Courtesy of

La Pouce de Cesar at La Défense in Paris

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker

The New York Times recently ran article to which I linked on LinkedIn and Twitter, all about the spaces some of the tech giants have created to house themselves and their enterprises (The Monuments of Tech, March 1, 2014). In each case, the monument in question fit the spirit of the company, reflected its priorities and values, as distinctively as a thumbprint (though none as literal as Caesar’s Thumb in Paris). While we don’t all have the capital to invest in tailor-made buildings that mirror our companies’ souls, nothing stops us from engaging in the thought exercise of designing one. While it may seem like pie in the sky to sit and think about what our corporate buildings would be like when we don’t have the money to make it happen, it’s worth contemplating.

How would your company’s character be reflected in your building? As you think of what you’d like your company’s environment to be, ask yourself why each feature deserves to be there. What does each element say about your working, management, and communication style?  Approaching these ideas from a creative part of your brain can help you step back and analyze parts of your company’s personality you might not otherwise think about consciously. These pieces can come together to help you develop a deeper understanding of your company’s unique identity. It is that special identity, that singular way you will convey the essence of your product’s unique benefit, which puts you ahead of everyone else in your marketplace. A deep understanding of your company’s character will help you produce a value proposition, a full exploration of what makes you distinctive and better than other options in your field.

In the world of entrepreneurship, your company is an extension of yourself – it is as distinctive and intricate as a thumbprint. Knowing its character means knowing its strengths, and being able to show them to the world.


Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book “The Purpose Is Profit: Secrets of a Successful Entrepreneur from Startup to Exit” with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.


Copyright © 2014 by Ed McLaughlin   All rights reserved.