Stories and Products

Which is more important, stories or products?

At some level, it is always the case that we are selling the story. People buy stories behind products, people want products which suit their self-image.

And yet, some people like Stefan Sagmeister assert:

Recently I read an interview with someone who designs roller coasters and he referred to himself as a ‘storyteller.’ No, you are not a storyteller, you’re a roller coaster designer!” And that’s fantastic and more power to you, but why would you want to be a storyteller if you design roller coasters or if the story you are telling is bullshit? … That’s a fucking bullshit story—it’s boring!

I don’t know where most makers fall on this. I personally think it’s a great idea to craft the story – that’s what shows that you truly understand the user. And then you make the product which naturally fits the story.

But I also appreciate product makers who do it for the craft alone, and probably we need both kinds of people.

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