Some stories are based on a comprehensive review of all available facts. However, most stories are, at best, collections of cherry picked facts pulled together with the goal of convincing the reader to adopt a particular view. At their worst, many stories don’t contain any facts.
However, the facts are always there. Sometimes they emerge and a story based on cherry picked facts, or no facts, collapses. Sometimes they don’t and such a story continues.
Which outcome prevails depends on a combination of the power of the people telling the story, the availability of the facts, and the degree to which a comprehensive review of the facts supports a single view.
In the context of startup investments, most news articles about startups are stories. A startup’s financial statements and KPI’s represent the facts.
As humans, we seek meaning in our lives. Believing that we’re here for a reason keeps us engaged in life and motivated towards our goals.
As a result, we weave our lives into stories where events follow one another, driven by an overarching theme. This theme may be one of destiny, tragedy, comedy, or other.
But nature doesn’t care for our meaning. Nature is governed by the laws of the hard sciences and when these laws collide with the meaning that we have set for ourselves, it is the scientific laws that win.
In other words, nature doesn’t care how you feel.
When this happens, you revisit the story of your life and adjust it to once again achieve a coherent story. You recreate meaning in your life. This meaning may or may not be the same as the meaning which had existed prior to it colliding with nature.
You then go back to your life, believing in the new meaning that you have created for yourself.
While nature continues to not care.
When you read a story, you get to apply your imagination to the author’s storyline. You decide what the characters look like, the details of how the events described by the author actually play out, and what parts of the story to focus on.
On the other hand, when you watch a story in the form of a movie or show, you’re immersed in the director’s specific interpretation of the storyline. You have less room for variability in how you interpret a movie or show than a written story.
That’s one reason why I enjoy reading stories more than watching them. There’s certainly room for both, but the former lets you exercise your imagination and draw your own conclusions to a greater extent than the latter.