Storya at Six Months from Launch: In Uncharted Waters

Paolo Danese
4 min readAug 26, 2022
Storya’s First Board Meeting

Storya at Six Months from Launch: In Uncharted Waters

This week Storya held its very first Board Meeting, and I want to share our key findings in an effort to #BuildInPublic, something I believe in as a source of transparency and an opportunity for all our friends to witness our process and help us move forward.

Storya is a relatively flat organization due to our team’s remote-first, diverse composition. Across the dozen-strong team of founders, managers, and advisors, plus a few freelancers, we cover:

  • Four continents: Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, America
  • Close to twenty languages (feel free to DM me for the list!)
  • Diversity across ages, genders, cultures, ethnicity, and more

A significant factor in the rarity of formalized meetings in a team that has already envisioned, developed, and launched a product with 2000 users and close to 10,000 social media followers is that, put simply, we do not believe in meetings!

There is something wonderfully productive about asynchronous work, where people come together based on need, discuss priorities, then move on to execute in a (relatively) seamless fashion.

Back to our Board Meeting. This was attended by the CEO, CTO, Chief DEI Officer (CDO), Lead Marketing Advisor, and Advisory Council Lead.

The TL;DR (used to be called an executive summary 😆) is as follows:

  • We are a ship: Storya, like a vessel sailing the open seas, has gathered a fantastic crew before leaving port. The crew is working well together and is learning to establish a clear sense of direction for where Storya is heading over the horizon(s).
  • We are aligning: we are learning how to read the cues from markets and potential investors to adjust our course. Our Web3 pivot has been one such adjustment — our results will improve as we learn how to better read the tides we navigate.
  • We have a head start: this is because of our core values, our DEI framework, and our global outlook. All these factors give us a view from the frontiers of what it means to run a startup and a business, which is both a benefit and an advantage — we are sailing in uncharted waters!
  • We are loved: a growing group of fantastic storytellers and story lovers have booked journeys on our ship. We should work more closely with them to spread their love for Storya so that even more people will want to join us.

Storya has had an expectation-defying journey since its corporate entity was established in October 2021 and its MVP launch on app stores in February 2022:

  • In Phase 1 (Oct 2021 — Feb 2022), Storya saw rapid team growth and focus on vision but saw it challenging to have external investors understand what its end goal was from a business perspective.
  • In Phase 2 (Mar 2022-Jun 2022), we have put a much greater focus on product development since the app launch, and as a result, we are proving our demand hypothesis with consistent user growth with a $0 ad spend.
  • In Phase 3 (Jul 2022 — present), we have started focusing on revenue generation, gathering initial backing from users and creators while also acknowledging that our vision for an inclusive, diverse, and equitable corporate and business model put us in a somewhat rare position within the startup and overall business world.

And, finally, a few thoughts about what comes next for Storya and the areas where ALL OF YOU reading this (yes, you too!) can support us, advise us, and join us:

  • We will seek to share externally our challenges and learnings from what we have built with the team of Storyans (forgive us the neologism). We believe cross-pollination of best practices is critical to developing a new generation of startups focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental business needs. The goal is to find a way to generalize the learning at Storya to benefit the publishing industry and the creator economy at large.
  • We will find better ways to share, connect and network with potential partners and investors around our achievements. The team has worked (and as the CEO, I take the responsibility here!) with a relentless focus on what’s next, but it is crucial to celebrate, share and learn from milestones and achievements.
  • Open the doors of Storya: we want to collaborate, host, and nurture any founders (potential founders, too!) keen to learn from our approach. We do not have a formalized name for this “incubator” yet, but we are open to suggestions and will share more on this soon.

As always, feel free to reach out, share your thoughts with me directly at paolo@storya.app!

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