Crisp, Memorable Startup Origin Stories

Last week I was talking to an entrepreneur and I went for one of my favorite questions, “How did you come up with the idea for your company?” Now, this question isn’t concerned with the quality of the idea. Rather, the goal is to hear the origin story of the business, the raison d’être. After some meandering, it was clear I wasn’t getting a crisp, memorable origin story. I wanted something compelling, something that would help me remember the entrepreneur and the business.

At the Tech Village, the origin story is one of the most frequent questions I receive. Here’s my answer:

When I moved to town following college, I had a hard time finding a community of like-minded tech entrepreneurs. We had so many great startups, but no center of gravity for the region. From that experience, I knew that once I had the time and resources, I wanted to create a place to help entrepreneurs thrive and improve their odds of success — a Tech Village.

Entrepreneurs should proactively write out their origin stories. Practice them. Refine them.

Origin stories should be crisp and memorable.

What’s your origin story?

5 thoughts on “Crisp, Memorable Startup Origin Stories

  1. I was working for a company in corporate America, we were on an all hands-on-deck project with very little time off. My wife Kristy and our boys were out of town, and suddenly we needed a plumber for an emergency crack… I went onto google, like most of us do, and called the three plumbers. Zero response from the first two companies, the third plumber called me back and gave me a date a week-out. I asked for a notification on his possible timing and if he could help me narrow down a specific time so that I didn’t have to take a full day off and ‘waist a PTO DAY’ his response: “take it or leave it pal”.

    This response and customer experience really ticked me off.

    There had to be a better way to connect with a plumber or the like instantly.

    Jonny On It was born!

    Fast forward two plus years and we connect you to service pros in less than 15min.

  2. Great story, David!

    I produced music for seven years and the business grew each year without spending a dollar on advertising. Everything came from word-of-mouth referrals. Still, I had only reached a tiny spec of the market and noticed that my clients were coming several months, even years after mutual friends had worked with me.

    WOM moves wwaayy too slowly.

    This made me ask the question, “what would happen if we could accelerate referrals?” “What if there was an ‘advocacy’ platform dedicated to recommendations?”

    This began the Yaystack journey.

  3. I didn’t make enough money to retire from two b2b startups. Realized working with 120+ startups at Microsoft ventures that there were fairly common mistakes most founders were making while making their first $1mn that could be avoided. Started Upekkha to help founders build #ValueSaaS startups where they own 80%+ as they cross $1mn arr and shoot for $10mn arr. We’re going to do this for 1000 founders in the next ten years. Have 22 startups going so far.

    On Sun, Aug 25, 2019, 00:12 David Cummings on Startups wrote:

    > David Cummings posted: “Last week I was talking to an entrepreneur and I > went for one of my favorite questions, “How did you come up with the idea > for your company?” Now, this question isn’t concerned with the quality of > the idea. Rather, the goal is to hear the origin story of ” >

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