Storytelling lessons from Flipboard, Nest, Beyond Meat, and Dropbox

Remember the last time you wrote an important document or email but then accidentally deleted it and had to rewrite the whole thing? Sure it was painful but as you got going, the doc came out better than the first time because you already had the experience of doing it once before. You knew what to say, what points made sense, and what ideas needed to be made clearer.

Now, what if we hit delete on all websites and wrote them all over again from scratch? How could we reimagine websites and web browsing to make the experience better for everyone — publishers, readers, and advertisers alike — especially as mobile devices become the dominant way to consume the web instead of desktop browsers? For two decades now, I’ve worked at the very forefront of web rendering at my startup Paper Software and then later Netscape. All that time, I’ve been trying to make digital storytelling as visual, thoughtful, and beautiful as print storytelling is, but never got there. Until now.

You can curl up on the couch with a good book or magazine. With Flipboard, we’re making it possible to curl up with a good website.

Flipboard: turning the web into your ultimate personal magazine

The story behind the business story

  1. Framing: describing the business opportunity in a way that feels natural bordering on obvious
  2. Proximity: demonstrating that the founder / storyteller has a unique relationship with the opportunity that makes them ideally suited to tackle it
  3. Relatability: making the opportunity feel relevant to the audience

Framing of Nest

Proximity of Ethan Brown

We provide a near-perfect replication of meat through a platform that can drive pricing below that of meat, and in doing so have the potential to make meaningful contributions to greenhouse gas emission reduction, efficient global resource use, human health, and animal welfare.

Relatability of Drew Houston

Current: Co-founder of @cymbalxyz, Co-founder of @GoldHouseCo Ventures. Past: @Meta (via Packagd), GP at @KleinerPerkins, and CTO of @Hulu and @Flipboard.

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Eric Feng

Eric Feng

Current: Co-founder of @cymbalxyz, Co-founder of @GoldHouseCo Ventures. Past: @Meta (via Packagd), GP at @KleinerPerkins, and CTO of @Hulu and @Flipboard.

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