Our Just Cause
For the past several months we have been working towards creating a vision for LiveLoveApp and a brand identity that reflects that. Our process was likely not entirely unique, but we are thrilled with the result, and want to share with you the story of Bryan the Lion. Ok, let's all jump in our time machines and go back a few months.
A Trip to Rocket City
While I've been busy the past few years providing software consulting services to several companies I've also known that this little thing called LiveLoveApp is limited in scale by myself. I've chatted with a few people I've worked with in the past, admire, and trust, and have been looking for someone to work with. I understand that quitting a full-time job that provides a nice salary, health insurance benefits, personal time off, stability, and perhaps even a few bonuses here and there, is not for everyone. I also understand that joining a company of one is risky. But, I also appreciate that risk is often tightly correlated with reward. With that said, I needed a business partner that understood this risk and reward, and was willing to go for an adventure.
My buddy Mike Ryan sent me a DM on Twitter in May saying that he was looking for a new gig. I replied to him that I selfishly wished I could work with him, knowing full well that I had little to offer, and that he was more than capable of receiving several healthy offers that likely included some darn good compensation, benefits, and even an equity play. Knowing this, I suggested a few companies and people that I knew would be willing to hire him on the spot.
Over the course of a few months we chatted a few times about what would be next for Mike. I tried my best to convince him to come join LiveLoveApp as an equal partner. I was hopeful that we would be able to work together and to build a business and product. But, I must say, I didn't quite have the best offer. Most other opportunities that Mike was considering included a six-figure salary and everything that would go along with that. I pitched him without a salary, no benefits, no paid-time-off, but most importantly, 50% of a dream of building something new.
I pulled up my United app and punched in PDX to HSV. "What are ya up to this weekend?" It looked like I could get a decent flight out to Huntsville -- Rocket City as I learned -- the next day. A weekend in Huntsville sounded like fun, so my partner Bonnie came along. We landed in beautiful Huntsville, enjoyed some excellent BBQ, drank a few IPAs and sour beers, and thoroughly enjoyed the space museum.
After a wonderful weekend in Huntsville, not to mention, spending some time on the America's best regional airport, I chatted with Mike some more about what we might do next. A few days later I got a message from Mike that read:
I'm all in on LiveLoveApp 💪
Our Just Cause
I recently read The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. The book is excellent, and I highly recommend you check it out. In the book, Simon talks about "A Just Cause". It's more than a vision statement - it's the reason an organization exists. This seemed like a good place to start.
A Just Cause must meet the following criteria:
- Affirmative and optimistic
- Inclusive and open to contributions
- Service-oriented for the benefit of others
- Enduring and resilient
- Infinite and unattainable
Mike and I were headed to San Diego to deliver a workshop together for a client, and we thought it would be a good idea if we landed a few days early to do an offsite. One of our first tasks was to determine our just cause. After brainstorming, throwing out some ideas, and refining, we landed on what I believe is an excellent just cause.
We Help People Find Absolute Joy in Shipping Apps
Optimistically, all of our clients are the hero in the story, and we're their guide, helping them to find absolute joy. Inclusively, we want to help all people find absolute joy, and we want to work with others in the noble pursuit. For the benefit of our clients, we are helping them to ship their app. This just cause is enduring because the world's appetite for software is massive and exponentially growing. And, finally, we believe that our just cause is unattainable.
We believe that this just cause will inspire and propel the future of LiveLoveApp.
Culture is authentically created and groomed by the leadership of an organization. Starting out on the journey of building LiveLoveApp Mike and I wanted to have a culture that we both desire to build. Further, the culture should be reflective of our just cause.
The culture of LiveLoveApp seeks to be:
Mike and I are deeply invested in ensuring the culture aims towards these 5 key ingredients.
A Reflective Brand
We set out to create a brand identity that reflects both our just cause and our culture. While I admit reluctantly that not everyone will love our new brand identity, I also admit that I love it.
So, why a lion?
That's a good question. And, we have our creative consultant to thank for that.
A lion represents true leadership, boldness, and strength. But, our lion is also friendly, approachable, playful, and emotional.
Does the lion have a name?
I can thank Mike for this one: Bryan the Lion. It's a perfect play on both of our names.
To the Moon 🚀
"Leaders don't force people to follow - they invite them on a journey." -- Charles S. Lauer
With a solid foundation of our just cause and culture we are aiming high. We hope you'll follow along and join us on this adventure.