Did you know that Apple’s Steve Jobs saved lives?

One afternoon, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, was testing a new Macintosh computer and was bothered by the slow boot-up time. Jobs approached Larry Kenyon (engineer at the time) to see if he could do anything about the situation.
You know, I’ve been thinking about it. How many people are going to be using the Macintosh? A million? No, more than that. In a few years, I bet five million people will be booting up their Macintoshes at least once a day.

Well, let’s say you can shave 10 seconds off of the boot time. Multiply that by five million users and that’s 50 million seconds, every single day. Over a year, that’s probably dozens of lifetimes. So if you make it boot ten seconds faster, you’ve saved a dozen lives. That’s really worth it, don’t you think?

Over the next couple of months, the engineers managed to shave off not 10, but 28 seconds of boot-time. Whether this story is true or not does not matter. The anecdote is entertaining, emotional and easy to retell. That is a powerful marketing piece.

apple boot screen

The fact of the matter is people are skeptical. And stories disarm because we’ve been trained to listen to them.

Authentic stories and emotions go hand in hand. Authentic stories innately come with elements that make great connections. For instance, good stories always have a timeline that leads to triumph over adversity (antagonist). People can always relate to adversity.

A story is a connected set of events with a beginning, middle and end. It’s a journey that moves the listener. And when a listener goes on that journey, (s)he feels different.

The result is persuasion and sometimes action …
Stories are 22% more memorable.

– Jennifer Aaker
Professor of Marketing, Stanford
Graduate School of Business

Stories are powerful.

All in all, stories are great ways to convey a message that will stick, all while removing ulterior motives.

So, what is your story? And how will you integrate stories into your content? In my e-book, I elaborate on the art of storytelling.


For more content strategy posts, read here.

Au revior,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. Here’s my story — In short, I got into photography because I wanted to sit closer during UCLA games. Sports shooters had the best seats (e.g., court side for basketball). Ba da bing!