Our Story: Redesigning Presentations and Idea Sharing

Our Story: Redesigning Presentations and Idea Sharing

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In 2015, we stumbled across a massive problem - people work extremely unhappy with how they created, told, and consumed stories.

I was a design enthusiast who would freelance with startups. At university, I would conduct weekly sessions to teach fellow students the basics of design. Tejas was one among the handful of students who attended these workshops. I would stay up all night to put a lot of thought into the presentations that I would make for these weekly sessions.

Inevitably, the question I was asked most often was, "How do you make these presentations?". So I scheduled the last workshop titled "How to make kickass presentations", and 300 students showed up! It told me that people were not happy with the way they were telling stories. Something needed to change.

Mayuresh's "How to make kickass presentations" workshop at IIT Bombay.

After heading into the consulting industry, we were surrounded by the same problem again. Presentations were everywhere & they were terrible.

As Tejas and I made our way through the consulting industry, we realized how much people struggled with presentations. After every public presentation, we would get asked the same question: "How did you make that presentation?" or "What tool did you use?".

In hindsight, it was years of hearing these frustrations that led to our powerful realization. We debated whether the existing tools such as PowerPoint & upcoming challengers like Prezi could genuinely serve the idea-sharing experience everyone wanted.

Finally, in 2020, we took the plunge to approach this problem from scratch.

Tejas & I spent an entire day pulling apart all of the frictions we had & the experiences people enjoyed. We felt presentations should be the garnish, the finishing touch, on top of the food (food being the behind-the-scenes research, discussions, & analysis).

However - it seemed the garnish often was the most time & effort-intensive part. We concluded that existing solutions did not empower users to focus on their story & provided incremental value, at best.

Our initial approach involved helping users convert bullet points to slides, but we pivoted after early user insights.

Our co-creators felt that the existing solutions were time-consuming and led to many 'bad behaviors' like spending hours aligning boxes and making presentations one-way monologues.

And our first iteration had many of the same issues. We realized that they valued convenience over everything else.

A sneak peek into our early approach: Help users convert bullet points to slides.

After months of discussions, we realized - storytelling should be enjoyable & effective; efficient storytelling shouldn't just be for experts.

As the world grappled with the challenges of remote working, we went back to the drawing board as we realized a seismic shift in the world of work was happening.

Async & remote working is an element of our new normal - information consumption became more succinct & idea sharing had followed. Social media shaped engagement & delight to become more of an expectation while people were doing everything they could to streamline workdays. And were now no longer tied to their desks from 9 to 5.

"Does it need to be a presentation? Can you just put it in an e-mail? Or in Slack" - sound familiar?

Stories can be much more than dull, boring slides. You should be able to touch, feel, and interact with them.

With stories that are shallow by default and deep by choice.

And that's where Chronicle comes in! We're going to change the world of storytelling. Stay tuned!

~ Mayuresh & Tejas

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