Abhi Yerra

Sheepdog: A Framework for Action in Life and Work

  • An organization needs to know the “Why?” for its existence.
  • Why are you around?
  • Why are you the one that needs to be around?
  • Why do what you are doing?
  • This why is what leads the company forward.
  • The How and What you do may change but you need to know 
  • The Why creates the culture of the company
  • Culture espouces a set of behaviors of the people who work there.
  • If your Why is to get rich fast then it will create a risk taking culture.
  • If your Why is to enact a change in the world that will enact a different type of behavior.
  • The Why creates a culture that exists long past the founder.
  • You need a strong why to ensure that as the company goes and evolves it maintains this as its undercurrent.
  • Your Why cannot be based on another entity losing.
  • If you beat your competitor than why do you exist?
  • You need to a bigger Why that is for a bigger goal.
  • Alexander conquerored but his empire collapsed as soon as he died.
  • You cannot just conqueror you need a reason for why you are conqueroring in the first place.
  • The why defines your fight.

Narrative Essay (The Master Plan)

Write out a 6 page narrative that reads like. It was done like this…, now because of this I want to do…, and we are the best fit to solve this problem because…,we will make money doing the following…
This is not to say all of these are set in stone but a narrative written out deeply through an essay puts your thinking clearly and helps you think deeply about something. When doing something one of the key ways to expand your thinking is to ask Why 5 times. Furthermore, after doing this you should also answer the question is this something you want to pursue. 


  • Need to define why you are even in business.
  • What are you trying to provide for the world that can’t be done without you?

Lean Canvas

  • This is the mission / hypothesis of the company.
  • Fill this out and each component needs to be validated once you fill it out.
  • The Lean Canvas gives the best representation of what needs to be done.

Business Model


Competitive Strategy

Companies can only focus on three things otherwise they get stuck in the middle which means they don’t do anything well.
Cost leadership
You have to be the lowest cost and have to simplify until you are. Think Southwest Airlines
Have to innovate so that you are different but this means you have to have some unique advantage. Apple
Own a market segment completely and really dive into doing one thing really well. Think Rolls-Royce with Airline Engines