My story I deep dived into the star trek
fandom. And it taught me a lot
about how transmedia storytelling
One fictional technology in Star
Trek I like most: The holodeck. A
four dimensional environment
simulator that allows to fully
immerse into fictional scenarios.
For me the Holodeck is a perfect
metaphor for stories. Stories allow
us to open a door into new worlds.
By using the most powerful
simulation computer - our brain -
we experience and learn new
Star Trek for example taught me to
explore new things.
And like the Holodeck is build on technology, stories are
build on structures and narrative techniques.
Structures used in theater, screenwriting and game-design.
Structures rarely used in commercial communication.
I explored narrative structures as a media scientist, as a
screenwriter and as a communication strategist. Using
narrative techniques has become my approach to strategy.
Currently I’am supporting website-creator-service jimdo.com to build a story-
team that will be responsible to empower anybody in the company to tell and
contribute to the companies’ story. The team will be provide branding and
And I’am working with Protonet as a storytelling consultant. Most recently I
helped the personal server firm on a record breaking 3 Million Euro
A crazy idea.
Growing user base
I think every step a start-up takes towards growth is connected to a trust-
winning story. And it get’s pretty hard if you need to come up with a new story
Trap 1: Content Opportunism
I call the first trap ‚content opportunism‘. You tell something, you know people
like. Even if it is not really connected to your business.
Like this funny movie of a dog who tries to jump on a table.
Trap 2: Egocentricity
The second trap is egocentricity. You constantly talk about yourself, your goals,
your challenges. „We want to change the world“ „We want to be the first in the
Trap 3: The product will do the trick.
Talking about the product all the time is the third trap.
It might work for a while. However people need some
emotional benefit to emotionally connect to your
Before it has investors, customers, profits, press coverage, or
even a perfected product, every startup has at least one
valuable asset: its story.
A bunch of outcasts risking everything to change the world.
David Cohen, co-founder of Techstars accelerator
"We are trying to understand the source of the founders'
passion. Why do you care so much? It might be a personal
connection to the problem or just a strong vision of a
diﬀerent or better world.
If it's 'for the money' or 'because it's a big business,' that's
poor motivation. It won't sustain most people through the
diﬀiculties of starting and scaling a company.“
Simon Sinnek, Start with Why.
People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.
And what you do simply proves what you believe.
A crazy idea.
YOUR- WHY is
If you know your WHY, your core-story,
you will have a grand narrative to
A Core-Story is the (often unconscious) basic narrative that
structures why we perceive something as meaningful, how
we get around in the world and how we relate to other
people. It is the story you live by.
OK, it’s a little more fuzzy in reality.
The Core-Story of an enterprise* can be an experience, a certain
moment in time or in a belief that shows the real purpose of the
enterprise: Why are you doing it?
*I’am calling it enterprise - obviously I’am a fan of the word. And also the word bridges the concepts of company, start-up and brand.
„Fast food can be fair“
The experiences that Chipotle founder Steve
Ells made with the food industry , have
shaped the core-story of the company.
Ali Hy Berlin.
As a child Protonet founder Ali Jelveh had to
flee from Iran. This experience has shaped the
product idea of a personal server and the
core-story of the company: that people should
be simply independent.
The Core-Story shapes and
guides the reality of their
actions, products and
Do Stuﬀ Tell People
Help people Inform/Entertain
(inspired by a tweet from @faris)
A story goes deeper than a mission statement.
Unlike a mission statement a core story
makes you think and feel at the same time.
The Core-Story shapes and guides the reality of their actions, products and
communications. It provides meaning, coherence and alignment towards internal
and external audiences. It is basis for trust and uniqueness.
The Core-Story of an enterprise* can be found in an experience, in a certain
moment in time or in a belief that shows the real purpose of the enterprise:
Why are you doing it?
A Core-Story is a basic narrative to live by.
Simon Sinnek, Start with why.
The Golden Circle by Simon Sinnek is an easy
start to search for your core story. However I
have experienced in many workshops, that it
is diﬀicult to answer the why question without
additional inspiration and thinking.
Reframe your actions into a
unique and consistent story.
In my experience it takes quite some time to
drill down to the core and to reframe
everything the start-up says or does into a
Core Story Canvas (v.2)
An entrepreneurial tool to shape the story of an enterprise.
Over the last 1,5 years I worked successfully with
the Core-Story Canvas. A tool I initially
developed together with Valentin Heyde. It is
inspired by the Business Model Canvas. It is still
in beta. Since I’m still trying to find out how it
Core Story Canvas
IN COMPETITION WITH HOW
THEME CONFLICT BELIEF
HERO ADVENTURE MAGIC WAND
PRODUCT DESIGN ADVERTISING
Answering the fields help to search for your
core-story in a structured way.
On the surface layer use the most simple words to
describe your thing: What is it you do. SURFACE!
What / How
The Story-Layer is about finding the Why-Story.
Because only the story provides meaning to your thing.
Thinking about your Core-Story is like thinking about a TV-series. You
search for something that creates emotional impact, holds attention over
time and is flexible enough to tell several stories on diﬀerent platforms.
So ähnlich wie eine Serie….
Was hält das Konzept zusammen.
Tabelle aus dem Ipad.
Good vs. Evil
Evil is in you.
a chemistry teacher
Care for the family
through drug business.
The blue meth.
In screenwriting there are story-anchors, that help to catch the essence of a story.
Data Ownership vs.
„If you don’t own the
technology. Technology owns
Building the world’s
easiest server to give
people data ownership and
Protonet HQ Makerhub
Hamburg Protonet Soul
A crazy idea.
YOUR- WHY is
It’s your Core-Story that provides
orientation and alignment. That makes
your company special.
The cloud is in crisis. Your investment is an opportunity to give people a choice: An alternative to the cloud .
(28k / 8%)
Call to action.
1. Act: Present-Crisis 2. Act: Show opportunity
Vision of change. Theory of change.
3. Act: Take
We planned the campaign based on the
core story using the dramaturgy of a
Story Process (beta) @Jimdo
At Jimdo we are currently working on how the
story team interacts with the other teams to
bring the core story to life.
What are your experiences about the content-