Who Do You Serve?

“What you do is the promise you make to the people you serve.” I think this is a quote from Seth Godin. It’s meaningful because so often we focus on the thing we make–a gadget, an app, a class–rather than the people that the thing aims to serve.

What we need to be more clear about is who we aim to serve. Who are those people? We might serve people with means. From a business perspective, this is a smart space to work in. Lots of resources come from people with means and that can feed and fuel your offering. And if you believe in trickle down effects, then you can factor in that impact as well.

Or you might serve people who haven’t had a head start in life. Not down-and-out people per say, but people from low and middle class families who face more hurdles than folks with means. From an ethical perspective, this work is just. And while resources in this space are harder to come by, in my experience, the innovation and creativity factor is high and the need is substantive.

If you are working in the former space, serving people with means, and you claim trickle down effects, then track them. With transparency, the effects will likely increase and that’s a win-win.

And if you are working in the latter space, serving people from low and middle class families, keep going. Keep the people you serve at top of mind, in the loop, close to the heart. Find partners and ask for help. The community is everything.