Stories: we ignite life to places with engaging stories

Bendik Knutsen-Øy, Customer Developer at Stories

Our startup changes how stories are shared between people. With Stories, anyone with a smartphone can instantly get stories and information about anything they see. And anyone with a smartphone can easily share their stories at a physical place. Learning becomes more effective because it is perfectly timed with curiosity. Moreover, we are giving people a new dimension to self-expression and storytelling.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative to create a positive impact in people. Our startup does just that. Moving people’s horizon of understanding at the perfect time, using engaging stories of places. While being fun, entertaining and a creative tool of self-expression. Fun and entertaining is a must to win the crowd and create fans in the digital age.

Why is it important to start Stories?

We live in a world where we need to act better tomorrow than we do today. Every literate person on the planet knows this. But we need a deeper connection of the world around us to really understand what is at stake if we keep repeating the mistakes of the past, and continue on today’s track. Storytelling is unique in its efficiency in conveying this understanding.

Stories are what connects us to other human beings. Nothing is more effective in making us feel what other human beings feel, in order to live the pains, joys, defeat and victories of another person. Stories connects us to our world by revealing the true significance of places in the lives of people — past and present.

That is why it is important to start Stories — it gives us a deeper sense of connection with our world and makes us more conscious decision makers.

Why are you passionate about Stories?

Countless times I have become curious about something I discovered in my own city or when travelling. And many times, I have been standing on the street trawling Google to dig up the story behind it. Most of the times though, I don’t bother. Why? Because digging up the information sucks the fun out of it. I want something that tells me the story of what I am looking at right here, when I am curious. If I knew it existed, I would use it more than I use Google in those situations today.

And I do have Stories to share at physical places. Where I grew up, there was a candy factory making traditional Norwegian candy. It looked like an ordinary brick house, but inside were candies. The older kids I hung out with occasionally succeeded in persuading me to knock on the door and ask for candy, while they were watching from behind the corner of the house. Often the answer was “no”, but sometimes the people working there gave me a big bucket of candies that had some production error. When that happened, I was met with applause and high fives. The factory shut down before I started school, but the building still looks like it did 25 years ago.

If I write a blog entry or a post on Facebook about this place, will it be magical for anyone but myself? No. If I, however, share the story on the building with the Stories app, it will be magical for the people that live in that area and see that house every day. And Imagine how many stories of places like that that are living in people’s memories around the world! I want these stories out into the light for everyone to see and be amazed by.

What is special about Stories?

Stories has the potential of becoming something that many people will be using daily to communicate with friends, get information about their surroundings or consume/share stories at places. It shares many of the features that fast growing social media apps have had before it. But it has two clear points of distinction that make it special:

1. Stories focus on places. It uses technology and the digital as a tool to bring the hidden magic of places into the light. People using our app will not be submerged into their smartphones, unaware of their surroundings, ready to be run over by cars when crossing the street. We use technology as a means to show people that the physical world is more interesting, magical and enchanting than their screens.

2. The world needs Stories. We give every place a voice that hits us when we are all ears. We let anyone with a story to tell about a place fill that voice. We release the power of stories through the power of the crowd. By doing that, we ignite life to places everywhere with engaging stories, and create a greater appreciation of the world we share and live in.

What is your background?

In 2012, I finished a Master’s Degree in Financial Economics at NHH. I also did an entrepreneurship program at Boston School of Management, where I worked with social media marketing in an American startup. I have worked with IT-development previously, and now I work in a life insurance company.

I have not built, launched and grown a social media app before. Few of us have. What I do have, is experience from working in an early stage startup, and selling a product that is in the works. It is very different from working corporate. When developing an app, there has to be a person that transforms the wants and needs of the user into something that developers can understand and work with. I have experience from being that link when working with IT-development.

I’m not a technical person, but lately I have been making robots at work for process development. For being a business person, I do have some clarity on tech that will come in handy when working with app-developers.

How did the Moonwalk experience affect you?

To participate in Moonwalk Learning has been a profound learning experience for me. It has shown me the power of working in a crowd of engaged people, and given me a glimpse of what impact such work can make. I have personally become more confident, and know that I can be a driving force in entrepreneurial projects.

What would you tell someone who haven’t started in a Moonwalk Program yet?

If you aspire to be an entrepreneur or you want to get experience in the field of innovation, don’t wait. This is the thing. And if you start, you’ll hear and read the following Moonwalk slogan several times. Dare to believe it from the beginning: Tomorrow is made by you.