August 19, 2015

Misko Dzamba: Anatomy of a Good Startup Storyteller

As someone who doesn’t own a pet, I have absolutely no clue about the prospects for the PetBot, a smartphone-controlled machine that features a moveable Webcam, two-way audio and a treat dispenser. The PetBot is positioned as “robot companion” that keeps pet owners connected with their pets at all times.


What I do know, however, is that PetBot co-founder Misko Dzamba is an excellent storyteller.

At The Next 36 Venture and Graduation Day, Dzamba was one of a handful of entrepreneurs to do a short demo. By a country mile, he was the star of the show because he told an authentic and engaging story that featured humour, energy, and enthusiasm. As important, Dzamba focused on the experience of pets and pet owners (included a funny video), rather than simply explaining the product and the features.

With only a few minutes on stage, it is difficult to tell a good story. It explains why most entrepreneurs focus on the product because so everyone understands what the startup does.
But here’s the thing: demos aren’t about putting the spotlight on the product or how much investment is needed; demos are about capturing someone’s attention and curiosity so they want to learn more about your startup. Demos are a foot in the door and a sneak peak that tempts, seduces and entices.

Of all the entrepreneurs who presented at The Next 36 event, Dzamba was the most captivating. His demo wasn’t the most polished and I suspect the PetBot didn’t excite investors, but his storytelling made a huge impression. It was a performance that investors should remember as Dzamba’s career moves forward. While PetBot may not find a market foothold, I’d keep an eye on Dzamba’s next startup due to his ability to tell a good story will be a valuable asset.

If you’re looking to jump-start your ability to tell good stories, I can help you make it happen. I recently published a book, Storytelling for Startups, that provides strategic and tactical guidance to entrepreneurs looking to embrace the power of story-driven marketing.

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