🌊 Visual Storytelling: The Underrated Art That Can Improve Your Communication Tenfold, by Alex Maese
Hello startup riders! This week’s good stuff for your startup brain includes:
✏️ Visual Storytelling: an underrated lever for founders, by Alex Maese.
🍬 Startup Candy: Super Mario Bros. framework.
💵 Iberian Deals: 12 startup deals in Spain (>€120M).
✏️ Visual Storytelling
Visual communication is the use of any visual element to convey information as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Synthesising a message and presenting it visually is a valuable and underrated skill:
In this modern, hyper-connected world, we face many information problems:
We are saturated with information
We lack time
We have a limited attention span
The forgotten art of visual storytelling
I’m living proof that developing this skill can have a meaningful impact on your work.
I’ve gone from knowing nothing to teaching others to do this within 18 months.
And I’ve created an audience of 100k in the process:
I've always been a curious person, and I tried to set up several things on my own.
I started with a blog, then a Twitch channel... I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something.
I didn't have any design experience. Moreover, I didn't have an audience to rely on.
When I started sharing my ideas online, I probably had 200 followers on Twitter.
Friends and family, basically. 18 months later, here we are:
Twitter: +63000 followers
Instagram: +50000 followers
LinkedIn: +6500 followers
Newsletter (created 8 months ago): +5000 subscribers
I saw someone (the one and only Janis Ozolins, who is now a great friend with whom we have shared some paellas with our families 😉) sharing his visuals on Twitter, I asked him how he learned and I signed up for his course.
Today, I have created more than 500 visuals with millions of views.
⏳ Benefits of visual storytelling
Processing: The average time to process something visual is 13 ms, while that of text is about 6 seconds. (MIT, 2019)
Comprehension: Visual elements help to synthesize and understand complex concepts more easily than text.
Retention: We are more likely to remember content composed of visual elements rather than just text. When you were studying, didn't you make outlines? Here is the research.
Differentiation. How many PPT talks have you had to suffer through in your life?
🚀 How to get started
Get inspired and learn from others. Pick 2 or 3 artists. Look at what they do and try to understand the process behind their visual ideas. Study their work, become obsessed with what they do and try to replicate it. Here are some artists that I’ve admired for a long time and they have helped me improve my skills over time.
Force yourself to write down 3 ideas every day. Something you heard on a podcast. A quote from a book. A feeling or an emotion. Once you start thinking like a creator, everything around you is likely to become a new visual idea.
Focus on ONE key idea per visual: For your visual idea to be as clear as possible, it is important that you only represent a single idea in every visual you create. Once you have the key concept clear, we need to ask ourselves a question. What are you trying to achieve by sharing this idea?
To raise awareness. We are aware of a problem and we want our audience to be aware of it too. I use it often, especially when I talk about "uncomfortable" topics, such as our use of cell phones and social networks.
To teach: This one is particularly useful for founders (for sales or fundraising).
To motivate: Sometimes, you need an extra dose of motivation to lift your spirits. These visual ideas often work wonders. Everyone likes to share something that made their day. Likewise, showing your vulnerability to others who have been or may be going through the same thing often works very well.
Take action and share it with the world. This is the hardest part, I know. But when you've thought of a way to turn one of those ideas into something real, something tangible, you need to share it with the world. Do not be afraid.
A visual idea is only as good as the message it is representing, regardless of whether it is done with pen and paper or iPad.
Tools aren’t as important as you’d think (although often seen as a blocker).
But since I want you to have no excuses, I'm going to provide you with a set of tools so that you can decide which one best suits your current needs.
Pen and paper
Windows tablet + Sketchbook
Android tablet + Infinite Painter 7
PC + Figma
When you do, you can mention me on any of the socials and I'll give you my feedback, if you want it 😉.
🐇 Follow the White Rabbit 🕳️
Steal like an artist, by Austin Kleon
Show your work, by Austin Kleon
The back of the Napkin, by Dan Roam
You can find me on Twitter.
I also have a course where I teach you all about it. First cohort is fully booked. Signup here for the next one 👉 Ideas Visuales.
Help Startup Riders make a decision
This newsletter started with a clear mission:
Help entrepreneurs avoid mistakes & be more successful by sharing lessons from people who’ve already done it and I admire.
Attract more Spaniards to entrepreneurship, away from the frustratingly popular 4 horses of the apocalypse: Consulting/Banking/Academia/Public sector.
Give visibility to Spanish founders and shed light on its potential to the world.
Generating dealflow, keeping my English fresh + learning by sharing.
🍬 The Super Mario Bros. selling & fundraising framework:
💵 Iberian Deals
You love startups and want to enjoy a Spanish lifestyle? Come join the Spanish startup ecosystem. Here’s a list of recently funded startups:
Trucksters (relay system) raised 33M
Nauge Therapeutics (biotech) raised 12M
Bit2Me (cyrpto) raised 12M
Quside (quantum) raised 10M
OneChain (biotech) raised 6M
Oliva (health) raised 5M
Room007 (property) raised 5M
Fintonic (fintech) raised 5M
Xygeni (cyber) raised 4M
Graphext (data) raised 4M
Eave (energy) raised 3M
LuzIA (GenAI) raised 2.4M