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Storytelling and startups

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For startups, storytelling is a crucial part of their ability to connect with different target audiences. This presentation looks at the history of storytelling, why it's important, and how and where …

For startups, storytelling is a crucial part of their ability to connect with different target audiences. This presentation looks at the history of storytelling, why it's important, and how and where to do it.


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  • Lascaux Caves in the Pyrenees MountainsDiscovered in 1940 by a group of French children, a series of cave paintings that date back to sometime between 15,000 and 13,000 B.C. depicted a variety of animals and one image of a human being.
  • 38 plays, 16th century.
  • Jakob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859) Grimm were brothers who became famous for their collection of folk tales
  • Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rumplestilkin, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel & Gretel.
  • I would argue storytelling should be as important as the technology and the productIt should be embraced from the beginning
  • Angoss Software example – board rejected my core messaging
  • No perspective
  • Engineers, developers, business development
  • Divide into four slides
  • Transcript

    • 1. Storytelling and Startups: Why it matters and how to do itDecember 2012
    • 2. The History of Storytelling
    • 3. Cave drawings that date back to 15,000 to 13,000 BC
    • 4. There is a long, long history of storytellers
    • 5. William Shakespeare
    • 6. The Grimm Brothers
    • 7. Steve Jobs: The best storyteller of his generation?
    • 8. Why do Stories Work so Well? 1. They’re memorable 2. They’re inspiring 3. They’re shareable
    • 9. But What Does StorytellingHave to do with Startups???
    • 10. Everything!
    • 11. But Here’s The Thing……
    • 12. Most Startups Aren’t Good Storytellers
    • 13. Too Close to the Fire (aka No perspective)
    • 14. Talk about product rather thatwhat consumers want to know
    • 15. Wrong Toolset
    • 16. Storytelling Has to Start From
    • 17. And Be Part of a Startup’s Corporate DNA
    • 18. How Come?
    • 19. Win overStories are used to……. family, frie nds Find and Raise recruit a Capital co-founder Attract employees
    • 20. Where Do You Start?
    • 21. (aka Core Messaging)
    • 22. What do you do?What are Who needs the key it?benefits? How are you unique?
    • 23. ….And WIIFM?What’s in it for me (the potential customer)?
    • 24. (aka Where to tell your stories)
    • 25. What are the target audiences? Where do Who’s the they hangcompetition? out? How do they buy?
    • 26. (aka Creating stories and where to tell them)
    • 27. The bad…..
    • 28. …..and the good.
    • 29. The Keys to Telling Great Stories Think story, not product or features Put Party yourself in where the the party’s audience’s happening shoes Look for something different or unique
    • 30. Final Words“Storytelling is, by far, the most underrated skill in business”
    • 31. Thanks!www.markevans.ca@markevansmark@markevans.cahttp://bit.ly/startupscanada

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