Fabian Pfortmüller on How an Entrepreneur Uses Storytelling to Succeed

In Chapter 6 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, community builder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller answers "How Are You Learning to Tell Stories That Others Can Embrace as Their Own?"  Pfortmüller shares why storytelling has been fundamental to his marketing messaging and then shares three elements he uses to build and engage a consumer audience.  Pfortmüller is co-founder of the young leader accelerator, Sandbox Network, and HOLSTEE, an apparel and design firm that sells meaningful products to mindful shoppers.  Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its school of General Studies. 


Erik Michielsen: How are you learning to tell stories that others can embrace as their own?

Fabian Pfotmüller: What I learned this year is storytelling is not just something you do for fun. It’s core. Being a good storyteller I think is being a good entrepreneur because at the end of the day as an entrepreneur you’re creating something that has not been there before and you have to sell it to people and people don’t wanna hear about products. They don’t wanna hear about features, they wanna hear stories and therefore storytelling is super key.

Now, when it comes to how to tell stories, I happen to work with one of the best storytellers on the planet, Mike Radparvar. He’s an incredible storyteller. I sometimes feel like I'm sitting in a bazaar and I'm listening to like an ancient storyteller that just creates a whole world but what it comes down to is someone who’s able to leave you with an emotion and who will leave you with a certain feeling much more than just explaining you something. I think that’s the key of storytelling.

And secondly, I realized also that there are amazing storytellers out there. That working with them just takes the story to a whole new level. So, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with amazing storytellers like you and also other videographers who retake in a core message and brought it to a whole new level for their visual language, for their way of putting the story together and stories don’t just happen, they have very very clear messages at the core, that you then build around that.

And the last thing I also learned about stories that they have to be very simple that people understand them. It’s one message that then gets conveyed. It’s not a huge story that you sometimes tell for 25 minutes that they get. It’s one message.