We have talked with many new entrepreneurs and we were very surprised to hear how many of them all said the same thing. When we interviewed founders and CEOs in other technology hubs, including RTP, it was a consistent message in every region the question was;

Where is the best place to start?  

Like most projects until you get going and feel like you are taking the steps in the right direction you may feel like you are running in circles. There are a lot of entities and organizations available to help…. But you can waste a lot of precious time trying to figure out which ones are really helpful for your particular needs.

We’ve learned that running a startup and being an entrepreneur is like the Choose Your Own Adventure books we read as kids. And there were a lot of these books 40 in the original series all taking a different path based on your choices. It some times feel like navigating all the resources in any region is exactly like these books. Which do I choose, why should I choose them where do I go next.

The Story Arc

Like every story, there needs to be a beginning, a middle and an end (a story arc) and within that story, there are major steps along the way. Oh, no did they just say Story Arc. I need to remember what my teacher told me in 5th grade. Yes, we did but we will try to help make it simpler. Your story will have ups and downs but hopefully more ups than downs. Let’s define the steps for your story in business terms in hopes to apply context and fill some gaps along the way on navigating the journey.

  • Step 1 – The Problem\Exposition
    • Setting the scene, what is the Problem your business solves. Who are the characters (the Team), prior events that led to this or any other historical context, etc.
  • Step 2 – The Rising Action – Building the story. 
    • The Why! The development of rising action is like playing to the crowd or reeling in a big fish (Investor). The overall direction, is hopefully upwards towards the climax where you solve the problem.
  • Step 3 – The Climax – The exciting parts.
    • The turning point or the time in which the solution is given and you are gaining market share. 
  • Step 4 – The Falling Action – Tidying up loose ends.
    • Building the company for success, scaling adding resources or even preparing for the next step.
  • Step 5 – The Resolution – The End Game
    • Where does the story end?  What is the end game for the company and creating that satisfying final resolution?

The Point

The business story arc is a guide to help you get started. It will help you pitch investors and will also allow you to choose your own adventure. There will be traps just like the Choose Your Own Adventure books along the way to be mindful about like we discussed in Self Inflicted Wounds.

In the next series of posts, we will tackle the things we heard most from the CEO’s and founders in hopes we can help you get the story started the build to a climax and have the storybook ending!


Last modified: August 4, 2019

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