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Storification: the importance of crafting engaging narratives
The Sunday Three: #10
👋 Welcome to this week’s Sunday Three – where I’ll share three pieces of content that resonated with me to either end your current week or start your upcoming week with something new.
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This Sunday’s Three:
An article on the storification of our lives.
A podcast on product-led acquisition.
A quote on emotion-fueled action.
Stories are so powerful. They can invoke emotion, cause pain, and inspire.
Rex Woodbury describes the "storification" of technology and how it has bled into every piece and part of our lives.
A prominent example in technology (as I read Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs) is the early growth of Apple Computers. Steve Jobs was obsessed with crafting a narrative around every important Apple product launch. For the original 1998 iMac, Jobs & Apple centred the narrative around iMacs being the simple, straightforward product for consumers shown in this Jeff Goldblum ad.
On a personal level, the question "What's your story?" is a phrase you'll be asked a million times throughout the future. People will always be intrigued by how you've become who you are in the present moment. However, you can change the narrative and share the moments that feel most crucial to you. This can be shared in real-time through conversation or through a curated social media feed.
My personal key takeaways are:
Storytelling is a versatile skill, important both in startups & in your personal life
Understand how you are crafting your personal narrative
Investigate and learn from the stories around you
Learnings: PLA is a growth hack
I had heard of PLG (product-led growth), but in this podcast, Julian Shapiro (founder of Demand Curve, ex-CMO of Webflow) describes the idea of product-led acquisition.
Product-led acquisition (PLA) is the concept of users naturally inviting new users as they navigate the product.
My three favourite categories of PLA that Shapiro discusses are:
Users inviting other users to settle debts
Example: When you send someone $1,000 via PayPal, they need to sign up to receive the money.
Users inviting other users to take part in critical conversations that are only happening on that product
Example: When you invite a friend into your chat group on Discord, they have to install Discord first.
Billboarding — the product advertises itself
Example: When you share Calendly link to book a meeting time, this advertises the convenience and usefulness of Calendly.
Unlike other growth channels, PLA has little to no costs, natural virality built in, and you aren't dependent on different algorithms (FB ads, Google SEO). If PLA is a good match for your product, it feels like a no-brainer to build it into it (or at least split-test it with some users).
"Most actions are a pursuit of emotions. You think you want to take action or own a thing. But what you really want is the emotion you think it’ll bring."
— Derek Sivers, How to Live
I've been reflecting on the idea of emotion-fueled action. Emotion-fueled action is the concept that most actions made by an individual are fueled by an urge to fulfill an emotional gap. While most people would like to think they are rational and make decisions aligned with their long-term goals, they are actually driven by emotional worries or stress.
This leads to misalignment, resulting in an emotion-fueled end goal rather than the rational, optimal end goal they believe they truly desire.
What I’m enjoying at the minute
It’s a really fascinating book about the generational change between Millennials and Gen Z. The authors discuss the ideas of increased “safetyism” and the increased fragility of Gen Z due to social media, less youth independence, and less risk-taking.
Perhaps there will be ideas from here to share moving forward :)
Thanks for reading this week’s issue of the Sunday Three.
If you enjoyed what you read, I’d really appreciate it if you could forward it to a friend, family member, or colleague who you think might like it as well!
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Hope to see you again soon 😊,