The pitfalls of your story

While preparing a workshop on how to craft an About page with a soul, I stumbled upon one of these great websites that gather examples of the best work around. Their name is as simple as their promise: bestaboutpages.com.

If you’ve already realized that an About Page is more than just putting up your curriculum, you may be one of those startups who have embraced the power of stories.

But not all stories are interesting, or well told. I often see two pitfalls here:

  1. Telling very personal stuff to show you’re human (good), but without a real connection to the purpose of your brand ("hmph"). 
    Let’s say you’re the CEO of a tech company and you state that you love hitch-hiking in Patagonia in the summer and baking strawberry pancakes with your kids on Sundays. 
    If the purpose of your company is to provide a very human experience, even friendly, to your users and that you have a down-to-earth personality, I'd say go for it.
    But if your products are all about reliability, power and big data, I think the human touch could be infused withmore meaningful personal details, like the school project you once did that was the true beginning of your journey into the future.
  2. Showcasing a revolutionary mission to show you are a purpose-driven company (good), but without enough data to prove people really want it or you have the power to achieve it ("argh"). Better be a little humble and low-key sometimes, to win confidence and empathy from your users.

Here is an About Page that I think provides just the right amount of personal info and a sense of their mission:   

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