When it all comes down to it, what is a business? You are an organization that has identified a pain point that people are experiencing. In order to remove that pain point, you are offering a product in exchange for money. It sounds so simple. In the startup world, we often talk about painkillers versus vitamins. You wouldn’t pause your favorite TV show, get in your car and drive to the pharmacy to buy vitamins. You’ll make do without for a couple of days.
If you have a headache, you’ll go out of your way to pick up some headache tablets, however. The difference is the sense of urgency and need. That is where storytelling comes in. When you think about it, every aspect of your company is about storytelling. Hiring your first employees into a startup is storytelling: You are spinning a story that contrasts their steady, reliable job at an established company, pitching it against taking a chance on your startup.
Acquiring early customers fall in the same category: Why should they trust you over a larger, more established competitor? Marketing? Same. Advertising? Same. Raising investment? Oh boy — definitely an exercise in storytelling.
Telling the origin story of your company is part of the culture that underpins everything. It drives who your customers are. It influences who considers taking a job at your company. It informs how your employees think about problems and the types of solutions they offer.
Storytelling is the linchpin of everything you do. It’s the logo your company uses, it’s the design language you use, it’s the words you use to make the points you make.
Some CEOs are natural storytellers — and that’s a crucial function of their job in those companies. In fact, I would argue that in slightly maturing companies, it’s a fourth of the role of the CEO:
- You hire the right people.
- You create the right culture.
- You make sure the company doesn’t run out of money.
- You tell the story.
But what about companies that don’t resolve pain points?
“But Haje,” you shout at your screen, “some companies don’t fix pain points — they just cause pleasure. What about Pixar, for example?” Excellent point. Many companies don’t reduce pain, but instead cause pleasure. These companies are plentiful and extremely varied. Coca-Cola, for example, isn’t primarily a thirst quencher (water does a much better job at a far lower cost).
Pixar’s films don’t resolve pain directly, but they do reduce boredom and cause excitement and entertainment. (Pixar also has a pain reduction element: For many parents, putting on “Cars” buys a 90-minute break they can use to get some chores done or make dinner.)
More Startup News:
The head banner for the Coca-Cola website tells the story — this isn’t about a tasty drink, this is about happy people enjoying life. That’s a conscious story-telling device. And, if their $41 billion annual sales is anything to go by, it’s working pretty well.
These companies are, often, the ultimate examples of storytelling. What is Coca-Cola’s product really? It’s a lifestyle brand. Look at the adverts and the way Coca-Cola markets itself. It’s extremely rarely about how tasty the products are, but instead about how much fun the people in the adverts are having. They’re adventurous, young, full of life and enjoyment.
That is what Coca-Cola is selling. Sure, the company has a huge, global operations and supply chain organization, but the reason that Coca-Cola is so valuable is almost exclusively its storytelling.
Isn’t this just marketing?
A lot of companies decide to leave their entire storytelling efforts with the marketing team. I think that’s a terrible shame, because most marketing teams focus exclusively on how you can reach potential consumers. The storytelling element runs much deeper — and it’s about learnings that go far beyond just getting products into the hands of consumers.
At all of my companies, I’ve run behind-the-scenes blogs, and it’s a practice that has led to unpredictable results. For example, we discovered that our “unlimited holiday” policy backfired — it had the opposite result of what we intended. We wrote about it, and became the center of a media storm. Then we wrote about how that happened.
Similarly, also at Triggertrap, we really struggled to deliver a hardware product. First, we wrote about the challenges we faced as delays piled on top of delays. When the project eventually failed, we bared all and explored what exactly went wrong. At Konf we created the “Konf Academy,” helping speakers, attendees and organizers make better events. And at LifeFolder, I picked a fight with the American Bar Association over their ludicrous, impenetrable use of language.
At all of my previous companies, I’ve been the de facto storyteller, and often we ended up writing about things that have little to do with the core business. Want more examples of folks who do it well? Buffer runs a fantastic blog, embracing radical transparency in an effort to tell the story of what happens behind closed doors.
