Every Startup Has Three Stories and You Need To Tell All of Them

How you write those stories will determine if you’re a leader or just another unicorn wanna-be

  • What the company will be.
  • What the company should be.
  • The company gets focused on the wrong thing at the wrong time.
  • The company winds up and either sacrificing revenue for growth or sacrificing growth for revenue.

The Goal: Balance the stories

The three startup stories are not unlike episodic writing, the kind of writing you might find in a well-defined TV series.

  • Story B has a longer arc that keeps you watching from episode to episode.
  • Story C has an arc that covers the entire series from beginning to end.
  • Story B: Circa 2000 — Dominating this new thing called eCommerce.
  • Story C: Circa 2005 — The hub for bringing products and services into our lives. Or, more succinctly, dominating commerce, without the “e”.

The Method: Write the book

Your customers are going to experience the three stories as they play out episode by episode. But telling those stories — communicating those stories to the people executing on them — that requires a book with a clear beginning, a middle, and an end.

Plot out the ending and work backwards

This is not as easy as it sounds.

Don’t write your book in the traditional way

One of my friends who is in publishing finally corroborated one of my theories about books. Books are dead — well, mostly dead — not because of changes in how people read books, as conventional wisdom might suggest, but because of the lack of change in how people write books.

Live Story A every day

The most important part to remember about startup storytelling is that you tell Story B and Story C, but you live Story A.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building TeachingStartup.com & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at joeprocopio.com

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