid problems with our vision (“Empowering everyone to experience sustainable events”):
1. “Sustainable events” might make the wrong impression. MEETYOO wants to use our platform to do good, but labelling our events as sustainable tells our audience we like to recycle!
2. There’s no clear target market. We might be bringing the world closer together, but there’s still a specific audience for MEETYOO itself. “Everyone” is too broad.
3. It’s unclear what value is created. Outstanding Digital Events create magic. But how would someone know what that magic looks like after reading this vision statement?
Can you spot any of these traits in your vision? Are you being specific enough? If you don’t identify who your vision is for and the value you create, it’s unlikely to resonate with your target audience.
With this feedback, we refined our vision down to the final version: Empowering global communities to experience live events in the most convenient way.
Whatever movement you’re building, it will need to unite people somehow. Live events are the best way to bring your global community together, and MEETYOO wants to be there to make it happen.
How will we do that?
By fulfilling our mission: Creating Outstanding Digital Events (C. O. D. E.)
MEETYOO is offering a totally different value proposition to live events altogether. The MEETYOO platform can be reached by any device, anywhere in the world. Attendees can access powerful knowledge from the best in their industry at their fingertips.
That’s why we’re the most convenient way for global communities to experience live events.
The MEETYOO journey is only getting started. With a clear vision and mission set, it’s time to keep turning our dreams into reality!