The BBC’s technical team runs a fantastic blog that helps educate more about what happens under the hood at the world’s biggest broadcaster. Despite its dumb policies, the company behind Basecamp and Hey (the email client) Basecamp had a similarly magnificent publication, Signal v Noise, which digs into what happens under the veil.
The company also doubled down and published a number of books, and “it doesn’t have to be crazy at work” is a bit of a masterpiece that no doubt helped a lot of people who wouldn’t have learned about Basecamp otherwise find out about the company. Some people call it marketing, but I believe it is something far deeper than that.
By telling the story — successes and failures alike — companies are able to open up a more genuine conversation with their customers. It’s part marketing, part branding, part doing the right thing. The business logic is simple: If your customers are able to follow along on your journey, they’ll trust you more. They’ll feel your pain. They’ll cheer you on. It makes you human, and I’d hazard a bet that when the time comes to hire, it helps you attract better, more engaged staff.
You don’t have to go all-in on radical transparency, of course. That isn’t for everyone — and it’s not the right approach for all companies either. But try and lift the veil every now and again — it’s incredible what opportunities arise as a result.
The fact is, at any company, you invent new things, you run into new problems and you come up with new solutions. Every single day. (If you aren’t, perhaps close up shop and go do something else.) All you need to do is keep half an ear out. Who is doing something awesome? What led them to those conclusions?
The story of your startup is far more than the sum of your successes or the graphs in your KPI dashboard. Dissect the challenges. Celebrate the solutions. Tell the stories.
https://givvy-numbers.app.link/qNDZMGGbhsb Givvy Mobile Lottery
https://quintexcapital.com/?ref=arminham Quintex Capital
https://www.genesis-mining.com/a/2535466 Genesis Mining
https://www.bybit.com/en-US/invite?ref=ALEXP Bybit Crypto Trade
https://cashbox.money/r/6ded936cbc264c7e9add5dd5565bb31a Cash Box Money
https://alpariforex.org/fa/registration/?cpa_partner_id=13687690 Alpari Forex Trading
https://dealcheck.io?fp_ref=armin16 Dealcheck Real Estate Evaluator
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/369164 prime stocks
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/296191 gluten free
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/286851 diet fitness diabetes
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/213027 writing job
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/358049 profile mate
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376524 super backdrop
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/184902 gaming jobs
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/343405 PR Rage
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/371547 design beast
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/376879 commission smasher
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376925 MT4Code System
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/375959 viral dash
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/376877 forex expert
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/376381 ada leadz
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/337292 DFY Suite 3.0 Agency+ information
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/291061 VideoRobot Enterprise
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/327447 Klippyo Kreators
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/324615 ChatterPal Commercial
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/299907 WP GDPR Fix Elite Unltd Sites
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/342585 VidSnatcher Commercial
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/320972 Storymate Luxury Edition
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/320466 iTraffic X – Platinum Edition
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/330783 Content Gorilla One-time
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/301402 Push Button Traffic 3.0 – Brand New
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/321987 SociCake Commercial
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/289944 The Internet Marketing
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/297271 Designa Suite License
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/310335 XFUNNELS FE Commercial
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/343635 MediaCloudPro 2.0 – Agency
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/353558 MyTrafficJacker 2.0 Pro+
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/365061 AIWA Commercial
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/357201 Toon Video Maker Premium
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/351754 Steven Alvey’s Signature Series
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/344541 Fade To Black
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/290487 Adsense Machine
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/315596 Diddly Pay’s DLCM DFY Club
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/355249 CourseReel Professional
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/309649 SociJam System
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/263380 360Apps Certification
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377557 Instant Website Bundle
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/377194 GMB Magic Content
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/376962 PlayerNeos VR
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381812/ BrandElevate Bundle information
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381807/ BrandElevate Ultimate
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381556/ WowBackgraounds Plus
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381689/ Your3DPal Ultimate
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/380877/ BigAudio Club Fast Pass
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/379998/ Podcast Masterclass
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/366537/ VideoGameSuite Exclusive
https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381179 YTSuite Advanced
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/381749/ Xinemax 2.0 Commercial
https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/382455 Living An Intentional Life
https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381812 BrandElevate Bundle
https://jvzoo.com/c/202927/381935 Ezy MultiStores
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381194/ DFY Suite 4.0 Agency
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381976/ AppOwls Bundle
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/381615/ WOW Backgrounds 2.0
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381560 ALL-in-One HD Stock Bundle
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/382326/ Viddeyo Bundle
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/381617/ The Forex Joustar
