3 (and a Half) Ways Storytelling Can Help Product Managers

Using stories to pitch to the customer, frame customer engagement, and get the product team on the same page

Benito Vergara
The Startup

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

In an earlier entry, I wrote about the inherent qualities that made stories the magic things that they are. Stories are shared forms of human creativity and expression. Stories create empathy on the part of the listener, whether a potential customer or product team member; stories are far more persuasive and memorable than statistics. They open doors to worlds; they create wonder.

So how can you use stories in product management? The word “use” is deliberate: stories can also be seen as tools that serve a purpose. While that sentiment may sound terribly utilitarian and anti-poetic — I mean, I just described stories as “magic” — I see no contradiction in examining both the aesthetic and functional aspects of storytelling. (And neither does inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, who sees poetry as art form and as an instrument.)

Below I discuss three (and a half) ways product managers can use the storytelling framework — whether dealing with the nuts and bolts of product development, formulating a product strategy, or selling a product vision.

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Benito Vergara
The Startup

Senior product manager, fiction writer, former anthropologist. I study culture, tell stories, and herd cats. More: https://about.me/benito.vergara.