They are human after all
I'm the founder of FableLabs and this is my story
I met Amanda in 1991.
I took this photo of her the moment after she revealed she had just been fatally bitten by a medusa and will become one shortly. Before I ended her life, she begged me to take her dying tears to bring her brother back to life (he had been turned to stone). Even though this was over 20 years ago, I remember this moment in Final Fantasy Adventure very clearly.
However, a decade ago I graduated from Berkeley, ranked 3rd in my engineering class and it occurred to me recently that I can’t remember how to do calculus anymore as I haven’t touched it… well… since graduation.
Why is it I am able to remember an obscure story from my childhood, but I can’t remember basic math that was the building block for my engineering education?
Humans are fundamentally WIRED for stories.
Before we learned to write in 3200 B.C., we told stories to pass information down through each generation. Those of us that were able to absorb these stories survived and reproduced (the rest were probably consumed by lions). Stories have the ability to TEACH us, INSPIRE us, make us CRY, and make us LAUGH. We can only live one life but stories let us visit the lives of others. At this moment in time, empathy is more important than ever. Stories may very well be the most valuable intangible asset in our lives.
Great storytellers are important.
But we all know the stereotype of the creative writer. Barista / Uber driver by day, working on scripts by night. Working for years in isolation with no feedback, networking to find agents/influencers, and praying that a publisher will find an audience for them in the rare case they get that one-shot.
Success shouldn’t be dictated by pure luck or who you know. Good stories should rise to the top through talented storytellers… coupled with user data, rapid iteration, modern formats, and effective monetization. We’re turning anyone with a laptop and idea into an interactive storyteller.
FableLabs has built Tales, a platform that allows writers to rapidly pilot visual, interactive, episodic stories and iterate off feedback/metrics to improve performance. Couple all this with freemium, subscription, and ad monetization and we’ve got stories that can be produced for the cost of an ebook but with the distribution potential of freemium mobile games.
The gaming industry has done an amazing job with stories about knights defeating dragons to save helpless princesses but we think it’s time to make room for other genres of storytelling. We can’t wait to see what you can do on our platform!
Former investor at Elevation Partners, banker at Morgan Stanley, engineer at Berkeley. Thomas has been on both sides of the table, as a private equity investor (BioWare, Pandemic) as well as building freemium games from the trenches that have acquired millions of users. Talk to him about storytelling, strategic board games, rock climbing, or how to make a great bowl of beef noodle soup.