"Wow, what a story! Wasn't that great?"
That is what you want potential employees to say. And powerful investors. And influential reporters.
"Wow" gets the great people and fills your in-box with emails from great investors.
What is "Wow"? It's the magic in your story. That silver bell that rings in the head of the listener. It is the trigger of emotions. It is so compelling that people jump out of their seats to cheer when they hear it.
I've seen Wow happen during presentations of bplans to VCs. I've watched eyes light up when founders told skeptical young people about their vision for the new enterprise. I've seen reporters lean forward in their chairs until they nearly fell on the floor as the story was told by the CEO. And I've watched customer candidates converted in mere minutes from bored to passionate during the biz dev person's presentation.
What is Wow? It's the combination of story elements that is central to your unfair competitive advantage. It is not one thing. It is several things assembled into an amazing whole. It is just like the story you tell to your child, about the adventure in which the hero ventures out, kills the dragon, saves the princess and becomes king and hero, cheered by the people of the land.
I'm not kidding. It is that simple. That is the outline for your startup story.
Do you still doubt me? Well, try seeing it through the eyes of the Chief Marketing Officer: your story is about the adventure that the founder will go on, kill the current market leader (the old way of solving the giant problem), save the customers (a huge amount of time and money) and become the gorilla of the new market space (category), revered by the mass media.
"Wow" does that. It is the core of your story. Without it, don't even begin to start trying to impress people. Don't even bother. But with it, you are golden, miles ahead of your competition. Like the beautiful maiden, you will be sought after by all the handsome men .
Your Wow story wins it all. The stories of competitors wilt in comparison. "Hey, that (the other story) was nothing compared to the story I just heard (yours)!" You win, they lose. Winner takes it all (people, money, fame).
Some CEOs are timid, cautious, don't want to overstate what might happen. If that is your nature, step aside, the current era of startups is too rich for your blood. They'll strain your soul, give you a heart attack, make your life miserable. Let someone else lead. Follow and learn, perhaps you can eventually understand how to do this.
I've been watching an amazing team of co-founders in Asia grow a spectacular business, and they understand what I am talking about. Their story has attracted the finest techies in the world in their space, has reporters demanding to know what is coming next from the company, and investors flooding their email in-boxes with offers to invest. Wouldn't you like to be there? This company has Wow. Now it's your turn to create the Wow for your startup.
BOTTOM LINE: Stories that are based on facts in colorful PowerPoint graphics that are slickly presented do not get the people, money or stories. Wow gets it. All of it. It is the emotionally exciting core of your nuclear reactor that will power your company to greatness. It is the kind of creative energy that gives your competitors sleepless nights. It is what makes the Googles great. It is central to your unfair advantage. Discover it and you are the winner. I wish you the very best in your quest (it is not easy to discover). Get started, right now.