It’s not the story, its the narrative

Prathamesh Krisang

???? “How important are stories?”, a dear friend, who is also a founder, asked me, “I am bit in the state of confusion. Most investors will ask “What’s your story” in a pitch, but if I try to find out the story of any successful brand as a consumer/customer, I fail to recall.”

Here is what the conversation led to,

The confusion comes from the definition of a “story” that we are taught. We think of characters, conflicts and storylines.

❌ But “story” is not an accurate word to describe the concept when it comes to business.

✅ A better word is “narrative”. Narratives are a little more abstract. They decide how a company takes decisions and how they choose to build their company.

Now some founders consciously craft their narratives, others do it sub-consciously. Regardless, it is always present in the background.

If so, you might as well make a conscious effort.

But where do narratives come from? They come from the “values” you have as a company.

????Narrative = your values + how you articulate them in words

???? At Magicleaf, we use “100% natural ingredients” and we don’t use “sugar” to sweeten our products. This narrative leads all the product decisions we make.

???? Jeff Bezos has always pushed the core value of being “customer obsessed”. This obsession trickles down into the famous Amazon flywheel. Which is customers will always want huge selection of products, low prices & fast shipping.

Which then leads to all the decisions they make when allocating their resources.

???? Alex Hormozi is driven by the value of “making real business education accessible to everyone”. This leads to him give away all “high quality” business education for free. Such a decision would otherwise sound fishy, but not when Alex Hormozi does it. Because it aligns with his narrative.

A narrative helps you make sense of the decisions a brand makes.

When people ask you about “your story”, what they are really looking for is the underlying “narratives & values” you believe in.

Because that is a good signal for how you make “decisions”.

As founders, our job is not to tell stories, but to uncover the underlying narratives & values that power those stories, which in turn power those decisions we take on day to day basis.

So ignore the literal meaning of the word “story” and refer to the word “narrative”. Which is a little more abstract.

Narratives are how we make sense of the world and our place in it.

Without that, it is impossible to make decisions about how we build our companies.

So, what’s your narrative?