What’s the story? Using narrative in your startup
At Bubble Gum Interactive, we’re passionate about storytelling. In creating Little Space Heroes, we’ve tried to produce a game experience built around a compelling story full of fun and adventure. As a startup, we’ve also found that our journey from original concept through to rapidly growing global business is a story in and of itself.
Recently, I spoke at the TechConnect 2012 conference in Sydney, Australia as part of a panel discussing how new startups can go about raising capital from investors and support from government grant initiatives. I wanted to share a fresh perspective on how startups can use some basic storytelling concepts as a way to build their profile, foster and nurture conversations with people that can help them and create a narrative that guides their business forward. I’ve shared my slides below and have summarised the key points of my presentation here.
All entrepreneurs know about ‘pitching’ – the process of quickly, succinctly and powerfully telling an audience what your idea is and why they should be interested in it. Entrepreneurs need to be able to answer the following questions when communicating to an audience:
- Who are we?
- Where have we come from?
- What am we doing?
- Why am we doing it?
- Why will this be successful?
- What are the risks?
- How will we achieve our goal?
- What do we need?
For an entrepreneur, there are lots of audiences, each of which have different interests and wants. Investors and grant agencies are no doubt interested to know what the potential of your startup is – how you will provide something of value to customers in a way that no one else can and which provides a sustainable return. But investors and agencies are looking for something more. They want to be part of your story – any angel investor is not in it solely for the money – there are far easier and less risky ways to make money. They’re interested in taking part in your story, to see your passion and enthusiasm transform a simple idea or concept into a successful product or service. Entrepreneurs should consider how to involve their stakeholders in the startup story – to participate in the passion, the ups and downs, the conflict and jeopardy, the high stakes fun and ultimately – it’s success.
Entrepreneurs should see their startup’s journey as a story – an ongoing conversational narrative that they can tell to their diverse but connected audiences.
Where is your startup at and how can you use story to help achieve your goals?