Cheatsheet #1: Pitching a new behavior
Disruptive storytelling series
This is the first in a series of storytelling ‘cheatsheets’ designed to help entrepreneurs tell disruptive stories. Each one covers a different type of disruption, from products based on new user behavior to incremental improvements like new features or lower price.
Thanks for reading A Leap of Faith, a newsletter about pitching, founder storytelling, and company building.
Telling stories about new behaviors
When we think about revolutionary new products we often think about a new type of behavior it enables. It often sounds like science fiction.
It wasn’t too long ago that many things we take for granted were “out there”: storing your files in the cloud, booking a stranger’s home instead of a hotel, making some extra cash by driving people to work.
Stories about new behaviors are about disrupting the status quo. They’re exciting because they feel like innovation.
This is high risk, high reward storytelling. There’s a lot of skepticism to overcome. But do it right and you’ll tap into a limitless source of excitement (and hopefully funding) for your business.
“They’ll Never Do That”
With disruptive new behaviors, you should never underestimate how skeptical your audience is no matter how convinced you are about your vision.
A lot of entrepreneurs pitch new behaviors as if they’re self-evident (if they were, they wouldn’t be disruptive).
If you start saying the words “imagine a world where…” you must be able to paint a vivid, detailed view of that world.
There are different ways to do that. But remember the first rule when pitching a big vision about a new type of behavior: don’t water it down! Tell a great story but don’t “de-risk” it to the point it’s no longer exciting.
Not all pitch decks of successful companies are good templates to follow, AirBnB being the best example. When you look at a pitch deck ask yourself how they are disruptive, how they’ve approached storytelling, and how you might do it differently (and better).
That’s the fastest way to developing your own disruptive story.
Links to the PDF version (with clickable links)
Links to all the pitch decks: