Using the power of Value Guaranteed to turn Dreams, Visions and even Theory into Results! How To (Part 2):

The prime objective of your Start Up, is to ensure the end user realises the full intrinsic value enabled by your innovation. It is also your responsibility, to turn this objective into results, by offering your market A VALUE GUARANTEE THAT COUNTS, premised on only one condition, that the market adopts the new mind set.

Short summaryThe prime objective of your Start Up, is to ensure the end user realises the full intrinsic value enabled by your innovation. It is also your responsibility, to turn this objective into results, by offering your market A VALUE GUARANTEE THAT COUNTS, premised on only one condition, that the market adopts the new mind set.

The Detail

In the world of Start Ups, you have to turn dreams and visions into reality and results, and you are going to need a little bit of help. You are going to need the help of something very powerful, that provides the means of turning the one into the other – turning goals into results. They are called Catalytic Mechanisms, and are the crucial link between goals and results. A Catalytic Mechanism works as a reference for everything, to align behaviour with that which is important to get to the result –period!

Typical characteristics of a Catalytic Mechanism, include: A solid reference (what is important – prime objective), a sharp set of teeth (a guarantee without teeth, is only as good as a promise), distribution of power (empowering people means giving them real power), feeding on sustainability (making sure you stop the old rules and adopt the new rules). To give you a little taste of what is coming: Imagine you are part of a chicken run, that is a race where two guys in vehicles charge at one another to see who will chicken out first and swerve to avoid a collision. The one who chickens out is the loser. A catalytic mechanism would be something like: As the drivers start charging at one another the one driver throws his steering wheel out the window! Turning a goal to win into a reality – no matter what!

The catalytic mechanism concept was codified around 1999 by Jim Collins, famous for this work on “Built to last”, and is still the most powerful tool to turn goals into results. Guided by the characteristics we need to find the catalytic mechanism that will work for each innovation based Start Up.

  • A solid reference: The prime objective of your Start Up is to making sure the end user realize the full intrinsic value enabled by your innovation – period! If they don’t, then they will no longer be your end users. They will not tell others about your products and services.
  • A set of Sharp Teeth: A guarantee that counts, is like putting your money where your mouth is, it is convincing for both the end user and for the Start Up, who want to make sure they never miss a beat delivering value!
  • Distribution of power: Failing on the guarantee, or a potential to fail on the guarantee, empowers people to do the right thing to correct the situation – it is your ultimate boss – nobody likes paying penalties!
  • Feeds on sustainability: Adopting the right rules to enable realizing the value, are crucial for long terms sustainability, and it is the only condition

The Start Up’s catalytic mechanism, in a nutshell is: A Market Value Guarantee that counts on one condition that the market does adopt the new rule. The market value needs to cover the benefits that will emanate from the removal of the limitation; the guarantee that counts must be big enough to convince the customers that you are serious, and to deter any would-be competitors trying to follow you; on condition needs to ensure the customers understand that they must at least adopt the new rule to make the guarantee valid.

Just a few examples:

  1. Steel Distributor – with a rapid response offer saying: Next day delivery, on time in full, or you get the order for free,  on condition you place a rapid response order with us before 16h00 to ensure next day delivery.
  2. Kentucky Fried Chicken – Taste Guaranteed, any meal that a customer is unhappy with, will be replaced, provided that the meal is given back and has not been completely finished or altered in any way.
  3. Beepi – Second hand car platform, to help sellers find buyers. To sellers – If your car does not sell at the agreed price (higher than trade) within 30 days, Beepi will buy it from you. To buyers – if you are unable to fall in love with the chosen car within 10 days, you can return it for a full refund. (Please see their full value guarantee on
  4. On every Granite Rock invoice reads, “If you are not satisfied for any reason, don’t pay us for it. Simply scratch out the line item, write a brief note about the problem, and return a copy of this invoice along with your check for the balance.”
  5. StarBucks: You’ll love it or we’ll replace it with a bag of Starbucks coffee.

You need to turn your Start Up into a Business that delivers guaranteed value.