You can learn a lot about a person from the way they describe themselves. And the same is true for the biggest companies in tech.
Most companies have a mission statement — something that guides their business practices and strategy, at least in theory.
Some of these mission statements, like Facebook’s and Google’s (no, it’s not “don’t be evil”), are well known. Others, like Amazon and Apple’s, are less so.
The best of these corporate credos explain exactly what a company does and how investors and customers can expect it to act, while poorly drafted statements can reveal deeper problems of identity and focus.
Here are the mission statements of 13 of the top tech companies:
Amazon's mission hints at its world-ruling ambitions: 'It's our goal to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything online.'
Google's mission statement is straightforward and hasn't changed since 1998: 'Google's mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.'
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg often preaches a mission to 'connect the world.' The company's official mission is high-minded, if somewhat less ambitious:'Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.'
Ride-hailing app Uber has a similarly simple, bold, mission. 'Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone.'
Netflix doesn't exactly have a formal mission statement. But in October 2011, CEO Reed Hastings outlined four bullet points for what he wants the company to be all about.
Twitter's mission is 'To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.'
In its first-ever official blog post, Snapchat laid out its own vision: ''Snapchat isn't about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It's about communicating with the full range of human emotion -- not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.'
File storage app Dropbox had a broad mission, at least as of 2011: 'The mission of Dropbox is to simplify life for people around the world.'
In 2015, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled a new, sort of vague mission statement: 'Our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.'
Yahoo has had a lot of mission statements over its 20 year history. In late 2015, it got a new one: 'Yahoo is a guide focused on making users' digital habits inspiring and entertaining.'
Tesla Motors' mission statement is pretty pragmatic: 'To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport.'
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