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:wave: Hey hey, I'm Michael Lee and this is my site about being a developer, being a dad and making side projects.

Tell good stories

Written on November 5, 2016

It is often emphasized on the Internet, content is king and creators should focus on content above anything else to bring value to their consumers if they want to have a successful business.

While I agree with this statement, content can only go so far in enhancing the awareness of ones’ brand or platform.

More than just content, I believe stories are worth more focusing on. Stories engrosses the reader to enter into the narrative the person is trying to tell and allows the reader to walk and experience with the narrator.

In Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc, he shares about the first 3d animated short that he, John Lasseter and their team worked on. They had been working furiously to get the film done in time for the annual SIGGRAPH conference — a conference for the computer graphics community. To their disappointment they weren’t able to polish and complete the film in time but still premiered the film at the conference.

While Ed and his team was uneasy about watching the unfinished film, the audience was engrossed and didn’t even notice the transition between 3d to pencil drawings in parts of the film. What he learned was that if the story in itself is interesting enough, audiences won’t notice the imperfections to the delivery of the story.

Stories are easier to remember and relate with. I remember a few years back hearing about a business started by a guy that was impacted by an experience in South America. While on vacation in Argentina, he had met an American woman at a cafe that was there providing shoes for children in need. Intrigued, he spent a few days going with her and the organization she was with, handing out shoes.

Moved by the experience and having a desire to seek a solution in providing shoes for children in need, he returned to the US and started a company called Shoes for Better Tomorrows or more commonly known as, TOMS. I remember hearing Blake and TOMS’ mission before ever owning a pair of TOMS shoes and sharing their story whenever I had a chance. And the retelling of the story just felt good. That by buying a pair of their shoes, the company will give a pair of shoes to a child in need — simple.

I’m sure each retelling of the story (even my account above) has some inaccuracies of the facts, but the core message of the story still holds true and is effective.

I believe each one of us has stories to tell. And stories should be shared. No need to edit or polish, just share your story or a story. I believe it is much more interesting, relatable and could even help in getting supporters for a cause, business or brand you’re building.

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