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Learn how to tell a story before building your own start-ups

  sonic0002      2013-03-10 10:06:54      1,183    0    0

Imagine one day you become a successful start-up founder like Mark Zuckerberg, then somebody will come and find you and want to shoot a movie for you with your start-up story. If you are not successful yet, then this story should be written by yourself. For start-up founders, learn how to tell a story will not only promote yourself among investors, users and medias but also can create a macro development plan for your start-ups by explaining various unexpected things will happen.

Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats has compiled The 22 rules of storytelling  she's received working for the animation studio over the years. And Peter Nixey, an experienced entrepreneur says these 22 rules should become start-up founders' 22 guidelines. Let's take a look at these 22 rues to see whether they are suitable for you or not.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. 

--Success is not the purpose, not the result as well

#2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

--Put users demand at the first place

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it. Now rewrite.

--Products have the same feature

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

--Once upon a time there were not technical blogs. Every day people obtained information from news portals. One day technical blogs appeared. Because of that,many people became readers of technical blogs. Because of that, many people entered the robust Internet world. Until finally technical blogs become the real friends of Internet lovers.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

--Don't focus on programming only, try to expand your market and think about how to let the market accepts you

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

--As a start-up founder, do you have the clear target?

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you've got to recognize it before you can use it.

--Think about those start-up founders who you admire, ask yourself "What would XXX do"?, you will then gradually become the one you want to be.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.

-- Don't hesitate to communicate with others, find out the shortages of your own plan and try to refine it. Communicate with colleagues, consumers, investors and competitors

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

-- Your idea should be unique.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

--Keep loyalty to your users, employees and investors. This will benefit yourself as well.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.

-- If you can spend all your money and future on one thing, other can also spend their money on you.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it's not working, let go and move on - it'll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How do you rearrange them into what you DO like?

--Find the thing which is available in the market and find it's shortages and try to build a better one.

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write ‘cool'. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

-- What's your core value of your start-up plan, can you express it in the most concise languages? If you have the answer, start from here.

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