Every startup has at least one valuable asset; well, before there’s inventory, investments or income. Many startups don’t realize they have this incredibly powerful asset until much later in the firm’s evolution. What is that asset? It’s the startup, or origin, story.
The Origin Story
There’s a reason you launched your startup. It’s tied in with who you are and why you are putting in the long hours and burning the midnight oil to get your idea off the ground. If you’re not clear on your origin story, start asking yourself some basic questions. Who am I? What was I experiencing when I first had the idea? What problem am I trying to solve? What difference would it have made in my life had the solution already existed?
It’s wrong to lie – so keep it real, and true. Don’t fabricate the greatest story you can imagine. If you make something up because it “sounds good”, or you think it might have PR traction, you can expect to get caught and suffer reputational consequences. You can’t expect to prosper by putting forth a falsehood about your story. Others will appreciate your genuine experiences and how you started small and grew to where you are today.
Story as Roadmap
Your origin story becomes really important as your brand grows and matures. It will help you chart a map of the route to realize your vision for the brand and can also be your ethical compass. Use it to help frame your decision choices where at first the “right” road to take may not be clear. Review your origin story for clues to help you make that “right” decision and you may be surprised how much easier the decision becomes.
Investors and Story
There is a lot of competition out there for investor dollars. Investors want to understand the source of the entrepreneur’s passion. Having a great origin story that reveals information about you as a person and why you have such passion for this journey just might make the difference to the investor trying to choose between your startup and the next.
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