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383751/ ADA Web Accessibility Compliance
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383942/ 10 Bold Actions In Positive Life & Work
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383706/ Adtivate Agency
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/384099/ My Passive Income Blueprints
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/329145/ Content Tool Kit
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383865/ QR Verse Bundle
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/379307/ VIADZ Ad Template
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/383051/ EngageYard Ad Creator
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/383751/ Local Leader Bundle
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/383119/ Tonai Voice Content
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/383848/ Vocalic Commercial
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/383483/ Dropshiply Store Creator
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/384025/ Levidio Royal Podcasting
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/383094/ Develop Self Empowerment
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/379223/ Hostley Domain Creator
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/383447/ Mech Forex Robot
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/383177/ Motion Kingdom Studio
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/144577/ Forex Blizz Trading
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/383307/ Animaxime V2
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/375692/ Promovidz Promotion Videos
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/379051/ CanvaKitz Business Templates
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/383113/ Agencyscale Business Agency
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/347847/ Pitchdeck Professional Presentations
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381179/ YTSuite YouTube Ads Campaigns
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/382455/ Living an International Life
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/188236/ Galactic Dimension backgrounds
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/381749/ Xinemax Hollywood Creator
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/381194/ DFY Suite 4.0 Agency
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/381231/ Appowls Mobile Apps
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/381935/ Ezy Multi Stores
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381556/ WOW Backgrounds
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381685/ Your 3DPal
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/381617/ Forex Joustar
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/381129/ Ultrafunnels A.I
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/128215/ DUX Forex Signals
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/381003/ Trendio Keyword Content
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/381439/ FX Goldminer
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/378775/ Pixal 2.022
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/380087/ Big Audio Club
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/379995/ Podcast Advantage
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/380543/ Local Sites
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/369500/ PodKastr Commercial
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/351606/ Insta Keyword
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/374505/ 7 Minutes Kit
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/383057/ Aweber Crash Course
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/46987/ WP Simulator
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/379995/ Podcast Advantage
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/380692/ Boost Optimism
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/36517/ PlanB Muscle Growth
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/379480/ TV Boss Fire
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/379455/ Webprimo Website Builder
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/384619/ Agency Client Finder
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/384625/ Power Reviews
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/384630/ Appoint B Agency
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/267113/ Sunday Freebie
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/384573/ EBook Agency
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/75989/ Ejaculation Total
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/359081/ Quit Smoking
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/353694/ Mobi First
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/384848/ Heal Your Emptiness
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/382333/ Facebook Cash Machin
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/184902/ Video Games
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/358870/ Diabetes Guide
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/353334/ Fitness Nutrition Guide
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/366872/ Organic Life Guide
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/367353/ Human Synthesys Studio
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/384653/ 9 figure Success
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/383809/ Crypto Kit
https://jvz1.com/c/202927/385046/ Stackable Picture
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/25069/ Forex Atlatian
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/132677/ Forex Scouts
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/378113/ Crypto Rocket
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/377665/ PigMoney Method
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/374345/ Crypto Underworld
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/372305/ XBrain Forex
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/383888/ Seniors Income
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/382796/ Ad Raven
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/324492/ Graphic Alta
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/382425/ Art Of Living
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/377815/ Credit Repair
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/381337/ DFY Content Club
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/381689/ 3D Pal Toons
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/380385/ Movid Animation
https://jvz8.com/c/202927/379244/ Extreme Adz
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/379020 Live Your Truth
https://jvz3.com/c/202927/47481/ Forex Blue Stark
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/144621/ Forex Mastery
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/144621/ Forex Mastery
https://jvz6.com/c/202927/95037/ Forex Hybrid Scalper
https://jvz4.com/c/202927/384759/ CourseAlly eLearning
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/385180/ EZ Local Appointment
https://jvz2.com/c/202927/380197/ Mat1 Simple Funnel