The crave for narratives​


It's winter, and that makes us all just a bit more lazy, probably. For me, laziness is all about forgetting to shave - and luckily, I work at a startup so no one is forcing me to.


Weeks went by, and I still haven't shaved. Not in the hipster type of beard, more like a modern cave man. And why am I telling you all this? 


Because everyone I know asks me for the story behind my sudden beard. "did something happen? are you growing it? until when?" and more of that sort. In short, people who knew me without a beard needed desperately for me to create an alternative narrative for them. They needed it in order to get things "back to normal", i.e. recreate a world that they feel is understandable.


Why are we talking about all this? because the need to hear good stories is far greater than the need to tell them. And that means that every time you postpone dealing with your story and choose focusing on a new feature or something, you're missing the audience that could have been yours, if you just told them the story they were looking for.


So how can you know if you story is the right one? Give people you trust (different people, not your closest friends and family) access to your product. Wait a week or so. Then ask them to tell you the story they got from their experience without guiding them.


What you will hear is your real story. Not the one you're telling. Now try to answer these questions:


1. Does telling this story makes the speaker feel smart?


2. Does telling this story takes the conversation to a fun, interesting place?


If the answer to both is yes, you're in a good place. If the answer to even one of these is no, take the time to review your product and make the needed changes in order for it to be able to speak for itself.


People need a narrative. And if you don't provide them with one that is good enough, most likely they will make one up for themselves. It's just human nature doing its thing, that's all.


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to shave.