Startup Storytelling: How To Talk About Your Startup

Original author: Mark Suster
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Today we publish a translation of an article by Mark Saster, Upfront Ventures partner, on how to talk about your startup and create a true story about the product.

Everyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I myself am a very long video . I have invested in five projects, and I hope to invest another five. In the US and Europe alone, the video market is valued at $ 500 billion. TV, movies, video games, virtual reality, augmented reality and even the Internet will soon merge into a single space.


In Western countries, they watch TV for 5 hours a day. Why? Because it’s better to see once. A hunter and a gatherer still lives in us, who explains the phenomena of nature to fellow tribesmen sitting by the fire.
Picture. Sound. Traffic. It is equal to the movement.

Emotion = memory. Remembrance + positive feelings = energy to consume or act.
That is why I speak so often about the power of words . All sorts of stories are our everything. And the best way to narrate is with pictures. That is why I have an online video show.

And it's best to talk about your startup via video too. Within 30-90 seconds, you can convey your thoughts using pictures, words, music, statistics and jokes. Remember the company with the most competent marketing policy? I'm sure almost everyone thought about Apple. Now remember how Apple brilliantly conveys the emotions and features of the product through videos. As the videos became more popular, Epipheo, a startup offering video storytelling services, arose. They made funny videos where they mixed technical terms and jokes.

The problem is that they soon became so popular, and their videos became so stereotyped that they could be recognized without a logo. They were all about this:

Charming and affordable. But after watching 5 of these videos, you can’t see them already. I do not in any way criticize this wonderful company, which has turned the world of online video, but they need to redo their format a bit.

The successor to Epipheo is Sandwich Video , which is now the leader in the segment and the most sought-after artist for creating startup videos. Here is an amazing video about our portfolio company Osmo, which scored 200,000 views. Tooth give Osmo happy with this video.

We often recommend Sandwich to startups, as they have already done some cool projects for our companies. But in many ways, I think the video narrative market will continue to evolve. In Los Angeles and New York, there are many great video producers who hone their skills every day and just wait to be opened. Young and promising teams can create a more budgetary, but, nevertheless, very memorable video.

Mega - Makeon's creative vice president of brand development at MakeSpace, Rion Harmon created a series of videos describing their data warehouse startup . See for yourself and share your impressions with me. For me, the videos are very trendy - funny, catchy and modern.

I think in the future videos about startups will be made just like that, and not after the model of outdated, a bit boring videos in V1 format, which appeared a long time ago.

1. Jump the Gun
2. Empty Nest

If you are interested in how these videos were shot, you can follow the link to read the background from Rion .
And in order not to be unfounded, we are also very actively shooting a video about what we are doing in Upfront Ventures. Here is a short video about the Upfront 2015 Summit .

Last year we shot a video about some of our portfolio companies .

In general, I think you yourself will notice that more and more companies are using videos to make themselves known. I do not consider them as a simple marketing tool B2C (business client). Just as custom Internet products motivated the creation of well-designed corporate products, so budget videos on the Internet will affect the reconstruction of the matrix of communication between companies.


Mark Saster is a partner at Upfront Ventures. He joined the company in 2007, after 8 years already working with Upfront Ventures as a two-front entrepreneur. Prior to joining Upfront, Mark served as vice president of production management at, after the company was acquired by Koral, where he, in turn, was one of the founders and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark ran his own firm, BuildOnline, a European software company (SaaS), which was subsequently acquired by the SWORD group. Mark is always looking for enthusiastic entrepreneurs to invest in projects in the early stages of technology development. His areas of interest include digital content and distribution, AdTech, consumer Internet technologies, and SaaS companies; Mark has impressive experience in this sector, given that he founded and sold two companies already. Follow the link to read his articles on his blogBoth Sides of the Table (“On Two Chairs”).

The article “The Best Way to Tell About Your Startup ” was first published on May 20, 2015.

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