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The best companies are storytellers

Advertising & Marketing

Joshua Davidson wrote this article


Let me tell you a story.

We were in the process of hiring a new developer at our company and wanted to understand what made our top candidate tick. So we asked the question, “tell us about your biggest success story.”

Multiple individuals went on to explain their successes, accolades, and deadline meeting accomplishments during crunch time.

All good stuff.

One individual, however, explained to us about a time where the client was coming down hard for something critical to them succeeding, and how he spent the night, working around the clock, getting their product ready to go with minutes to spare before their first demo day.

It wasn’t a ground-breaking accomplishment, in fact, he would go on to say he has other more notable achievements in his career.

However, to him, this was his biggest success story. He had to overcome an obstacle, go beyond and above for his client, and achieved what he sent out to do.

He told a story and all of us were captivated.

When it came time to picking a candidate, he stood out.

His story resonated with us, and not only did he answer our question, he showed us his personality, what made him tick, and told us how he puts the client first, how he acts under pressure.

None of the other candidates came close to that type of response.

He hacked the system and of course, he has been on our team ever since.

Why is this an important detail?

How is this one story here an example of why the best companies are storytellers?

It is simple.

It is human nature.

Stories get us involved.

All of the sudden, we’re emotionally invested.

We can’t not listen to what is being shared, and with the right context, the right enthusiasm, we are won over. Storytelling has existed since cavemen drew basic sketches on a wall, to the bible, to modern movies, books, television, and yes, companies.

Storytelling gets you invested and lets you understand a motivation, a desire, a goal, an aspiration. This is why the top companies in the world, share a story.

They don’t sell, they share.

Think about the stories you have learned from companies marketing such as Nike, Apple, Bank of America, and even a brand like McDonald’s. Everything they are doing is telling you a story, which relates to them, that gets you involved emotionally. They motivate you. They inspire you. They make you hungry. They make you envious. They make you want something.

If you want your company to success, focus on the story that you want to share.

Why are you starting your company?

Why is this a problem you’re trying to solve?

What was your defining moment that you had to take the plunge and become an entrepreneur?

What is your story that told you that you had to become a CEO and steer the ship?

It’s human nature to like a good story. It’s human nature to use a story to open that connection, build that relationship, and keep you invested for the long-haul.

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There are over 2 comments. on this article. Join in on the discussion!
  • Even the recently successful startups are build on storytelling like Instagram, Airbnb etc. It is what that differentiate one from other.

  • Very true!

    As a tech/product blogger, I love hearing about how companies got their start. Every company has a unique and interesting story to tell – no two companies or CEOs are the same.

Join in on the discussion! Leave a comment and get involved.

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