Weaponizing a Story
It's Apple's world and we're just living in it
The best storyteller in the business world is back – Adam Neumann, the ex-WeWork CEO, raised a $350 million seed round led by a16z for his new company, Flow, which has one landing page to its name. Reminds me of an earlier piece on Story vs Product.
My thoughts? FlowWork, FlowSchool, and FlowLife must be right around the corner.
Today’s piece takes 4 minutes to read.
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I wrote about Apple weaponizing a narrative with my friend Jack Raines. He writes a great newsletter, Young Money.
Storytelling is a tool companies use against each other all the time, but nobody’s better at it than Apple. I’ve written about Apple’s storytelling ability before, but the campaign leading up to iOS 14.5 felt different… more devious.
The best stories are simple, and the story Apple pushed fits the bill: Apple cares about your privacy and respects your data, but the rest of big tech doesn’t.
- Tim Cook wrote an opinion piece for Time calling on policy makers and big tech to take action to protect consumers’ data.
- Apple started its ‘Privacy. That’s iPhone.’ marketing campaign.
Over the next three years, the narrative Apple spun made consumers (and policymakers) look at Apple as the golden goose of big tech. So much so that iOS 14.5 was hailed as the savior of consumer privacy when it came out in 2021…
Nothing moves an audience like a story they want to believe. But that story isn’t quite true. Though Apple has made it harder for apps such as Facebook and Snap to track your data, they’ve gone to drastic lengths to keep tracking your data themselves.
If you’re interested in the technical side and fallout of iOS 14.5, read the full piece on Jack’s blog here.
1) Clear > clever
People have short consideration spans. While you may read a 5,000-word article, if the first minute (AKA ‘the hook’) isn’t incredible then it’s back to TikTok.
But clever hooks don’t work. If there’s the slightest bit of confusion, your reader keeps on scrolling. Which of these example headlines makes you want to read more?
🚫 The Power of Storytelling
✅ The Power of Storytelling: 4 Keys to Nail your Brand’s Narrative
2) Twist the knife
List more reasons why your audience should care. You can get more specific with (and include more) problems, benefits, and outcomes to grab your audience's attention. Example:
🚫 3 Storytelling Frameworks Most People Ignore
✅ 3 Storytelling Frameworks Most People Ignore That Lead to Engaged Audiences, Speaking Gigs, and Insanely Entertaining Conversations
Picked both of these up from the crew at Ship30 this week.
This recent piece on ‘Myth making and wonder’ sent my brain for a loop.
Like most of us, Kendrick Lamar gets his ideas from everyday life:
"A lot of my inspiration comes from meeting people, going outside of the country, or going around the corner to my old neighborhood."
One Rabbit Hole
The stories we tell ourselves usually stay internal. But not for Pablo Picasso. Here are his self-portraits from age 15 to 90. Pretty amazing to scroll through.
I hope you enjoyed that.
If you bring on two more World Builders, I'll send you a curated list of frameworks and resources to become a better storyteller in your personal and professional life. Use your fancy, unique link below.
Talk next week,
P.s: If you want to get your brand in front of 24k creators, entrepreneurs, and storytellers, fill out this form.